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Freesia-Yellow Handloom Sari from Bangalore with Peacocks on Border and Zari-Woven Pallu

Freesia-Yellow Handloom Sari from Bangalore with Peacocks on Border and Zari-Woven Pallu

To the traditional woman of modern times, a go-to collection of Bangalore handlooms is indispensable. These silk numbers are as fashionable as they are functional, their versatility being their USP. The one you see on this page is a solid-coloured silk, dyed a mustard gold colour that is bound to stand out in a crowd. It comprises of a super-thick border the colour of fuschia, making for a sharp yet distinctly feminine contrast with the field.


The drape is inimitable, as is a non-issue with the fruit of Bangalore handlooms. Like most of the sarees of this variety, this one features dense zari-embroidery on the broder and the endpiece. A panel of richly adorned peacock pairs graces the edge, and a row of elephant motifs has been embroidered alongside the same. The layered endpiece comprises of a coat of gold zari weave against the fuschia, which gives off an inimitable colour. This saree is best draped at a pooja or a pre-wedding ritual in the family.

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Haloed Namaskaram Garuda

Haloed Namaskaram Garuda

The vahana (bearer) is a crucial aspect of every Indian deity. They embody the qualities of the deva/devi who rides them, equal in terms of veneration and status. Lord Garuda is the larger-than-life vahana of none other than Lord Vishnu. He who is responsible for the projection of all existence, within and without the bounds of our perception, is ferried across the multitude of lokas (realms of existence) on the back of this trusty vahana.


Garuda, as could be seen in this ornate wood sculpture, has the perfection of a man and the power of an eagle. Limbs that harbour unspeakable strength are arranged in the namaskaram samasthiti (straight-line position of the body). The large scapular wings are of great vigour, but are now in rest to match the devotional stance of the rest of Him. A coat of shringar and sashes has been strategically embossed against the raw musculature of the divine form, in basic but well-defined pastel shades. Together with the serrations along the wings and the halo, the same are highly characteristic of temple sculptures in the ancient South.


On the unassuming brow of Lord Garuda sits a tapering crown. The miniscule lotus petals engraved on the same are similar in style and proportion to those on the pedestal. The unconventional silhouette of the same befits the one-of-a-kind deity that stands thereon.

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Kora-Cotton Sari from Banaras with Woven Flowers and Bootis All-Over

Kora-Cotton Sari from Banaras with Woven Flowers and Bootis All-Over

While Banarasi brocades are the stamp of Indian luxury, cotton merchandise produced in the region are no less in terms of beauty and finish. The sheer degree of workmanship on this kora cotton saree makes this a must-have for the connoisseur of ethnic fashion - a thick layered border comprising of shimmering templetops sandwiched between dual-coloured triangles, the pale florals that grace the body of the saree, and the numberless booties that add to its traditional appeal. Choose from a variety of base colours to suit your mood, each of which would bring out your statement gold pieces to perfection.
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Royal Seduction

Royal Seduction

A courtly noble retires into the chambers of seduction after the fall of dusk. There she lies waiting for him to come and take her, having been summoned to keep him company for the night. Clearly, the chambers are his, given the austere, neutral-coloured interiors of the room they are in. A tall glass lamp and purple curtains frame the two figures in the centre, while the fading glow of the setting sun makes its last appearance through the transparent curtains in the background.



Of all the new ladies-in-waiting appointed at the court, this particularly beautiful young creature had caught the nobleman’s eye. She glows with joy at his attentions, her newfound place in this world. The lush gold choli that blends in with the fair skin, reveals rather than conceals the torso in all the fullness of her youth. Her alluring decolletage is practically naked but for the layers of gold and pearls and jewels that are wound around it, all the way up to the line and crown of her jet-black hair.



The one bewitched by her is a young, handsome man himself. It had thrilled him to find her on his couch the moment he stepped into the room. As the seductress whisks away her brocaded aanchal, he could no longer teeter on anticipation and seizes her by the wrist.

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Prairie-Sand Floor-Length A-Line Suit with Floral Ari Embroidery and Printed Pink Dupatta

Prairie-Sand Floor-Length A-Line Suit with Floral Ari Embroidery and Printed Pink Dupatta

Irrespective of whether you are a seasoned patron of Indian fashion or are looking to make those few statement additions to your wardrobe, this is one Indian suit that you just cannot skip. The reserved yet unconventional silhouette of the kameez sets it apart from your run-of-the-mill three-piece suits Of a burning desert colour, it is a straight-fit kameez with just the right bit of volume from beneath the waistline. The high, straight-line, no-nonsense neckline adds to the reserve of this dress.


Down the bust is a plethora of flowers and vines, embroidered using the ariwork technique. Indian fashion connoisseurs would instantly recognise the endemic crewel-work of the Kashmir region, an unparalleled statement in femininity and wearable heritage. The deep velvety pink dupatta is printed with complementary motifs in a cheerful yellow hue. The colour of its embroidered edges goes with the kameez. Depending on the mood of the jewellery you team this with, this dress could be a great evening number or the perfect pick for a daytime gathering.

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An Unconventional Image Of Lord Ganesha

An Unconventional Image Of Lord Ganesha

This sculpture is an unconventional depiction of the Lord Ganesha. The son of Shiva is usually the image of the adorable baal-deva, seated with His chubby child’s belly protruding before Him and a pot of laddoos at His disposal. This is one conforms to the iconography of your regular Hindu deva - standing on an inverted lotus pedestal, His haloed head towering at quite a distance from the ground, and a gaze that is wise and mature directed straight ahead.


The pot-belly, which is within moments of bursting forth were it not for the snake-knot, is intact in the iconography. So is the Indian sweetmeatball that He cradles in the left of His anterior arms. Concealed in the palm of the right which He raises in blessing is the legendary broken tusk. From the conchs in His posterior arms to the world of shringar on His person and the spiked halo behind His head, the image of Lord Ganesha is replete with characteristic detail.


There is much about this work of that sets it apart from run-of-the-mill Ganesha murtis. Firstly, the hem of His dhoti rests a good few inches above His knees, which makes it visibly short for an Indian deity. Afore His torso descends a long, slender trunk that is densely tattooed with vines. On His slightly scrunched-up brow is the silhouette of the trishool, indicative of His divine parentage. Finally, the prostrating mouse on lotus-tiered pedestal makes the composition complete.

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The Sound Of Devi Sarasvati’s Veena

The Sound Of Devi Sarasvati’s Veena

The monks of Nepal are known to have a way with the brush. Sharp, superfine lines. A vast palette of rich, soft colours. Singular subjects that are treated with a lot of shraddha, stemming from years of tapah (austerity) and svadhyaya (self-seeking). Such are the hallmarks of the Nepalese thangka, a truly substantial tradition whose fountainhead lies in the spiritual life of the Himalayas. The thangka you see on this page is a handpicked produce of this great tradition.


The Devi Sarasvati, in Her unsurpassable snow-coloured beauty, stands on the pistil of a full-bloom lotus. Her tall, slender frame is clad in pastel silks and sashes, set off by ample proportions of gold on Her bare skin. A roseate halo surrounds the five-spired crown on Her graciously tilted head. From the rim of the serrated aureole behind Her emerges a plethora of vines bearing otherworldly flowers in blue and peach. As She strums Her veena, She looks on with serenity at the cycle of dharma slowly progressing in the realms She governs.


The landscape that surrounds Her is the very picture of the idyllic Himalayan setting. Verdant mounds, snow-capped peaks, magnificently coloured clouds against an inimitable azure sky. Her fair vahana the swan, its gorgeous body reflecting the golden rays of the sun, is swimming in deep blue waters (note the deft brushstrokes that convey the swift motion of the descending waters).

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Kullu Palla Men's Shawl with Kinnauri Woven Border

Kullu Palla Men's Shawl with Kinnauri Woven Border

Nothing like the right shawl to layer a men's outfit. Fashioned from pure homegrown wool, this one has been fashioned by the cottage weavers of Kullu, a region of bittern mountain winters. Given the elegant kinnauri border, this shawl would serve to keep you warm as well as add a generous dose of style to your look.
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Handheld Aarati-Lamp

Handheld Aarati-Lamp

Lamps and aaratis are typical features of an Indian temple. They give off prakasha (light) and dhvani (sound), respectively, both of which are sattvaguna-predominant. They are integral aspects of ritual worship in Hinduism. The work of brass you see on this page is a handheld lamp, which doubles as an aarati implement. In obscurer temples of the South and the East, the priest is seen to be holding it in His hands and motioning it before the burning eyes of the deity. Each of the dias on this composite lamp have deep-seated bottoms (zooming in on the same would enable you to appreciate the depth as well as the uniformity of the handiwork). Their outer walls, miniscule as they are, are engraved with a bunch of angular curves, which testifies to the skill of the artisan. Once they are filled up with ghee and the resting cotton wicks all lit up, one may hold it up as a flaming offering to the devi or deva. This is the aarati of Indian culture, a highly composite image when it comes to the interpretation of the trigunas.


The shapely base of this lamp is engraved with petals and tendrils, which is best appreciated by zooming in. From the same rises a narrow, wavey-walled stem along which are three concentric trays of dias, their numbers descending upwards. A singular dia on the top and a distinctive handle for the priest complete the composition.

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Shiva-Parvati On The Back Of A Beauteous Nandi

Shiva-Parvati On The Back Of A Beauteous Nandi

Kalamkari painting of Andhra Pradesh is arguably the most complex of Indian folk arts. This is both in terms of technique and treatment, as could be gleaned from this handpicked kalamkari from Srikalahasthi. No less than seventeen steps precede the finished work, which includes preparing the fabric canvas (cotton, in this case), making the dyes from vegetable-based sources, and putting together the richly layered lines that define the composition.


The painting depicts the Lord Shiva and Devi Parvati in their togetherness, seated on the back of their beloved bull, Nandi. From the richly embroidered dhotis they are wearing to the intricate shringar starting from the crown downwards, it all betrays a breathtakingly keen attention to detail. Zooming in on each aspect of the painting would enable you to appreciate the dexterity with which the pen has been wielded by the artist. In fact, the word ‘kalamkari’ means penmanship, wherein the ‘pen’ is a rudimentary instrument fashioned from a sturdy twig.


The beauty and shringar of Nandi in this composition is matchless. The long, tattooed tail; jewels descending from His underbelly; and the ornaments surrounding the lifelike eye exposed to view. A vast halo-aureole encompasses both the figures on His back. A uniform pattern of zigzag lines and curves frames the composition.

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