From amazing Patola saris to terracotta toys to Zari work, the artistic talent of generations of Gujaratis has manifested itself in a variety of arts and crafts that are coveted across the globe. From the elaborately hand stitched dhurries to the evergreen dance form of garba, Gujarat has something to offer the millions of inquisitive and artistically-inclined tourists that flock this land all throughout the year.
Traveller sets out on an artistic journey to explore what Gujarat has to offer when it comes to art and crafts:
Carpets, Rugs and Dhurries: Kutch region is famous for its many ‘dhurries’ and carpets. Woven with camel or goat hair, these floor spreads are extensively made in Kutch. These extremely beautiful quilts and bedcovers often have tiny mirrors and animal designs stitched into them.
Zari work: Want a ceremonial wedding dress with gold embroidery? If yes, then head to Gujarat for the widest collection of Panetars and Gharchoda that you can find for your wedding. This ancient handicraft that can be traced back to the Mughal era uses real or imitation gold and silver thread for the embroidery.
Pottery: The understated art of terracotta pottery can be seen in the form of utensils, vases, jewellery and even some wall paintings. If collecting figurines of Gods and Goddesses is your thing, then visit Kutch, the Aravallis or Chhota Udaipur areas.
Woodcraft: Beginning in the eleventh century, Gujarati woodcraft has gained many admirers. Sankheda in Vadodara especially, is well-known for its handicraft furniture. Exported all over the world, the wood for these articles are derived from sal, teak, redwood, deodhar, sheesham and red cedar
Patola: Love exotic sarees? A patola saree is a must have in your wardrobe. The Patola artisans from Gujarat are known to be the finest hand woven saree makers in the country. The Patola of Patan is famous not just in India but across the globe. The sarees are known for their distinctive, colorful and vibrant geometrical patterns. The unique weaving methods adopted by the artists create identical patterns on either side of the fabric.
Bandhani: These tie-dyed fabrics, produced in the areas bordering Rajasthan, are in great demand all over the world. The Bandhani dresses are known for their intricate patterns and designs. It is one very popular wedding dress in India.
Bead work: Bead work is another popular art form of Gujarat from Saurashtra and Khambhat. The beadwork objects are used for a wide range of decoration purposes and especially for wall decorations. The best beadwork artifacts are created by the Kathi tribal group. They create spectacular beadwork patterns mostly in the white background. The beadwork torans are immensely popular decorative items in India and are often used as hangings over the doors.