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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

IITF 2011 at Pragati Maidan Delhi

My family accompanied me to IITF 2011 as has been the case almost every year. IITF 2011 was an altogether different experience for me as for the first time I was able to fully understand the layout of the various halls and pavilions in Pragati Maidan. However, as is usual the communication regarding how to reach the fair venue and from where to purchase the tickets left a lot to be desired.

Buying the Ticket

Based on newspaper notifications what I could gather was that the tickets were available only at Delhi Metro stations and at selected gates in Pragati Maidan. First we went to INA Market Metro Station and came to know that the tickets for the day had all been sold - very surprising since it was around 10am in the morning.

After that we went to the Race Course Metro Station on one side of the circular roundabout only to be told that only those who board the metro at that side of the station can purchase tickets. Others need to go to the station on the other side of the circular roundabout. Negotiating the traffic in the circular roundabout was highly inconvenient and unsafe as well. Anyways finally we managed to get the tickets from the other side.

Reaching IITF Parking - Sunheri Pullah near Dayal Singh College

Again based on newspaper notifications I came to know that car parking facility was available at Sunheri Pullah near Dayal Singh College (at stone's throw distance from CGO Complex). The arrow marking was all confusing. And it appeared to me that the parking site as mentioned in the newspaper was actually not  the one where I finally parked my car which I think was actually the DTC bus parking. In fact I am still not sure where Sunheri Pullah actually is?

My father told me that there used to be an open area near CGO complex which apparently got converted into Sunheri Pullah during the preparations for CWG 2010. Reaching Sunheri Pullah is quite simple. If one is coming on Lodhi Road from Safdarjung Tomb side, one needs to take a right turn immediately after Dayal Singh College. And if one is coming on Lodhi Road from Nizamuddin side, one needs to take a left turn immediately before Dayal Singh College

Reaching IITF Venue - Pragati Maidan

Well after all the hard work to purchase the tickets and to reach the parking venue I got some relief when I came to know that free shuttle buses were available right from inside the DTC bus parking to Gate 2 of Pragati Maidan. However to add salt to the wound I found that the trade fair tickets were being sold in the bus itself. It seems this came in the newspapers but was not as widely publicized.

Visiting the Pavilions 

We sat in the bus and after 15 minutes or so it started for the onward journey to Pragati Maidan Gate 2. After getting down there and going through security checks we were finally in. This time we decided to give a miss to the state pavilions other than of two states - Uttarakhand and Jharkhand.

Right when one enters Gate 2 one would come across Hall 6 so we started from there. After that we went to Hall 1 and then after some refreshment walked across to Hall 18 on one side of the fair venue. From there we walked in almost a linear fashion and came back to Hall 7 (passing through 12, 11, 10, 9, 8, etc.).

And of course we did purchase some stuff from the trade fair. The best part is one gets to see so many things. For kids it's a great learning experience watching the replicas and models of dams, mines, power generation plants, etc. And yes one can also watch the Dog Show performed by the Canine Warriors of Indian Army. An amazingly entertaining show to say the least!

Back to Pavilion

After a full day well spent we came out and took the return bus from Pragati Maidan to the Sunheri Pullah car parking! And as is said all is well that ends well we felt in the end it was an experience truly worth it.

P.S.: It was good to note that for crowd management and security the organizers have made some excellent arrangements like after a certain time no tickets are sold, after a certain time entry is not allowed and also at the entry point there are scanners like the ones at airports.

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