Top 5 destinations to shop sarees - in Madhya Pradesh
In the tiny lanes of Madhya Pradesh, often a new story is weaving which takes the form of handcrafted fabrics and sarees. Here’s sharing top five destinations from where you can buy native weaves which have their origin from MP.
Chanderi, the craft that people consider to be the finest today, hasn’t received instant popularity but is being appreciated for centuries. It used to be the preferred textile of ladies from the royal houses of Baroda, Indore, Gwalior and Nagpur during the royal era. Embellished with beautiful motifs of ginis (coins),butis(buds) and intricate gold zari border, traditional Chanderi sarees used to be the prized possession of females. At one point, Chanderi sarees were only weaved in natural off-white colour until certain weavers began to dye the yarns in the pastel colours. Although it’swoven using cotton and silk yarn, it gives the fabric a unique sheen which makes it different from other silk sarees. Now, the sarees are available in gorgeoushues adorned with motifs inspired by nature such as flowers, birds, and fruits. Today, it’s a known weave that many designers incorporate it to create beautiful costumes.
Maheshwari - Maheshwar
The town of Maheshwar is also known for its elegant Maheshwariweave which has been existing since 5th century. In fact, the weaving industry also has a mention in Kautilya’s Arthashastra.In later years, the craft became the personal favourite of Maratha queen Ahilyabai Holkar who welcomed talented handloom weavers from Gujarat to weave exclusive nine-yard nauvari sarees and turban piece for her kingdom. The sarees were mainly worn by the females of Malwa royal courts and used as a souvenir for the guests.
The Maheshwari saree is a blend of Coimbatore cotton and Bangalore silk yarn festooned with graceful motifs of ruiphool (cotton flower),chameli (jasmine), hans (swan), etc. Some of the popular colours in sarees include tapkeer (deep brown) and angoori (grape green). The authentic Maheshwari saree has a unique reversible zari border and pallu with five stripes.
There are many local workshops in Maheshwar which will give you a peep into the making of Maheshwari sarees. You can also buy dupattas, stoles, and saree from their shops.
Bagh Saree - Bagh
Practised by the skilled workforce in the town of Bagh in Madhya Pradesh, Bagh printing is done using natural colours that are mined from fruits and flower extracts. According to the renowned Bagh artisan, Umar Khatri, the Bagh prints are inspired by nature, wildlife, and heritage. The commonly used block motifs are Genda (Marigold flower), nariyal Jaal (inspired by Taj Mahal)etc.
Bagh printing not just beautifies cotton but silk, maheshwari, chanderi, and chiffon. Bagh printed cotton is one of the most popular fabricswornduring the summer because of its lightweight and organic feel. One can find a plethora of Bagh printed stoles, sarees, dupattas, bedsheets, curtains, cushion covers, table runners in the market reflecting the class and sophistication.
Batik - Ujjain
Just a few kilometres from Ujjain, lies this small settlement of Bherugarh, well known as the hub of Batik printing. Batikis an age-old craft in which a section of fabric is covered with hot wax. After drying, the fabric is crushed to bring out the cooled wax. Lastly, it’s dyed which gives the fabric a unique cracked effect.
Head to the streets of Bherugarhand Ujjain where you can literally witness Batik in making. Meet the talented artisans who will explain to you the traditional and new techniques which they use. Speaking about the contemporary practises, National awardee WasimChippa will tell you how he does the unique Indonesian Batik art to give batik a more colourful facet. As per the artisan, traditional batik technique involves the use of only 3-4 colours wherein Indonesian art allows the artist to experiment with 9-10 different colours. Don’t miss to take home some exquisite batik saree, suit material and, bedsheets for your family and friends.
Zari-Zardozi - Bhopal
As much as Bhopal is known for its rich history and royal architecture, it’s also distinguished for its ancient craft called Zari-Zardozi. It is a subtle art enriched by the elegant motifs and ornamental work of zari thread and beads on the silky soft fabric. It’s widely known that the begums of Bhopal gave this artistic craft a push by encouraging the craftsmen to create beautiful handicrafts. Princesses themselves used the batuasof zar-zardozi to keep their personal belongings. Once been the important part of nawabi culture, zari-zardozi is still popular and practised by many artisans. Besides batauas and purses, one can find beautiful zari-zardozi dupatta, sarees, and lehangas in chowk bazaar in the old city market of Bhopal which is still quite popular among the locals. You can also get your stuff customised by requesting the artist to make pieces of your choice.
All these mentioned places are not only known for shopping but each place has its own historical prominence which clearly reflects in theinnate crafts. You can’t go empty-handed from Madhya Pradesh as all these destinations are great to shop native weaves and prints.