Pragati Maidan means ‘Progress Grounds’ or ‘Field of Progress’ that homes a venue or complex constructed for hosting large exhibitions and conventions in Delhi. It covers an area of 72,000 sq. mtrs. of space reserved only for hosting exhibitions and hence is known to be the largest exhibition centre of the Capital City. This venue is owned and managed by the Indian Trade Promotion Organisation or ‘ITPO’ which is a premier trade promotion agency that falls under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry of the Government of India. This region encompasses areas such as ITO, Nizamuddin and Sunder Nagar.
The Pragati Maidan complex was built in 1982 and spreads over an area of 150 acres dotted with green lawns and trees. It overlooks the historic Old Fort or Purana Qila that elegantly stands opposite Gate No. 1 of Pragati Maidan. This venue is also sandwiched between Mathura Road and Bhairon Road situated on either side. This Complex provides an in-house shuttle service for visitors who are senior and physically challenged.
The Pragati Maidan complex houses 18 Exhibition Halls; 22 Permanent Pavilions; Buildings of various shapes and sizes; Eating Outlets & Restaurants; Open Theatre and Auditorium for Performing Arts, Rock Concerts and Cultural events; Shakuntalam Movie Theatre that offers Movie Tickets at a very low price and hence is a famous hang out zone for College Students and lastly the headquarters of ITPO. Every year, this complex hosts over 70 International and National Exhibitions of which the 'India International Trade Fair or 'IITF' is the largest exhibition that attracts thousands of exhibitors and more than 30 lakhs visitors. The complex also hosts other Fairs that include the ‘World Book Fair’ that attracts book enthusiasts and the ‘Auto Expo’ that attracts Automobile experts, exhibitors, and automobile enthusiasts from across the country. It also homes 5 permanent exhibition halls that include ‘The Nehru Pavilion’, ‘The Atomic Energy Pavilion, ‘The Defence Pavilion’, ‘The Indira Pavilion’ and ‘The Son of India Pavilion’.
The famous two-week India International Trade Fair or ‘IITF’ commences every year on 14th November which is also known as ‘Children’s Day’ and Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru’s Birthday. During this Fair, 2 new air-conditioned halls ‘12’ and ‘13’ were opened to public in 1999 that spread across an area of 9,000 sq. mtrs. These Halls had over 5,200 enterprises and 70 companies from 14 Countries who set their Stalls here. In 2003, ‘IITF’ witnessed over 25, 00,000 visitors. Owing to this high influx of exhibitors and visitors, the Northern Railways operate special trains to Pragati Maidan especially during the IITF week. Even the Delhi Metro handles an average of 50,000 commuters during the India international Trade Fair duration.
In 2008 and 2009, the Pragati Maidan complex also hosted the Wills Lifestyle Indian Fashion Week or ‘WIFW’ operated by the Fashion Design Council of India or ‘FDCI’. Every year, this venue also hosts exhibitions of all major companies and products ranging from leather items and clothing to toys, Sports equipments, lifestyle products and services, Medical equipments, Electronics and Job Fairs.
The State Government also initiated a redevelopment plan of Pragati Maidan worth Rs. 1,260 crores in 2006 to be completed before the 2010 Commonwealth Games. Visitors can also enjoy a trip to the nearby the National Handicrafts and Handlooms Museum situated on Bhairon Road at one corner of Pragati Maidan and further down where the National Science Centre is situated.
The Pragati Maidan Metro station is known as the largest metro station in Delhi that covers a built area of 6,800 sq. mtrs. It was opened in November 2006 on the 8th day of the India International Trade Fair week. This Metro Station located at Gate No. 10 of Pragati Maidan Complex is situated at a distance of 1.2 Kms or 4 minutes away from the main complex area and is well connected to other parts of Delhi.
Pragati Maidan is also well connected by road and offers numerous DTC Buses that ply from ISBT situated approximately 10 Kms away. Visitors can also hire Auto Rickshaws and Taxi Cabs to and from this complex area. This region is also reachable from the Nizamuddin Railway Station which is situated 5.3 Kms or 17 minutes away, the Indira Gandhi International Airport which is 22.5 Kms or 44 minutes away, the New Delhi Railway Station located just 4.9 Kms or 13 minutes away and the Old Delhi Railway Station situated just 7.7 Kms or 27 minutes away and are reachable via the Metro Link.