MadhyaPradesh Marvels

The royal Maheshwaris and gossamer Chanderis

Maheshwar is a town in Khargone district of Madhya Pradesh state and is home to the elegant and graceful Maheshwari sarees. Maratha queen Devi Ahilya Bai Holka hired weavers from Mandu and Surat and got sarees and turbans woven for guests and female members of the royal court. It is said that Ahilya Bai herself designed first saree. The designs are inspired by local architecture. Originally made of pure silk, these saree are woven now with a mix of cotton and silk and are light and airy.

The hallmark of these utterly elegant sarees are the narrow borders mostly with zari with solid, striped or checked body. The speciality of Maheshwari sarees is its reversible border, also known as bugdi, which can be worn on both sides.