Culture of Haryana - The Kartik Fair
The Kartik Cultural Festival of Haryana is the result of the consolidated effort of Haryana Tourism working with a number of allied agencies. Prominent among those were the Ministry of Tourism and Department of Culture, Government of India, Department of Youth Affairs and Sports, Govt. of India, Department of Cultural Affairs, Haryana, Development Commissioners Handlooms and Handicrafts, North Zone Cultural Center, North Central Cultural Center, Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan and Ballabgarh Development and Beautification Society.
The very first effort on organizing cultural events on a national level by Haryana Tourism was done with the launching of the annual and now internationally famous Surajkund Crafts Mela, that began in 1981. Whereas the Crafts Mela celebrates the finest handlooms and handicrafts traditions of country, the Kartik Cultural Festival was planned with the express view of promoting fort ambience, martial arts and the rich repertoire of both classical Indian music and dance, matching it with an equally rich variety of folk theatre. The festival had given new life to dying folk arts, martial arts and worked to bring traditional folk dances and music to the national stage.
The Kartik Cultural Festival was held at the Nahar Singh Mahal that lies in Ballabgarh town. The fort, the venue of the festival was built by the forefathers of Raja Nahar Singh around 1739 A.D. Raja Nahar Singh after whom the palace is named ascended the throne in 1829 A.D. The Raja was a young king of the empire of the last Mughal Emperor Bahadur Shah Zaffar. He gave up his life fighting for the cause of the ruler in the country's First War of Independence in 1847.
The palace of Nahar Singh was identified for beautification by the Government of Haryana and restored to its original glory by a well known team of experts of Francis Nacziarg and Aman Nath who worked on many such restoration projects. The Mahal is an outstanding specimen of architectural design. The Palace was decorated with an elaborate cupola and minars. In pattern, the palace carries a reflection of the finesse of the mahals of Bharatpur.