Baluchari sarees - ambassador of Indian mythology
The baluchari saree is an example of painstakingly intricate craftsmanship, and is worn by women of all ages from around the country. The origin of the Baluchari saree lies in Murshidabad, West Bengal, where it is handcrafted from raw silk. Once completed via a process which takes up to one week, the saree is polished after weaving and is then ready to be worn. Only one saree can be produced per week, which means that these sarees will be on the pricier side of the scale, but as any saree aficionado will tell you, it is a worthy investment to make. The baluchari saree is among those sarees which have been granted their very own geographical indication status in India, which indicates that the name of the saree includes the place of its origin. Much like the Benarasi and Jamdani sarees which also have this status, the Baluchari too, has its place of honor.
In earlier times during the British and Mughal era, it was customary for a Baluchari saree to feature a motif within a square design on the pallu of the saree. The most popular Baluchari sarees in present times feature popular scenes and symbols from Hindu epics, namely the Ramayana and Mahabharata; the more intricate the symbolism and imagery, the more time that is taken to complete the saree. It is this strict attention to detail which makes every Baluchari saree unique, no two sarees can ever be identical since hand craftsmanship cannot be replicated completely. Among the famous actresses who are known to favor this beautiful and unique ethnic garment, are Sharmila Tagore, Tanuja, and Vidya Balan. These Baluchari aficionados have taken to wearing their sarees to a wide range of occasions, and despite its intricacy and heavy detailing, have even worn them to casual occasions.
The intricacy level of a modern Baluchari saree might be more preferable to those who want a less embellished garment. In modern times, the weaving process has been shifted to South India, which makes the traditional style of Baluchari sarees, while the current production center in the Bengal region lies in Bishnupur. In terms of color, Baluchari sarees generally come in primary colors such as reds, blues, greens, and yellows, so as to complement the heavy detailing in the aanchal or pallu area, which would otherwise be overshadowed by too much color.
Worn mostly to formal and celebratory occasions, the Baluchari saree is a collector’s item, despite its prices being somewhat expensive. When one is buying a Baluchari saree, one is paying for the hard work and effort that has gone into its creation. This hard work and its unique results cannot be replicated, and you as an owner, possess a distinct piece of wearable art which will last through generations of wearing. It is best to offset the intricate pallu detailing of your Baluchari saree, by pairing it with a plain blouse in a complementary hue, and by accessorizing it with heavy gold jewelry as was customary in the old days. The main highlight of your look at the end of the day, will be the beautiful detailing work of your Baluchari saree.