“Every mother has a dream to gift at least one Benarasi saree to her daughter in marriage,” – Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Varanasi.
Indeed every mother dreams of dressing her daughter in Benarasi Saree, especially in North India and gift her some on her special occasion. I too think of doing so…gifting one on my daughter’s marriage, owing to its cult status – the gorgeous Benarasi Saree, like my mother who gifted me many on my marriage. I love Benarasi Sarees and like to wear on special occasions like marriages, engagements etc. Being from North India, my love for Benarasi sarees is unquestionable.
I recollect my eldest Bua (Father’s Sister – Mrs. Sarojini Chandra) having one beautiful, hand woven, heritage Benarasi Saree in deep Purple colour with Silver Motifs all over (jaal) and intricate border. Bua looked beautiful in that Saree. As a child, I could not tell her then, but today, I regret not asking her for that Saree, I know she would have happily given me and I would have been the proud owner of that heritage piece in silk!
Benarasi Saree is not just a saree, but a prized possession for any women who know its worth. In North India, brides wore Red & Gold Benarsi Saree for Jaimaal and Yellow & Gold for Saptpadi (Pheras) and Benarasi Lehengas for Sangeet etc. So it was Benarasi weave all through. These sarees’ special characteristics are Mughal inspired designs such as intricate intertwining floral and foliate motifs, kalga and bel, a string of upright leaves called jhallar at the outer, edge of border is a characteristic of these sarees. Other features are gold work, compact weaving, figures with small details, metallic visual effects, pallus, jal (a net like a pattern), and mina work.
Sabyasachi Mukherjee, one of the master weavers of India, makes the world of Indian Brides truly spectacular, by the very look of it, you can make out that she is “Sabyasachi Bride”. He has dressed innumerable brides in Benarasi Sarees and Lehenga Chunrees from across the communities, caste and creed. The thread of Benarasi Saree unites all Indian brides who want to dress in their Benarasi Lehenga, irrespective and what if, it is by master creator – Sabyasachi.
And this time as well, with his ‘Banarasi Bride’ collection, he’s done a fabulous job. Intricate designs of rich hues of Banarasi fabric teamed up with elegantly designed blouses made his collection just too good for the eyes to behold! The sea-green Banarasi bridal lehengas and sarees of his that were displayed at the Amazon India Fashion Week won quite a lot of admiration and applause.
Ralph Fitch (1583–91) describes Banaras as a thriving sector of the cotton textile industry. The earliest mention of the brocade and Zari textiles of Banaras is found in the 19th century. With the migration of silk weavers from Gujarat during the famine of 1603, it is likely that silk brocade weaving started in Banaras in the seventeenth century and developed in excellence during the 18th and 19th century. During the Mughal period, around 14th century, the weaving of brocades with intricate designs using gold and silver threads became the speciality of Banaras.
This way we see, Gujarat has Benaras connection!
Now we have the same intricate weave of Benaras brought to you by Surat based Triveni Ethnics, known for their gorgeous and vast collection of sarees. Incidentally, it is worth noting, Benarasi Saree’s pricing is prohibitive sometimes owing to various factors thus making affordability an issue. So if you want to have a collection of Benarasis in your wardrobe on a budget, take your pick from an awesome collection of Triveni’s – Shatika – Banarsees made in Art Silk collection with beautiful traditional motifs, designs, and styles in bright colours with Golden Zari borders.
Each saree is complemented with matching woven/brocaded blouse piece. The saree in zari brocade and in bright colours is a brilliant collection to choose from. You can order these online and get your Sarees delivered at your doorsteps.
Some elite ones preferred Zardozi over Benarasi but nothing beyond that. Times changed, so did the Bridal outfits, courtesy Bollywood brides who wore designer Lehengas, experimenting in different shades and trendy embroidery.
Lehengas became heavier by the day, heavier the lehenga, happier the bride.
So if you are planning to visit Banaras (read: Varanasi) , don’t forget to pick a beautiful Benarasi Saree.