Crafts bonanza at Delhi’s new terminal 3

New Delhi, July 8 (IANS) Gourmet papad in tricolour hues, homemade pickles, heritage jewellery…India will hawk its flavours at a huge indigenous lifestyle and crafts bazaar being set up in Indira Gandhi International Airport’s swank new terminal 3 (T3).

Spread over 4,000 sq ft, the Delhi Bazaar will open its doors to the flying fraternity at July-end. It will be the only store at T3 – inaugurated by the prime minister July 3 and which can handle 34 million passengers annually-to showcase merchandise manufactured and produced in India.

A smaller 1,200-sq feet replica of the bazaar will sell traditional crafts at the domestic lounge.

‘The store is modelled on an ethnic shopping village with 10 shops or ‘gondolas’, each devoted to a traditional lifestyle product that will portray facets of Indian traditional, mystical and rural exotica. One rarely finds them abroad,’ Manisha Gupta, president of Crafts House, which will manage the Delhi Bazaar, told IANS.

Crafts House is a premium lifestyle shopping store in the capital.

‘The core idea is to promote rural artisans and empower women’s self-help groups working in the village handicrafts sector in the far-flung corners. All our products have been sourced from women’s cooperatives in villages,’ said Gupta.

The bazaar will stock 20 varieties of organic tea grown in the country, Coorgi coffee, traditional textiles, ayurvedic accessories and green incense.

Gupta said ‘each shop has been inlaid with wood and patchwork silk’ to give buyers a ‘feel of an ethnic shopping souk’.

‘The capital is known for its gates like India Gate, Kashmere Gate, Ajmeri Gate, Khooni Darwaza and many more. We have tried to capture the soul of the capital of gates with special designer gates at the entrance of every shop,’ Gupta said.

The owners wanted to blend traditional and contemporary India backed with strong local knowledge.

‘The central theme is elephant – the animal synonymous with power, grace strength and stability that characterises the country. We have created an entire shop devoted to elephants – jewellery, accessories, sculptures and home decor items with elephant motifs in cedar wood, rose wood, mango wood, silver and precious stones,’ Gupta said.

In the textile and food sections, all the products are green and organic, Gupta said.

The preservative-free pickles, developed by the kitchen of the Delhi-based Metropolitan Hotel, will be sold in four varieties – mango, chilli, lime and mixed vegetables, to begin with, accompanied by five spice-based curry powders.

‘India has been historically known for its spices, curries and the black gold, pepper,’ Gupta said.

The New Veda collection, a range of aroma oils and ayurvedic health products, will carry sacred mantras from the Upanishads and excerpts from Patanjali’s treatise on yoga and ‘pranayam’ or breathing exercises.

The price band ranges from Rs.50 to Rs.60,000. ‘We will give back to the communities from whom we source the products. We cannot charge more than the fair price,’ Gupta said.

The world class T3 was built at an estimated Rs.9,000 crore. Inaugural statistics show that it is expected to absorb investment worth $120 billion by 2020. The airport will become functional July 14.

(Madhusree Chatterjee can be contacted at madhu.c@ians.in)

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