Ekamra Haat: Art, Craft, Food And Lots More
By- Md. Mojahid Raza
Bhubaneswar: Spread in a sprawling expanse of 5-acres, Ekamra Haat is handicraft village adjacent to Exhibition grounds in the heart of the capital city. It is a popular place for tourists, shoppers and locals alike, who throng here to buy handicrafts, savour mouth-watering delicacies and hangout with friends and family. Set up in 2002 by the Government of Odisha in association with IDCO, the place has become immensely popular among visitors and attracts good footfall all round the day. Ekamra Haat is famous for its handloom and handicraft market which showcases exquisite handicrafts from Odisha as well as other states. At present, there are over 40 handloom and handicraft shops at the handicraft village which offer a wide range of artisitic and indigenous products.
All the shops at Ekamra Haat resemble village huts, exuding a feel of rural Odisha. The architectural design of the shops portray a rural market setting and give a rustic appeal to the place. One can buy various handicrafts and textile products from all over Odisha. These include Stone carving, Wood carving, Applique wall hangings and lamp shades (Pipili Chandua), Pattachitra paintings, Cane & Bamboo crafts from Western Odisha and Mayurbhanj, Dhokra art, Terracotta, Palm leaf paintings and popular Odia handloom fabrics like Ikat, Bandha and Bomkai from Sambalpur, Sonepur and Ganjam.
Besides products from Odisha, one can buy handlooms and handicrafts from several states of India viz. Gujarat, Rajasthan, Jammu and Kashmir, West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh. There are also shops which sell exquisite home décor pieces, gems and jewellery at very affordable rates.
“I have been here since the last 12 years. My shop offers a range of exquisite jewellery, shawls, handicrafts and handloom products from Kashmir which are not easily available here in Odisha. All the products are reasonably priced and available all year round unlike seasonal exhibitions” says Mohammed Hussain, a shopkeeper from Kashmir.
Ekamra Haat has something to offer for everyone. If shopping does not excite you, then there are other things which you can enjoy here. The place boosts of a pleasant ambiance amid manicured gardens, a small pond and flowering plants where you can just chill, forget your woes and soak in the serenity of the lush green lawns. There is also an open air mini amphitheatre where annual functions, plays, fancy dress and musical shows are organised from time to time.
The place has visitors of all types- college students, youngsters, working people, housewives, tourists, photographers, shopoholics and art collectors.
“I come here with my friends every weekend. We love the ambience of this place and all the colourful handicrafts that are displayed at various shops here. Shopping here is an altogether different experience” says Vaishali Mohapatra, a college student.
Food lovers are also a regular here as apart from handicrafts, there are some 10 restaurants which serve authentic Odia food (both veg and non veg) apart fast food, sweets and desserts. If you wish to relish traditional Odia cuisine, then this is the perfect place for you.
Ekamra Haat is open on all days from 10 a.m to 10 p.m. The entry is free and parking facility for two wheelers and four wheelers is also available. If you are looking for a perfect place to spend your Sunday evening, you must visit Ekamra Haat for a memorable time.