Textiles are by and large the brand ambassadors of a specific region. Many places have come to the public eye due to their significant contribution to textile production. For instance, Kanchipuram is well known for its silk sarees, likewise Maheshwar for Maheshwari sarees.
If you are a person who occasionally falls in love with textile prints and quality textures, along with the rich history behind the production of such textile miracles, we would highly recommend you to visit these top 3 unique destinations known for their unique textile production!
Image Credits: Assam Online Portal
1. Sualkuchi – Assam
Sualkuchi, also known as the ‘Manchester of East’, is located on the north bank of the Brahmaputra, just 35 km from Guwahati. Sualkuchi is a weaver’s village famous for its age-old heritage silk weaving. The mekhela chador (kind of a shawl), the traditional attire of Assamese people, is said to be so comfortable that one could go hiking wearing it. The paat silk mekhela chadors have uniquely intricate designs which are made out of golden silk threads or guna all over.
Muga silk, also known as the ‘golden fibre’, is famous for its fine texture and durable nature. This hand-washable silk has a naturally yellow-gold tint and its lustre increases with every wash. The design of the saree dates back to the era of the Ahom Dynasty and most of them depict the motifs of local flowers and vines, peacocks and butterflies, and the one-horned rhinos of Kaziranga.
Image Credits: Outlook India
Places to visit in Sualkuchi:
Situated just 1 km from Sualkuchi, Hajo is a Sacred Land for Hindus as well as Muslims. Presenting great relics of spiritualism, devotees and tourists come here to pray at ‘Hayagriva Madhava Temple’ - one of the oldest Hindu temples in India and a holy Muslim shrine known as Powa-Mecca.
One can enjoy boating or even a simple stroll on the banks of the mighty Brahmaputra River. A visit in the evening to the banks of River Brahmaputra will leave you in complete awe.
Dedicated to Lord Krishna, Hatisatra is also one of the biggest monasteries in the village of Sualkuchi. The monastery being magnificently beautiful attracts a large number of tourists all year round. This place also serves to spread the splendid message of Vaishnavism culture.
Image Credits: Outlook India
2. Varanasi – Uttar Pradesh
Varanasi is a city in Uttar Pradesh, located on the banks of River Ganga that has a central place in pilgrimage, death, and mourning rituals in the Hindu world. The city has a syncretic tradition of Muslim artisanship that underpins its tourism in terms of high quality textiles. Many brides in the country have been decked up with the lustrous silk from Varanasi. The fabric of the silk woven in the city of Varanasi is well known for its floral designs, peacocks, paisleys and other patterns which take you back to the Mughal era and further back. The sarees are considered to be one of the best ones to be found in the country.
Image Credits: Tribune India
Places to visit in Varanasi:
Go for a Sightseeing tour at Sarnath
Just a few kilometres away from Varanasi is the sleepy village of Singhpur. It is known for its Buddhist monuments. Sarnath is the place where Gautama Buddha first came and taught about the concept of Dharma. Another highlight of Sarnath is Mulagandha Kuti Vihar, which is a monument that showcases beautiful frescoes made by a Japanese painter.
Explore the Weaver’s Village
The weaver’s village of Sarai Mohana is one of the best offbeat things to do in Varanasi. It is inhabited by locals who have churned out the most amazing Banarasi silk sarees which are world-renowned. Their work stands out for its intricate zari work (gold and silver brocade), and embroidery work on sarees which are completed in time spanning from 15 days to months.
Ramnagar Fort for history buffs
Fortified by Raja Balwant Singh in 1750, this castle is a treasure trove of Mughal architecture. This fortification made of cream-coloured Chunar Sandstone gives it sophisticated appearance. The fort has a museum which showcases a rare collection of vintage cars from America along with sedan chairs, ivory work, golden and silver palanquins in the shape of lotus and elephant saddles made of beautiful designs. The fort is also known to have been used for outdoor shooting for numerous films.
Visit Dashashwamedh Ghat
Well known for its dazzling celebration of Ganga Arti in the holy Dashashwamedh Ghat leaves everyone spellbound, it is one of the holiest Ghats in Varanasi. This ghat is believed to be the place where Lord Brahma had a sacrificial ceremony done of 10 horses. The ghat decked up by the illuminated diyas in the river is surely a sight not to be missed.
Image Source: Adobe Stock
3. Kanchipuram - Tamil Nadu
The moment a person hears the name Kanchipuram, the first thought which would cross their minds is the sight of the lustrous silk sarees with elaborate zari work. Most of the designs on the sarees are inspired from scriptures found in South Indian temples along with the epics of Mahabharata and Ramayana. In today’s time, a Kanjeevaram remains one of the few sarees in India where gold is still used in the weaving process
Image Credits: Casual Walker
Places to visit in Kanchipuram
Kamakshi Amma temple
A temple dedicated to Kanchi Kamakshi Amma , the mother of the universe, is one of the 51 Shakti Peethas, which are sacred shrines built around the falling body parts from the corpse of Goddess Sati from heaven. The best time to visit the temple is before sunrise.
Kanchi Kailashnath Temple
Kanchi Kailashnath Temple represents an important gem from South India’s ancient period. A Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva is constructed in the Dravidian style of architecture. Being probably the oldest structure in Kanchipuram, the temple is located on the banks of the Vedavathi River at the western limits of Kanchipuram.
Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam
The Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam is a monastic institution for the Hindu community. It is located in one of the Pancha Bhuta Sthalas, the city of Kanchipuram. The Pancha Bhuta Sthalas represent five essential elements for our existence, namely - Sky, Water, Fire, Air and Earth. Out of these, Kanchipuram represents Earth. People irrespective of their castes and creed are welcomed here to attend the traditional poojas without any discrimination.
If you're looking to visit these gorgeous places or any other place across India, stay with the locals at our NotOnMap homestays in these regions. You get to explore the culture of these places in its most raw and truest form, while living with the natives.