Choose from the best of crafts and textiles at the Gandhi Shilp Bazaar and Rajasthani Crafts Fair

It's a shopper's paradise at Kanakakunnu as craftsmen, including some of those who won national and state awards from across India, vie to woo customers with the best of their wares. A unique feature of this Gandhi Shilp Bazaar is that the artisans are selling their products to the customers directly; there is no middleman.

With 120 stalls containing a plethora of goods spread across a section of the Kanakakunnu grounds, make sure you wear a pair of comfortable shoes to check out these stalls. From juthis to lanterns and from prints of Ravi Varma paintings to carpets, all find a space at this fair.

For women who want to add to their wardrobe, this is the place to be. Check out the counter selling unstitched salwar-kurta sets from Assam. These sets come in vibrant shades and prices start at Rs. 850. Those who prefer buying the material for salwar-kurtas by the metre can do so at the stall selling Mangalgiri dress material. Prices start at Rs. 80 per metre. The stall dealing in Pochampalli saris is worth a ‘dekho' as they come in arresting colour combinations.

While one is in brown with tinges of rust orange in it, another has green with deep purple and red on the edges. Maheswari saris come with matching blouse material.

You can also get Kantha-worked saris; prices depend on the amount of work that has gone into the piece. Crowds throng stalls selling readymade outfits such as kurtis, skirts and tops as well as stalls selling funky-looking bead necklaces.

Don't forget to check out the stall selling figures of cranes, peacocks, parrots and fish made of buffalo and ox horns. Lanterns in various shapes and sizes are sure to light up your house. You can also get bed sheets, table clothes, carpets and other household accessories at the fair. The fair concludes on April 5.

Rajasthani crafts fair

A portrait of Rajnikanth greets visitors to the Rajasthani Crafts Fair. An artist who is seated at the entrance is busy shading in the features of a young couple on a canvas. According to the board beside him, he sketches portraits in 10 minutes. Portraits in pencil, he says, costs Rs. 50 while those in colour cost more.

Enter the exhibition hall and a counter selling sculptures of gods and goddess falls on your right. Right next to it is a counter with clay paintings (prices start at Rs. 600) depicting village life with a choice of bronze or wood finish.

The ones with the bronze finish are eye-catching and will look great on walls. And so will the patachitras from Orissa. These paintings on leaves narrate the tales of Shiva, Ganesh, Jesus and Vishnu.

Three-dimensional paintings (prices start at Rs. 1,500) are a unique feature of this exhibition. An arresting picture depicts Krishna and Parvathi, turn it to a different angle and a close-up of Krishna appears.

Those looking at revamping their wardrobe can have a look at the stall selling Bengal Cotton saris. Not only does it have Kerala-styled Bengal cotton saris in white and gold, but it also has saris with double sided pallus (an ‘in' thing according to the vendor). The crafts fair also has a counter that buys old Kanchipuram saris.

Skirts with embellishments go well with the latest Gujarati tops (with a smocked elastic waistband and a collar). Handmade silk thread earrings (prices start Rs. 30) completes this East-meets-West look.

For kurtis, check out the Ahmedabadi counter. Their kurtis with gold embossed prints have a lot of takers. The usual selection of semi-precious stones and household knick knacks are also available.

The fair at Chandrasekharan Nair Stadium is on till April 5.