I had always had a liking for the authentic Indian arts and craft items, like handicrafts and handlooms. The Ekarma Haat was a place that was on my priority list as I visited the temple city of Odhisha. It is located at the heart of Bhubaneswar and stretches over a vast expanse of five acres of land. Earlier it used to be just a tourist triangle of the cities of Bhubaneswar- Konark – Puri. But now it has developed into a whole range of Odhishan handicraft and textiles. In of its fact it now incorporates art and craft materials from whole of the nation.
With its 42 shops and 8 open display corners the Ekarma Haat is a popular tourist destination for all age groups of people. This craft village of Bhubaneswar promotes the cottage and small scale industry of India by bringing the artisans in direct contact with the customers, hence expanding the market size of these handmade items and also eliminating the middle men who used to take away a huge share of the profits from these poor artisans.
As I strolled through the market I was lured to purchase almost every item I could lay my hands on. I also did purchase a couple of items to take back as souvenir of our visit to Odhisha. It was as if the art and craft culture of India had been rediscovered in this stretch of land. The architectural design of the hut like shops and the sprawling grass moulds in the Ekarma Haat is very evidently designed to set the rural tone. It was a very fascinating site to find oneself amidst the rural and calm environment right at the heart of the urban city of Bhubaneswar.
The timings of trade in the Ekarma Haat are from 10 am to 10 pm on all days of the week. Stone and wood carvings, appliqué, cane and bamboo, pattachitra, bell meatal, dhokra, palm leaf engravings, terracotta, art textiles such as bandha sarees belonging to Sambalpur and Naupatana are the items that are frequently on display in the Ekarma Haat. It was really a different experience for me to discover such art work and talent even in the villages of India.