Review of Khadi Utsav 2019, being held between 2nd January 2019 to 31st January 2019 at Freedom Park, Gandhi Nagar, Bengaluru.
We have been exploring Khadi Utsav for three years now. Since then, every time, it has become a year long wait for the following year’s exhibition. Meantime, my mission that kept me away from blogging, is coming to a conclusion. So, I’m here sharing the review of Khadi Utsav 2019.
Like previous years, the Khadi exhibition is very well organised at Freedom Park. Everything is thoughtfully set including stall arrangement, and refreshment area. If Khadi Utsav is new to you, you can read reviews of the last two years – https://www.varnatantu.com/2017/05/19/review-of-khadi-utsav-2017/ and https://www.varnatantu.com/2018/01/15/bengaluru-khadi-utsav-2018-review/.
Vastra Grama is a free entry exhibition spread in a small area. Hence, those who are in hurry can pay a quick visit and make purchases here. Stalls of Kashmiri Kashida, Kalamkari, Ikkat, Chikankari, eco-friendly tribal prints, silk, cotton are present in Vastra Grama. Men’s and boys khadi kurta, vest and paijama sets are also available. Crafts stalls are also there.
If you are willing to explore more traditional textiles, then you have to visit the main exhibition. But, you need minimum of an hour just to see and walk around. For people like me, a day may not be sufficient.
National level Khadi Utsav 2019
- The entrance fee is ₹10 for adults. This remains the same as previous years. Photography is free. Most importantly, security check ensures that we are safe in this area. Because, the month long exhibition witnesses millons of visitors.
- There are about 200 stalls. But, I didn’t see any mess. They are neatly arranged in hair pin curve manner. This ensures that the visitors don’t miss a single stall without having a glance. But, if you want to go back to buy something, you have to walk back in the same line. There is no shortcut. I think, this might have some affect on sales as well. (I have a thought for the organisers, what if the stalls are arranged like the benches in a classroom? This could increase recurring customers to the desired stalls.)
- I was happy to see chairs kept at the end of each row. It is a thoughtful arrangement for the visitors to rest in between.
- Refreshment area is well set. It is located at a ventilated area with a wide variety of food. The chairs, handwash, dustbins are arranged neatly. Toilet facility is available.
- Kids play area is nearby. So, moms like me can get extra time to check out the stalls when kid-father duo can engage themselves in playing.
- We spotted ducks at the entrance. Looking at them, ids were thrilled. Now, I’m imagining some ducks near the stalls in the next khadi utsav. This would definitely attract the kids, thus sparing parents more time for shopping.
- There is a big parking lot with a security guard. Therefore, you can park your vehicle and move out hassle freely. But, be sure to come early. If not, parking gets full by evening.
About the stalls
- Almost every stall displays the organisation name in Kannada. This gives the visitors an idea of the organisation. Product displays are neat, though they can be improved for ease of purchase. For example, some stalls exhibit hanger displays, and allow walking in to pick and opt.
- Customer likes simple and direct deals. Fixed or discount assured price tags ensure it. Also, it saves the customers from asking for price, each time. It was good to see price tags on the products in many stalls.
- Discounts are offered on most of the products.
- About 60% of the stalls are accepting credit/debit card or paytm payment. This is more than what we observed in the last year.
- Sales assistants are remarkably friendly. They are happy to show the collection, though I said I am not going to buy. To add, they are cool about taking pictures.
Textiles and Apparel Collections
Traditional textiles are always vibrant. This time too, like the previous years, I saw trendy textiles and apparel collection. Above all, Khadi Utsav 2019 (like last years) is the paradise of saris, especially silks. Ranging from ₹3,000 and above in printed and woven forms, this is the best chance to make wedding purchases directly from the makers. Apart from that, texhibition includes textiles made of cotton, woolen, linen and synthetics.
The exhibition includes traditional textiles from all over the country. To mention some of them I glimpsed, Kasuti (Karnataka), Lambani embroidery (Karnataka), Ilkal textiles (Karnataka), Kalamkari (Andhra Pradesh), Batik, Kutch work (Gujarat), Mirror work (Gujarat), Bandhni (Gujarat), Patola (Gujarat), Ikkat (Odisha), Kantha (West Bengal), Muslin (West Bengal), Baluchari (West Bengal), Chikankari (Uttar Pradesh), Phulkari (Punjab), Kashida (Kashmir), and Pashmina (Kashmir). To know more, you may read my article (link below) about traditional textiles from Bharath.
Exhibition includes collections for all age groups. I sighted reasonably priced traditional ready to wears like kurtas for all. I spotted beautiful yet pocket friendly Ikkat Kurtis and chiffon chikankari Kurtis in Vastra Grama. Even this time, I noticed crochet creations for ladies and girls. I was very happy looking at langa davni materials for girls.
It is good to see more exhibitors providing budget friendly products like hand-kerchiefs, purses, hand bags, stoles, shawls, frocks, Kurtas, Kurtis, vests, overcoats, ponchos, designer wear blouses, palazzo pants, churidars, skirts, maxi dresses, etc.
Khadi and other traditional textiles link us to our ancestral wisdom. They connect us to the history and freedom fight. Khadi is our pride. Let’s join to celebrate it. Happy Republic Day to all Bharatiyas in advance.