Originally worn by women of the rich and powerful families, Baluchari saris - having gradually grown to be a must-have for every Bengali bride, are justifiably referred to as Bengal’s pride with families handing them down – as heirlooms through generations, with love and care.
Almost two decades ago, the weaving of these saris started in the village of Baluchar in Murshidabad district; today they are mostly woven in Bishnupur, Sonamukhi and Panchmura in Bankura district in rich silk, and are known for the mythological tales depicted on the border and pallu, created through an intricate and detailed process.
The Baluchari sari, being a handicraft unique to a particular area, has received the prestigious Geographical Indications patent thus preventing people from creating similar saris elsewhere and selling them as Baluchari saris.
Recently, Balucharis have gone organic and are now being woven in natural fibres, making the saris affordable and hence wearable for all occasions - Cotton Kapas is spun with fibres of banana plants and bamboo shoots and the dyes are extracts of fruits, flowers, leaves, and vegetables such as pomegranate, jamun, neem fruits and leaves, basil leaves, turmeric, marigold flowers, mangoes and others.
In addition to being showcased at the India International Trade Fair held at New Delhi in the year 2012, the Baluchari weaving style was the recipient of the Shilp Guru Award and Sant Kabir Award for the year 2009 and 2010, with Honorable President Pranab Mukherjee conferring the awards on weavers from the state.
I have two in my possession. I love them :) .. i have wore them in several weddings :)
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