Friday, January 17, 2014

Numaish Masnuaat-e- Mulki - An Indian af'fair'

Talk to a global Hyderabadi anywhere in the world and say “Numaish’ and immediately there is a chance of he going ‘Awww' and  start reliving his childhood memories where they brought their favorite dress, vegetable chopper, pop corn popper, ate pink cotton candy, rides on the giant wheel, merry-go-round etc.,

Most of us would have had such childhood times at an exhibition, but for an Hyderabadi it is an All India industrial exhibition called Numaish. For them, it is an institution in itself for all things hyderabadi. Every January 1, the mela opens up and throws off gear the resolve of all those hyderabadis who have made a resolution of spending money thriftily.

Numaish Masnuaat-e-Mulki , popularly called Numaish has that mesmerizing effect on any hyderabadi. The title literally means exhibition of locally made products like cottage industry which includes stalls of men and women prisoners. But,  today it is  also a window to heavy industry, trade and commerce . It has 2500 stalls catering to 25 lakh visitors. Now, its reach has increased beyond india and brings in participants from Pakistan, Iran, Turkey etc.

Originally in 1938 ,it started as a ten day fair with 100 stalls and was a platform for the traders to showcase their goods and services to the consumer . What started as a result of discussions by the Osmania Graduates association to raise funds for conducting economic survey of the then Hyderabad state has now turned into world’s longest exhibition for 46 days and completes 75 years in 2015. Even now, the proceeds go to educate the economically backward of the region.

If you are an Indian,  who is allergic to desi stuff and buy branded phoren maal at malls, this place is not for you. But, if you heart desi things, haats, mela and fairs then this place is for you.

The range of products starts from branded consumer durables like fridge washing machine , fabrics, kitchen utilities, accessories and many more to the smallest item of a safety pin . Competing with these branded FMCG  is desi or locally made ones like portable geysers, washing machines and other innovative utilities. The last time I went to this exhibition in 2010,  I found a simple desi washing machine. A portable motor fixed to the rim of a bucket full of soap soaked clothes. The motor churns and tosses the clothes in the bucket and knocks the dirt out of the clothes. So simple! Space saver too!!

Of course it may not be durable or practical for a family but definitely a boon for all those working men/women who stay in hostels or on the move and don’t want to invest more. 

One of the high points about this mela is, don’t ever take the “FIXED PRICE” boards seriously. No haggling talent required, Just ask in simple hyderabadi “ Accha bhai, aakhri daam dene ka bolo” and the stall owner would say “ woh bhi aapich bata do, madam” and without any fuss bring the rates to half drastically  or even below that and he will ask “ kaunsi color chahiye aapko”. That is the beauty of Numaish. You get them at dirt cheap rates.

As one goes shopping around in the open to sky expo, one can have a quick bite of all those desi street food like chaats, kababs, puffs, irani samosa ,jalebi, different types of hyderabadi biscuits and unwind at the various amusement rides.

One can see many childish like adults enjoying the amusement rides like the giantwheel, merry go round, toy train and awe at the 'maut ki kuan'( the well of death).

Overall, a nice place to unwind with the family, where you can indulge the child in you and relive your childhood memories , not just in Numaish in any mela or local fair. 

Many think these crowded set-ups are passé and we have come a long way in terms of shopping like e-shopping. In these days of globalization and transportation, we get Kashmir products easily in kanya kumari and the products of WB easily in Gujarat. Why,  even overseas products are easily shipped home. 

But these types of mela’s and Numaish are a great place to enjoy and learn  and this is what distinguishes one city from another or else there will be no difference when we walk out of Shoppers stop at Delhi or at Hyderabad buying the mass produced branded products. 

These are a typical Indian affair in its real sense. But,  one has to think twice before buying those demo products like   vegetable slicers, chilli cutters, knife sharpeners etc.,

What are your experiences in your local mela? What have you brought and kept unused?

                                The branded consumer industry at display. This year's speciality is the display of Hyderabad Metro( photocourtesy- google) 

.                                       wood crafts from UP

terracotta from kolkata
jute stall from kolkata

Most artisans pitch tents and cook in the ground, the stalls are active only after 4'o clock

hand bags from kolkata

                                   Khurja pottery from UP

the lucknowi  stall selling chikankari work

The trinkets and chunk jewels at display

                      Stall of an ex-service man selling kashmir nut and  spices

The well of death( google image)

                                                India's answer to London eye, the giant wheel ( google image)
P. S; the rest of the photos are mine clicked during my visit in  2010. Actually, even i have been here only 3 times in my 12 years of stay. Parking is a pain here. Tomorrow I  complete 12 years of my stay in Hyderabad.


  1. Wow - you are now more a Hyderabadi than a Banglorean. No actually - you are a true Indian !

    Never knew of Numaish - this reminds me of the Pongal Trade Fair in Madras which I must have gone to once or twice when I was a kid. But not as big and grand as the Hyderabad one seems to be.

    By the way, your "no haggling" tip is not true. When the trader sees my face, he is likely to give a discount of 0.000001%. Seeing you, he must have recognised a master shopper and then ..... :):)

    1. True Indian at global level. When in india, home is where the heart is- Bangalore:) and now hyderabad also.

      Come to Numaish and you can't escape haggling. You will learn to haggle by seeing others do.

  2. Thanks for the wonderful description of Numaish. And, thanks for the beautiful photos. They should have Numaish in every major city in India to promote local grown products.

    Just one request. When you write a Hindi sentence, it will be nice if you give the English translation also. This will help the non Hindi knowing readers to enjoy more.

    1. Almost most cities and even tier two cities or villages have this. But due to the china bazaars this has become less popular, even numaish is loosing its sheen.

      Next time, i will definitely translate. I usually do with tamil sentences, will do with hindi too.

  3. I also went there when I was in Hyderabad.. I think in 2006 I just love such places..remind me of my childhood...

    1. Oh that's nice:) yes such places remind of childhood.

  4. Wow Asha the grand Numaish is like a fairy land. So much to see and so much to enjoy. The photos clicked by you are fascinating. In Delhi also there is one 'Dilli Haat', which is open all the twelve months. There also we get 'desi artistic stuff',but it is lacks the grandeur depicted in the Numaish.

    1. Similar to Dilli haat is shilparaman in hyderabad. a crafts village. it is also open all through the year. They now have a night bazaar too. A nice place dilli haat is.

  5. I also love to visit fairs/ exhibitions, and thoroughly enjoy bargaining there. The street food are so tempting, and so are the rides. So many things to shop, and everything looks beautiful there. Yes parking as you say is always a big problem in such venues,
    WIsh you happy 12 anniversary of having lived in Hyderabad!

    1. Thank you, Rama:) yes 12 years is too long in today's scenario and we came with the plan of staying only for 2 years:)

      yes, street food are tempting and so are the rides. here parking is expensive than entry fee.

  6. Wow! This took me to a time travel. We used to have this kind of fair in Kota. It was called Kota Dushera Mela. It lasted 10 days. We had stalls from all over the country and all jhoolas and that maut ka kuan too. We used to go there every year till 1990. Food stalls were main attraction for most, though cleanliness freak family like ours would stay away from most of the stalls. 12 years in Hybd... cool! :)

    1. Oh was there a dussehra mela in kota too? Dussehra mela reminds me of Mysore dasara mela, it is bigger than bangalore that happens in minerva mill ground/ RBANMS ground. It also has a horticultural show where i first saw a black rose during my childhood. True, about food stalls, those days, there were less pollution . Now, i think street vendors are more cleaner and sterilize their plates knowing that most of their clientale are regular MNC employees. But, yes one must watch out for cleaner and good food. 12 years:) ....tooo cool. Right?:)