The Lifestyle Portal is proud to introduce our new Lifestyle Writer – Mrinalini Pandey Awasthi. On the auspicious occasion of Gudi Padwa, she writes her first piece for us, the beauty of the saris from Maharashtra. Read on…
When one speaks of India, the primary images that come to mind are “Sari” and “Colorful” and followed by Bollywood, Taj Mahal and other ethnic aspects that add zing to our country and its heritage.
Touching on the first thoughts, through the next few weeks we take you on a journey amidst the silken weaves of a sari – through variety, some history, some technicalities and the sheer beauty of what distinguishes one region from another. How many of these varieties do you already own, or plan to own someday?
Let’s start our journey from our home state – Aaplya Maharashtra. With GUDI PADVA ( the Marathi New Year) falling today, it seems apt to know a bit about the uniqueness of the saris of this state.
Photo courtesy: Swati Pramod Padhye
The most famous sari of this region is the NAUVARI (meaning: Nine yards) which is the length of the single cloth, making it the longest sari of our country.
The traditional name for this sari is “Lugada”, but is also known as Sakachcha, Naugajki and Kashta.
The Nauvari is a single piece of 9 yards of silk or cotton. It is distinguished with the mid section of the sari going between the legs, and tucked at the back of the waist. Needless to say, this sari does not need a petticoat!
The other version, is technically made of 2 varying lengths of cloth – where the longer length is draped around the lower half of the body, waist down; and a shorter length is draped across the torso. This version is mainly worn by the Kohli women folk (fisher woman community).
The Lugada draws its inspiration from the “Dhotar” (Dhoti). Initially the lugada was worn only by the women of the Brahmin community, to distinguish them from the other segments of society. Slowly, the distinguishing factor changed to the richness of the material (mainly gold zari and high quality silk), rather than the attire.
Eventually, it became an attire of convenience, as many Maratha Womenfolk took to the battlegrounds to combat the enemies alongside the men folk.
The nauvari is worn by most Maharashtrian women during important functions and festivals.
Photo courtesy – Asmita Varma
This variant of Marathi Silk, derives it’s name from the town where it is hand woven – town of Paithan, near Aurangabad.
The uniqueness of this sari is the heavy zari borders and the peacock designs on the pallu. It has evovled from cotton base to silk base, where silk was used only along the borders and pallu while the body was of cotton. Initially, this silk was exported from China; but now the silk yarn is procured from Bangalore and the silver zari from Surat.
The zari on this sari is woven so closely and intricately that it gives a mirror effect. While initially, the zari used was of gold and copper, now the cheaper substitute of silver zari with gold polish is used.
Due to it’s proximity to Ajanta Ellora, the influence of Buddhist art is noticeable in the weavings and designs.
A pure and authentic Paithani would start from a range of about INR 20,000 – INR 25,000. I have also seen some beautiful paithani saris which were a whopping INR. 50,000/-. The simpler versions of course are available from INR 5,000 /- onwards.
Accessorize these beautiful silks of Maharashtra with traditional Marathi jewelry viz: Thushi, karwari nath, Lakshmi mala, matar mala, chapla haar, galsari, green bangles amongst other ornaments.
Rejoice and celebrate this New Year With your Marathi friends, and we shall soon be back taking you through to Bengal and North East for the Poila Baisakh!
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