When we talk of Vanarasi, shopping silk saree is at the top list for any travelers. Varanasi, also called as Benares is a city on the banks of holy river Ganges. It is also the spiritual capital of India and the holiest city according to Hinduism.
Varanasi is the cultural centre of North India and it has been for thousands of years. According to ancient Hindu rituals and beliefs, death in this city will bring you the salvation, and hence has been a famous tourist spot for people on pilgrimage.
Varanasi is a primary hub of arts and designs. It is a producer of largest number of silks and brocades. The original brocades used to be woven with gold and silver thread work, also known as zari and still remain a legacy amongst the people who own it.
A point to be noted is that the gold yarn basically was silver thread with gold polish.
Legend has it that once the saree was too old to be worn and graced the ladies utterly, ladies used to burn the sari and gather the gold and silver that remained thereafter. The saree is often a part of traditional Indian brideâ€™s trousseau.
Nowadays, very few people produce and make the original brocades with the coming of the ages and boom in the textile industry. There are new threads and yarn that can be used to weave the brocade and make it long lasting and still pocket friendly. But the shops in existence since ages might have the original brocades that the world craves for.
You can find some really good collection in Baba Black Sheep, near Kerala cafe.
The store also has the widest collection of extraordinary silk sarees famous to the region. The staff is benevolent and very patient. You will love shopping silk sari in this shop.
There are basically four types of Banarasi saree, which is divided according to the fabric it is woven on which includes pure silk, organza, georgette and shattir. They are also divided on the basis of their design process namely Jangla, Tissue, Butidar, Tanchoi, Vaskat and Cutwork. Do not miss upon these beauties. Even if you donâ€™t plan on purchasing, a look at the intricate hand work is a must.
If Â shopping silk saree seems to be out of your budget but the intricate designs and works has made a mark in your heart, you can indulge in buying scarves and shawls. You will find everything at the Mehrotra silk factory.
Other crafts of the city includes carpet weaving, wooden toys, bangles made of glass, ivory work, perfumes, artistic brass and copper ware and a variety of handicrafts. The cantonment graveyard which existed during the British Raj is now the location of Varanasi’s Arts and Crafts.
You may also try shopping silk saree here.
Varanasi remembrances is one of the shops that will make your nose remember the city with its range of essential oils and perfumes carefully poured in good quality bottles and roller applicator which makes it handy for everyday use and for the foreign travelers to carry since it doesnâ€™t leak in your luggage.
Also the best thing about this place is the philosophy with which the owner runs the place, it has been on the travellers itinerary for a long time.
Hathua Market can be your one stop destination for everything you require. The prices may be sky high, but if you know how to bargain, you are sure to carry goodies home.
Once you have traveled across the Ghats, fort and the streets de la shopping. You can take a small trip from the city to the nearby places namely Sarnath, to see the ancient AshokÂ Stambh, the stupa and the archaeological museum.
(c)Â Pallavi Sharma