Standing proudly in the banks of the holy river Ganga is the ancient city of Benaras. Also known as Varanasi, this city is older than this great nation itself. It is one of the seven sacred cities of Hinduism. Thousands of Hindu pilgrims visit this city every year to wash away their lifetime sins. From early Aryan settlement to the growth of Buddhism, this great city has seen it all. But one cannot talk about the greatness of this city without talking about one of its biggest pride- Benarasi Saree. So in this blog, let’s briefly discuss the rich history of Benarasi Saree and its famous motifs and variety.
The Rich History of Benarasi Saree
Some historians can trace its origin to the Vedic era. In the Rig Veda, we know as nicknamed ‘Hiranya’, which means gold cloth. People use to consider Benarasi saree as the ‘attire of gods’. This is because the saree is covered with exquisite motifs and zari work out of golden thread or ‘zari’. Benaras had been an important center for this unique weaving since this city’s birth. Therefore, not only of Benaras, it forms an important part of Kolkata Traditional saree.
The Mughal Era
The person who had the biggest impact on the flourishment of the Benarasi Sarre is none other than the Great Mughal Emperor Akbar. His love for the zari work, which was then made out of pure gold threads, increased its demand tenfold. He would gift this beautiful saree to many of his wives, hence giving it a royal status. Even today, this flawless saree will give you a royal feeling. Don’t know where to buy it from? Visit the Dakshinapan saree shop to find the best collection.
The intricate motifs
Most of the well-known motifs of Benarasi saree has Mughal-origin designs. Islamic motifs such as floral patterns with leaves and delicate flower work are common Mughal works. These patterns can also be found in great Islamic monuments such as the inlay of the Taj Mahal. The all-too-familiar ‘jali’ work also can be found in the majestic moments created by the Mughal Dynasty. The British inspired Benarasi saree has different kinds of motifs. It is more Geometric pattern-based.
Types of Benarasi Saree
Benarasi saree primarily comes in 4 types of fabric
Katan- These are the pure silk version. You will find them in the collection of various saree retailers in Kolkata.
Organza- Or kora, it has beautiful brocade patterns and designs made by weft and warp
Georgette- An extremely light, finely woven fabric. It has more of a plain yet elegant look, making it a favorite among this generation.
Sattir- Producing beautiful and contemporary saree with exclusive designs, it has increased demand at present.
We will talk more about this piece of magic on our upcoming blog. Keep your eyes open.