Sari Trails – A Guide to India’s Textile Hubs

“Don’t listen to what they say. Go see.” This is what we at Driving Ford believe in when it comes to inspiring you to travel and explore.

Adding to our existing list of recommendations on Music Destinations, Tiger Reserves, or even Mysterious places here’s something unique we have “weaved” for you in this blog i.e. our recommendations for you to explore the sari origins in India.

Whether you belong to the generation of Baby Boomers, Gen-X or Millennials, a sari is a must when it comes to special occasions for Indian women. Thanks to its unique one-size-fits-all format, the sari is among one of the most gifted items, whether it is a birthday or anniversary. And just like our diverse cultures, there are a plethora of colours, patterns, and styles to choose from.

Read on to know more about the places and different type of traditional weaves that only India can feel proud of.

Tamil Nadu’s charm – Kanjivaram

Two hours away from the bustling city of Chennai lie Kanchipuram– the birthplace of famous Kanjivaram Sari. Woven from pure mulberry silk threads, a Kanjivaram sari is decorated with intricate handwoven thread work, and feature eye-catching designs inspired by the scriptures and figurines.

So next time in Chennai, take time to drive down to Kanchipuram in your Ford EcoSport to see these beautiful sarees in making and buy it then and there!

Maharashtra’s pride – Paithani

A Paithani sari is a precious heirloom that passes through generations. They are made from very fine silk and characterised by oblique square design borders. Back in the days, the zari used in the sari was made of pure silver and gold. Such was its opulence that western travellers paid for a Paithani sari in gold and gems.

You might not find sarees made of real gold today, but you can find a good weave in Aurangabad, the destination where this style originated. You can also find a diverse range of Paithani sari styles when you drive through Maharashtra in a Ford Freestyle.

Rajasthan and Gujarat’s – Bandhani ties or Bandhani

Rajasthan and Gujarat are big contributors to the Indian handloom industry, with Bandhani sari being one of their biggest contributions.

Bandhani sari derives the name from the Sanskrit word Banda which means “to tie”. This is because the art of making this sari involves tying the fabric very tightly at several points in knots and then dyeing it with vibrant colours. The process results in a variety of symbols including dots, waves, strips, and squares etched on them.

Rajasthan and Gujarat are known to display their finest art during the many festivals hosted here. Take a road trip across these two states in the Ford EcoSport and discover the markets in Jaipur, Bhuj, Surat loaded with Bandhani Sarees.

Madhya Pradesh’s special – Chanderi

Next stop is Madhya Pradesh, the hub for beautiful Chanderi sari. Generations of weavers have produced these sheer textured drapes that were popular with royalty. These sarees are still highly regarded for their lightweight textures and translucency. The added motifs such as peacocks, animal figures, lotuses, coins, celestial figures and geometric patterns further add to their exuberance.

Chanderi sari is renowned all over Madhya Pradesh but take a road trip in stylish Ford Figo to the city of Chanderi in MP. This city produces the most delicate and breathable weaves that you’ll love to add to your sari collection.

Uttar Pradesh’s famous – Banarasi

Varanasi is not just the oldest living cities in the world, it is also home to one of the most famous Indian drape — the Banarasi sari. They are among the most finely woven silk sarees and known for their gold and silver brocade or zari work. They are further decorated with magnificent embroidery designs like floral motifs, jali work and engravings that make them relatively heavier compared to others.

Take a road trip to Hukulganj area of Banaras to watch an artisan at work or emporiums around the city. Here you will not only find authentic GI certified sari but will also have a chance to witness the sophisticated process that goes in making them.

Assam’s special – Muga

Assam is known for its picturesque tea plantations, the one horned Rhino and the extremely gorgeous Muga silk. Muga silk or the golden silk is a symbol of rich Assamese culture and made from silkworms found only in Assam.

The gorgeous fabric is known for its extreme durability and natural yellowish-golden texture. Unlike other fabrics, Muga silk has a lustre that becomes richer with every wash. It looks more luminous as it ages. Traditionally used for Mekhela Sador, Muga Sarees are becoming  extremely popular among sari lovers across India.

So, pick your favourite Ford, make good use of the ample boot space across each of them and cruise across these destinations in India to get yourself a special dress for a special occasion.