Cultural heritage of gujrat-patolas

By :- Raaisha Upadhyay

We all know the place Hastinapur and a case of Draupadi(the woman epitome of feminism) the wife of  Pandavas and a dice game against Kauravas, which was responsible for Draupadi’s humiliation

The magical dice was rolled by shakuni  and Pandavas lose and Draupadi has been won by Kauravas.

And from here technically Kauravas owned Draupadi ,

they order Dushasana to disrobe Draupadi in public and from here a miracle take place.

No  matter how much Dushasana tries to take a cloth but never ending cloth continue to cover and protect Draupadi.

The cloth that covered Draupadi was a saree.

This miracle happened just because of Lord Krishna.

The Ancient kingdom of  Krishna’s is Dwarka (the home of Krishna is a gateway to heaven and an underwater city)which is located in the state of Gujarat.

Gujarat is also famous  for their Patola sarees.

Patola is double ikat woven silk saree once worn only by those belonging to Royal and aristocratic families, as they are very expensive The sarees takes around 6 months to 1 year in manufacturing. one saree due to long process of dying it strand separately. The starting price of Patola sarees is 1lakh to 7 lakh.

Patola usually woven in Surat, Ahmedabad and Patan but velvet Patola style are majorly made in Surat.

Patan, the house of Patola, is 125 kms away from Ahmedabad. The town is also famous for ‘Rani –ki Vav’, a step-well made by a queen in honour of her husband. It is now a UNESCO World Heritage site.

About 900 years ago in 1143 A.D., around 700 craftsmen from the Salvi community hailing from modern day Karnataka and Maharashtra were brought by king Kumarpal of the Solanki dynasty (who then ruled Gujarat, parts of Rajasthan and Malwa) to his court, in his kingdom’s capital, Patan. These craftsmen lived in Jalna, situated in southern Maharashtra, and were considered to be the finest craftsmen of Patola.

Patola in modern day India…

Patola is undoubtedly the epitome of fine craftsmanship. Today, only 2-3 families, the Salvis and Sonis, practise this 900 year old craft in Patan. These families aren’t very open about the process of forging Patola. Only the family members, and in some cases only the male family members, are passed down this knowledge. Nobody from outside the community is admitted into craftsmanship.

However, in the past few years, the Sonis have loosened their boundaries and started passing this craft to people outside of their family who are hardworking, dedicated and passionate towards the craft. This change of attitude is because of the fear of Patola becoming extinct.

A weaver giving life to a Patola sari. 

The current state of this art is alarming. Some Patola weavers have predicted that the art will vanish within the next 20 years or so. Lack of investment, fewer weavers, and dis-interest on the part of the younger generation of weaving families are reasons for such a prediction. Also cheap imitations are capturing the market.