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Thursday, October 13, 2022

Go Where Your Favourite Saris Come From

Chanderi, The Madhya Pradesh, For The Chanderi Sari

Underrated Chanderi doesn’t feature prominently on the bucket lists of tourists visiting the  Madhya Pradesh. Despite this, the little town’s claim to fame is its elegant Chanderi sari, which is created with a mix of silk and cotton to ensure durability. Discover  master weavers at work at the stately Raja Rani Mahal. It homes the NGO Chanderiyaan, which is engaged in community improvement by training the women and youth of the town in the art of preparing Chanderi saris. Pore over a variety of saris and take your pick, then head to discover the rest of Chanderi and its historical offerings. The Chanderi Fort looms high over the town, and its lofty walls are visible from the all over. Visit the Jama Masjid and the nearby Chakla Bawli, or step well, which, with its intricate architecture and calming aura, is a goal in itself. Discover the cobbled streets on foot to find more crumbling monuments that carry an air of nostalgia

Maniabandha, The Odisha, For The Maniabandha Sari

A short drive away from the Cuttack and Odisha’s capital Bhubaneswar lies Maniabandha, a village recognized for its stunning weaves. Since time immemorial, families here have been an engaged in the art of single ikat, which is eponymously called the Maniabandha ikat, or khandua.  It differs from the other ikat weaves of the Odisha and adorns the popular Maniabandha saris made with tussar silk. Differently, the majority of the weavers and the village is Buddhist, owing to Buddhist priests taking refuge here during historical conflicts. Walk via the village, interact with the weavers and observe them at work. It is an excellent chance to immerse yourself in the lives of artisans amid a verdant rustic setting that will absolutely be a welcome change.  

Kanchipuram, The Tamil Nadu, For The Kanjeevaram Sari 

Kanchipuram, 80 kilometres away from Chennai in the Tamil Nadu, is one of the most ancient cities of the southern India. It served as the capital of the mighty Pallava Empire and is today a bustling temple city. Most notably, Kanchipuram is recognized for its fine-quality Kanjeevaram saris that are woven from a pure mulberry silk thread. The saris are an integral item in a Tamil bridal trousseau and are even an ideal souvenir to take back house. Go sari shopping along the popular Gandhi Road, which has various cooperatives selling bright, pure silk saris with gorgeous motifs. If saris is not the only thing on your mind, take a breather by visiting the elaborate temples from the Chola, Pallava and Vijayanagar dynasties that dot the city- the Kanchi Kamakshi Amman Temple and the Kailasanathar Temple are must-sees. 

Varanasi, The Uttar Pradesh, For The Benarasi Sari 

Varanasi requires no introduction. Earning the moniker of being one of the India’s holiest cities, it is even one of the world’s oldest continually inhabited ones. Here, you are greeted by temples both modest and grand at all corner, and the melodious aarti at the popular ghats is an experience not to be missed. It is no surprise, then, that the sari named after the city enjoys a similar wealthy legacy and dedicated following. The Benarasi sari (named after Varanasi’s old name, Benaras) traces its origins to about 2,000 years ago and also finds mention in mythology. The silk sari is recognized  for its eye-catching colors, opulent zari work and luxurious feel. Look for the GI tag when buying handloom Benarasi saris, and shop only from recognized government centres and founded shops such as Silk Khajana at Chukaghat and Muslin Silk House at Lallapura. If not in the mood for shopping, an early-morning boat ride on the Ganges as you see  the sunrise is an experience such as no other.  

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