Shopping in Gujarat.... ○ ◘ ○


Exquisite embroideries and colourful prints make up the fabric of life in Gujarat, but there are many other delightful things to buy.

The best one...!!

Bandhani of Jamnagar -- Bandhani is an intricate n time consuming process of tie n dyeing fabrics. This process take six months to a year for some saris, n even the simplest patterns can take more than a month. Although Kutch n Wadhwan also produce striking Bandhani fabrics, Jamnagar is the best known for it. It is said, and not without truth, that the richness n color-fastness of the fabrics dyed in the city are without compare.

The term "Bandhani" derives its name from the Hindi word Bandhan which means tying up. mostly the workers take a cloth and tyed them with seed of lentils like Channa Dal n dyed the clothes in different bright colours. Bandhani is an ancient art practiced by people mainly of Rajasthan and Gujarat.

If you want best designs in Bandhani art, visit Vanza Bandhani shop in Inderaprasth Market near Pancheshwar tower Road in Jamnagar.

Patalo of Patan -- The pride of the small town of Patan, the Patola silk saree is the result of a precious, n increasingly race, art that has evolved over many centuries. The sarees are woven using an elaborate process, lasting many months, known as the double ikat technique. This painstaking exercise involves type-n-dyeing the threads according to the patterns of the saree, before setting them on the loom. Both the wrap n weft threads are tye n dyed in the final colour, giving the Patola its brocade like richness n  also making the saree reversible.

Depending on the intricacy of the pattern, Patolas can cost anything from Rs- 50,000 to more than two lacs. Although purists would agree that they are well worth the price, single ikat versions made in Sayla, Somassar n Rajkot are available at much lower rates. 

Before World War II, Indonesia was major buyer of Patolas. Historically, the art of double ikat Patola weaving dates back to centuries. Paintings in Ajanta caves resemble the tie-dye technique of Patola. For best Patola Saree>>visit the fascinating Patola workshop near the Anhilwara citadel, Patan.

Embroidery of Kutch -- The district of Kutch is renowned for the variety n quality of its embroidery. Head to the town of Bhuj to shop for these exquisitely worked fabrics n to appreciate the range of techniques and stitches used by the various tribes in the region. Pick up bags, table cloths, bed spreads n wall hangings, choose from geometric n floral motifs of Ahirs, the delicate mirror-studded chain stitch of the Jats, the bold mirror work creations of the Rabari cameleers n much more.

To watch the skilled craftspeople at work, head to the village of Sumrassar Sheikh, less than hour's drive from Bhuj. It is the home to the Sodha Rajput weavers, who specialist in soof embroidery, characterized by bold abstract designs, realized in the most delicate stitch. It is also worth to spend a day or two touring the villages of the Banni region--Hodka. About 60 km from Bhuj is specially well known. Here, you can purchase gorgeous silk floss embroidery, embellished with beads n mirrors.

You can buy best type of Kutch embroidery from the retail outlet of the NGO in Sumrassar Sheikh.

Pataras of Kutch -- Among the most handy souvenirs you can pick up in Gujarat are Patras, brass - covered boxes in various sizes, ranging from dainty jewellery cases to huge chests that once carried trousseau's of utensils, n even bedding. Also worth buying shaped brass nutcrackers, reminiscent of decadent royalty polishing off mountains of Pistachios n Walnuts. 

brass nutcracker

Terracotta n Silver crafts of Poshina village -- Poshina village, 180km from Ahmedabad, near Ambaji in northern Gujarat is famous as being home to Gujarat's best terracotta artisans. With a huge tribal area stretching along its borders with Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh n Maharashtra, it is little wonder that Gujarat is known for its Beautifully crafted terracotta handicrafts, an art form perfected by tribes across west India. The most unique items are Terracotta horses n other animistic figures made for tribal shrines. Terracotta utensils and decorative items can also be areas called Kumbharwadas in all the cities n towns of Gujarat. Just ask around.

Gujarat is the leading center for Silver items, including ornate Jewellery, Sindoor boxes, Utensils n even Furniture. Anjar, Bhuj, Deshalpur n Mandvi in Kutch district are good places to shop for silverware, as are the markets of Rajkot, Gondal n Wadhwan. 

For tribal silver ornaments, n even arrows n daggers, nothing can equal Poshina.

Lacquered Furniture -- Synonymous with the village of Sankheda, about a two hour drive from Baroda, the lacquered Furniture of Gujarat is made from rounded wood n painted in brilliant maroon, vermilion, green n brown, with a dash of silver n gold enhancing their enchanting luster. Brighten up your spece with distinctive Jharokas, settees n beautiful Swings. Besides Sankheda, the villages of Kutch n Saurashtra also produce beautiful Lacquered Furniture.


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