#NationalHandloomDay: Travel To Bring Home A #MakeInIndia Tradition

Aug 7, 2021, 19:30 IST

Handloom Day

Add these destinations for homegrown handlooms to your bucket list and support a traditional art form.

Now in its seventh year, National Handloom Day is when we give thanks for the many exquisite textiles and fabrics we often take for granted. First celebrated on August 7, 2015, the day aims to generate awareness about the handloom industry in India, focussing on the contribution of the sector to our socio-economic development. This year, like never before, this focus will help ensure that the weavers, so deeply impacted by the pandemic, might once again be gainfully employed. 

Save this list of destinations from travel brand
Booking.com - these are the places that fabric, fashion and handloom enthusiasts visit to shop and embrace this very tangible wealth of our country.

When it’s safe to travel again, it will also be time to add a beautiful swathe of fabric and tradition to your wardrobe. 

  1. Visit Maheshwar In Madhya Pradesh For Maheshwari Handloom

Handloom Day - maheshwari

Images: Instagram/@rehwasociety

A small town in the Khargone district of Madhya Pradesh, and sited about a hundred kilometres from Indore, Maheshwar is home to one of India’s richest handloom fabric traditions. Maheshwari fabric dates back first to the 5th century; the dying tradition was revived in the 18th century first by Maharani Ahilyabai Holkar, and, more recently, when the Holkar family set up the Rehwa Society to train weavers in the 250-year-old art. Maheshwari textile was a favourite with royalty for its intricate design. Today, it not only showcases the fine craftsmanship of Indian artisans, but also flies the flag for Indian handlooms on the global textile scene. In Maheshwar, you can pick up saris with stripes, checks and floral patterns; also on offer are dupattas, scarves, bed linen and cushion covers.

Also: Visit the Ahilya Fort on the banks of Narmada, Holkar Fort, and the famous Rajwada between your shopping bouts.

  1. Travel To Ilkal in Karnataka For Ilkal Handloom

Handloom day - Ilkal

Images: Instagram/@taachi.handmade + @theloomsaree

An ancient weaving centre located in the Bagalkot district of Karnataka, Ilkal is famous for its eponymous handloom. Travellers who make the trip to Ilkal will be fascinated with the detailing of the sari that is made with a technique called
tope teni, where the pallu is woven with the body of the sari. The distinctive feature of these saris is the use of the kasuti form of embroidery. Traditional motifs in kasuti include palanquins, elephants and lotuses, which all add to the splendour of Ilkal saris. 

Also: Explore the city: visit the Banashankari Temple, the Badami Cave Temple, the Lad Khan Temple, and the Durga Temple.

  1. Seek Out Golden Muga Silk In Sualkuchi, Assam 

handloom day - Sualkuchi

Images: [email protected]dik_shi_ta___  

Situated on the River Brahmaputra’s  northern banks, the village of Sualkuchi in Assam is famous for its centuries-old weaving heritage. Gorgeous muga silk is a rare fabric that has been worn by women for centuries, and is known for its extreme durability and natural yellowish-golden tint. Legend has it that it was once only reserved for the ladies of the royal family; it is often compared to being as expensive as gold. 

Also: After you shop for muga silk, find  your way to picturesque tea gardens and beautiful monasteries, and don’t forget to try the delicious local food.

  1. Find Baluchari Saris In Bishnupur, West Bengal

handloom day - Baluchari

Image: Instagram/@amrapaliboutique

The word ‘Baluchari’ means sandy river bank, signifying the origins of the handloom in a small village called Baluchar on the banks of River Bhagirathi. Located in West Bengal, Bishnupur is a small town that is currently the only place where one can find authentic Baluchari sarees. The handloom is famous for its depictions of mythological scenes on the sari

Also: Bishnupur is also home to temples, heritage sites and museums that can make your trip a memorable one.

  1. Patola Saris Await You In Patan, Gujarat

handloom day - patola

Image: Instagram/@loyaltyandgiftingideas   

Patola, a double ikat woven sari, translates to ‘Queen of Silk’ and is one of the finest silk saris produced in Patan, known to be a capital of Gujarat in medieval times. The history of the Patola sari dates back to the 12th century, where it is said that the handloom craft was introduced by the Salvi caste who are believed to have migrated to Gujarat with the intention of acquiring the patronage of the Solanki Rajputs, who used to dress in patola silk on special occasions. Even today, the patola sari is quite an expensive handloom due to the nature of its technique, and is made by only a handful of weavers in Patan.

Also: Patan has an old-world charm, and travellers will find beautiful attractions such as the Jain Temple, Hemachandracharya Gyan Mandir, Khan Sarovar, Rani ki Vav and Sahastrilanga Talav to marvel at once their sari buying is done with.

Also see: Go Where Your Favourite Saris Come From!