The India International Trade Fair or IITF is an annual business exhibition in Delhi where various Foreign Countries, Indian States and Government Departments showcase their products, achievements and services. In 2009, the 29th edition of the Trade Fair is being held from 14th to 27th November at Pragati Maidan in New Delhi. After hearing about the mouth watering kababs available at the Pakistani food stall, I took a day off from work to check out the Trade Fair. Well, here is a list of the stalls which I visited, the things I saw and the items I bought (after bargaining).
We took an autorickshaw to Pragati Maidan because we did not want to risk our pockets being picked by the large crowds thronging the metro trains. After getting off, we walked a bit to Gate No.2 near Purana Quila to purchase the tickets. On weekdays the ticket price is Rs.30 for adults. Security was cool - no long lines or such hassles here.
Uttaranchal - After entering from Gate No.2, the first pavillion we saw at the India International Trade Fair was that of Uttaranchal State. Here, some figures dressed in skisuits and skis were displayed by the Toursim Department. Other things being sold were some shawls, sweaters and some awful local looking clothes. We quickly disappeared from here.
Consumer Goods Stall - Well, this is the stall that sells cleaning equipment, home furnishings, home appliances and so on. Here we bought a plastic broom for Rs. 90 and a carpet cleaner for Rs. 40. We did not bargain, coz my friend was in dreamland at that moment. I also checked the prices of some goods I had bought recently to see if they were less expensive at the Trade Fair or more. I was amazed to find that the price difference was shocking. Just last week I had bought some branded pillows from Paharganj for Rs.100 each, which were priced at Rs.300 here.
Khadi and Rural Industries Stall - I like to wear khadi stuff, so a visit here was definite. We saw lots of khadi sarees, suit pieces, bags etc. There were also rural footwear, pickles, honey and other cottage industry products on sale. I had a Buran drink for Rs.10. Buran is a drink made from the red Rhododendron flower in Himachal Pradesh. I really liked the taste of the Buran drink and bought a bottle of Burani squash for Rs. 70.
Indian Food Court - We searched all over for the Pakistani food stall at the India International Trade Fair. Unable to find it and tired after all that walking, we settled for the Hyderabadi Biryani at the Andhra Pradesh stall in the Indian Food Court. It was just not worth it. At the cost of Rs. 140 per plate, the rice was really salty, chicken was tasteless and the chutney was watery. The portions were also small - A definite embarrassment to the real Hyderabadi Biryani.
The International Pavillion is the main draw at the India International Trade Fair in Delhi. With something in our stomachs, we walked on to the foreign stalls at the International Pavillion 12 A and 12 B at Pragati Maidan. There was a really long line to enter it. Breaking the line like normal Delhiites, we were caught in a large crowd of line breakers trying to push through a police rope and steel barricades. Escaping from a stampede like situation, we rejoined the queue, now fast moving and entered the foreign pavillion, which was less crowded owing to the police restrictions on entry. My budget was to buy one thing from each country, spending not more than Rs.1000 in total.
Malaysia - There were many stalls selling precious stones, jewellery and flowers, just like Thailand. I bought one paper folding fan for Rs.50 from one of the stalls here and also a fruity smelling soap for Rs.10.
Vietnam - I happened to find some of the cute Qipao dresses I was always looking for here. Also known as cheongsam, these Qipao dresses are traditional Chinese dresses made popular by Hollywood movies. I bargained and bought one Qipao blouse for only Rs.350. The material was good and the fit was exact - now this is what you call a good bargain.
Pakistan - There was lots of choice in women's clothing here. The saris and suit materials at the Trade Fair were really beautiful. There was also a stall of chappals that looked really nice. However, each pair of chappals was priced at Rs.500, so I had to let it go. I finally bought Shan Biryani Masala, which was available at Rs.100 for three packets.
Indonesia - The Indonesia stall was relatively empty. I bought one colourful wooden cat for Rs.50 from here.
Thailand - There was a large number of stalls from Thailand. Even more than that of Pakistan. Most were selling jewellery, plastic flowers and handicrafts. I bought a packet of scented elephant candles and incense sticks for Rs.50.
Turkey - The stalls from Turkey were selling crystal artifacts, jewellery and nazar keychains, bracelets and wall hangings. I bought one blue nazar (evil eye) keychain for my brother and one nazar bracelet for myself. The total cost was Rs.200.
Of the other stalls that I noticed - The Afghanistan stalls had items such as saffron, dry fruits, nuts, carpets, embroidered purses and kurtas. The United Kingdom stall had silver cutlery and tea sets. The Egypt stall had leather wallets, items and papyrus paintings. Bangladesh had lots of sarees, embroidered artifacts and cloth dolls. I still had Rs.190 left, but could not find anything suitable to buy in that price range.
After exiting the foreign pavillion at IITF, we managed to find the Pakistani Food Court. It was called Warsi Foods and was right opposite the Defence Pavillion. We had a plate of Chicken Malai Tikka (6 pieces for Rs.90). It was really delicious, especially the pudina chutney, and worth spending the time searching for.
The last stall we visited at the India International Trade Fair, 2009 was Maharashtra. Just as we entered the pavilion, we realized that we had to climb a large flight of stairs to view the displays. Already tired, we quickly exited and decided to go home. It was a good day of shopping and I managed to get some great bargains. Did you visit the 2009 Trade Fair in Delhi? How was your experience and what did you purchase?