The Bequest of Baluchari

See the mythological tales narrated on the walls of temples in west bengal, laid out on six yard wonder as shatika presents award winning baluchari sarees.

Showcasing religious epics and courtly ceremonies in the form of intricate patterns, baluchari silk sarees exude exceptional mastery of artisans of baluchari sarees in narrating tales through their weave. An art form that originated in Bengal, these Bengal silk sarees are presently produced in Bishnupur and its surrounding places in West Bengal. Very intricate and elaborate, taking into account minor details from the tales, making of a baluchari sari is laborious and time-consuming. Using the ancient technique of jacquard weaving, the weave of handloom Baluchari silk sarees is a week long process where two or more weavers are involved dedicatedly in cultivation of cocoons, unique processing of the yarn by boiling it in a solution of soda and soap and then dyeing it in acid colour, making of the motifs by drawing, coloring and punching of the design and then weaving on jacquard loom. A sign of aristocracy, these west Bengal baluchari sarees are larger than life.

History of Baluchari Sarees

About two hundred years ago, Baluchari silk sarees were produced in Murshidabad district of West Bengal in a small village called Baluchar from where it got its name. Patronized by Nawab of Bengal in the eighteenth century, after the flooding of river Bhagirathi, a tributary of river Ganga, when Baluchar village submerged in water, the articans were relocated to Bishnupur, that was in Bankura kingdom under the reign of Malla dynasty. Here they re-established themselves and the craft of Baluchari weave flourished under the patronage of Malla kings. The influence of temples that were the achievement of these rulers is seen in Baluchari sarees as the mythological stories depicted on the walls of these temples are woven on their pallu and border.