The Decline of Varanasi Silk Handloom Cottage Industry: A Case Study of Brocade Weaving Community in Varanasi

Sana Faisal[1]

  Volume 6, Number 2, 2016 I Full Text PDF

Article DOI:  10.21659/chitro.v6n2.07

Received on July 22, 2016.
Accepted on July 30, 2016.
Published on August 29, 2016.


The brocade of Varanasi is the distinct workmanship of the weavers where gold and silver thread is practised on fine silk. Kinkhabs, one of the finest known Varanasi brocades, have more Zari visible than silk. The brocades fabrics are woven in workshops identified as Karkhanas. The weavers are known as Karigars that means craftsmen. In earlier days only silver and golden wire were used, but now it is replaced with duplicate. Bold and complicated floral and foliage patterns are also made with the use of Kalga, Bel, Butis, designs. Banarsi sarees are world famous for this reproduction, Banarsi Zari work comes mainly in pure silk (Katan), organza (Kora), georgette and Shattir. Various types of silk, and other materials are used in contemporary times. This paper tried to explored the main problems of the craftsmen and throw light on an individual capacity and learnt about weaving process of brocade produced by artisans with the help of hand, tools, and machines. The chief features of artefacts are utilitarian, aesthetic, creative, cultural, decorative, functional, traditional, religious and socially symbolic and significant.

Keywords: Varanasi Silk, Brocade, Saree, Craft, Varanasi, Zari.

[1] Sana Faisal is a Research Scholar at Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh, India. Email:

Art and Architecture of the Temples of Baronagar, Murshidabad

Shyamal Chatterji

Mechanical Engineer and Researcher on Hindu Iconography

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 It was a pleasant morning in February 2010 when we visited the Baronagar temples. A couple of hours of boat-journey along the Ganges brought us from a ‘ghat’ near Hazardurai, Lalbagh to that of Baronagar. After a short climb to the shore, the magnificent sight of neatly kept four-temples complex—famously known as ‘Char Bangla’—came into our view. More were to follow.

Story of the Hanseswari Temple, Banshberia

Sikha Banerjee

Retired Teacher and Researcher, West Bengal Education Service

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Hamseswari Temple, Banshberia
Hamseswari Temple, Banshberia

In 1673, Zamindar Rameshwar Ray left Patuli and settled in Bansberia or Banskabati as it was known earlier in Hooghly. Bansberia is located besides our holy river Ganga, and in between Tribeni and Bandel. Zamindar Rameshwar Ray was gifted this village of around 400 Bigha of Land and its Zamindari by the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb who also gifted him the prestigious title of King. From this time onward many of his kith and kin settled in Bansberia.