The Memorial Gate commemorates the rich heritage of India’s northeastern as part of the Surajkund Craft Fair 2023. This annual event, held in Faridabad, serves as celebration of Indian craftsmanship and provides a vital platform for artisans to showcase their talents.
Nestled in proximity to the historic Surajkund Lake, which finds its roots in the 10th century, commissioned by King Suraj Pal of the Tomar dynasty, the fairgrounds have breathed new life into this ancient site. While the lake may have faded into historical obscurity, it now serves as the illustrious backdrop for the Surajkund Craft Mela, an event that magnetizes a global audience of over a million visitors in its three-week duration.
The North Eastern Region (NER) of India, a geographical and administrative entity unto itself, encompasses a mosaic of eight states: Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura, and Sikkim. In this region, ethnic diversity thrives, and indigenous artistry, steeped in tradition, flourishes.
The architectural marvel of the Memorial Gate pays homage to the time-honored bamboo construction techniques that resonate throughout the NER. Crafted by the skilled hands of regional artisans, this gate takes the form of a vaulted void, with a cube thoughtfully aligned with the cardinal directions. The bamboo lattice cube intersects the vault at a precise angle in harmony with the existing road, bestowing upon the structure a dynamic and visually striking form.
Integrating the pre-existing twelve concrete columns on-site, eight of these columns are emblematic, representing the unique history of each state through illustrations. The remaining four columns seamlessly merge into the bamboo frame, a testament to the fusion of tradition and innovation.
The meticulous intricacies of bamboo joinery were a collaborative effort, developed hand in hand with the skilled artisans. Many of the design decisions were forged on-site during construction, championing local collaboration and craftsmanship as the guiding principles.
At the end of the three week fair, the Memorial Gate will transition seamlessly into the public domain. It will evolve into a permanent fixture, serving as a cherished framework for the delight of local residents and pedestrians alike, a testament to the enduring spirit of unity and artistry open to all who pass through its welcoming embrace.