FOR the 11th consecutive year, the annual Deepavali Carnival is back.
KUALA LUMPUR: Organised by Agenda Suria Communication Sdn Bhd (ASC) and the Malaysia-India Chamber of Commerce (MAICOM), the carnival is on until the eve of Deepavali at the Bukit Jalil Sports Complex's open-air car park A, instead of the KL Sentral car park in Brickfields.
ASC director D. P. Ganaa said the need for more parking and traffic congestion are the main reasons for relocating the carnival site from Brickfields.
"We want our customers to enjoy hassle-free shopping.
"In previous years, we used to receive numerous complaints from our visitors, who said they had to spend more than an hour searching for parking because of the massive traffic jam in Brickfields.
"Now that we have moved our site to the sports complex, visitors from Seremban, Kajang, Rawang and other places can shop here with ease," he said.
Ganaa said the organisers have also requested RapidKL to increase the frequency of its bus trips to Bukit Jalil during the festival.
The exhibition opens from noon until 10pm daily.
The car park has been divided into two sections -- an air-conditioned canopy and warehouse covering 8,550 sq m and housing 230 shop lots -- giving visitors more shopping options.
Ganaa said 58 booths showcase products by traders from India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Thailand, with the rest featuring local products.
Ganaa said this year's carnival is targeting 700,000 to 800,000 visitors by offering a wide variety of products ranging from textiles, fashion accessories and shoes to home decorations and traditional Indian sweets.
He added that there will also be performances such as dance competitions, evening shows by local celebrities and food stalls.
"This year, we brought in the latest items to the fair, including handicrafts, jewellery, pearls and other wares from Kashmir, Orissa, Punjab, Gujarat, Delhi, Mumbai, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.
"The products are reasonably priced, except for the expensive jewellery.
"But what makes the fair appealing is the chance for shoppers to bargain with the traders," he said.
"Clothes such as jeans and children's clothes, toys, carpets and watches are also on sale at the carnival," said Ganaa.
There will also be stalls that provide services such as threading, henna tattoos and make-up consultations.
A trader from Delhi, India, Rajeev Chawla, who sells hand-painted art, said there are many interesting new items on sale this year.
He encouraged customers to take this opportunity to shop, as most of the products are affordable.
"The artworks that I am selling are painted on velvet sheets using colours from fruits, flowers and vegetables. The paintings are priced from RM70 to RM100," said Rajeev, who added that it takes about three to five days to complete a painting.
Manoj Mahadik, a trader from Mumbai, manufactures and exports organic skincare products.
He said his products, which include spa soaps, hair-care products, skin-treatment creams and facial kits, cater to different types of skin.
A visitor, Rita Menon from Seremban, said she got to know about the festival through the advertisements and the event's official website.
"We just made a quick stop here to see the latest items at the carnival.
"I will here return in two or three days with my family." she added.