30 November, 2017

Bichitrapuri saree

The style is about being comfortable in your own skin. It is about a woman who is 5'1" and wears flats comfortably to a party. The style has to be intrinsic. For example, when the world around seems to colour their hair blond and have highlights, I stuck to my black hair colour. Today, when the world is donning westerns, I am gravitating more towards sarees.

In sarees, you feel more comfortable, elegant and graceful. Handwoven, traditional sarees are my weakness. They are an addiction. I have a good collection of sarees which is getting bigger day by day and am not able to stop myself from adding new. I have bought and chosen most of my sarees and am attached to them. There are preloved saree groups on social media. For once I was tempted to join them. But within a second I changed my mind. You know why? The reason is that I am super attached to my sarees. They are not for sale. I would also not be comfortable buying preloved sarees. Sarees have stories woven into them. I would love to inherit my mom's sarees or my paternal grandmom's sarees. But preloved sarees are not me. Here I am wearing Bichitrapuri saree.

This was a case of love at first sight. I saw it online a lady wearing it in one of the saree groups. I just could not take my eyes off it. These are the kind of "must have" sarees. Thereon started a hunt for Bichitrapuri. I searched online and even found them on some sites. But finally bought it from Boyanika. It is a Government approved Odisha handloom shop. I wanted to resist myself, but to be honest, could not resist in picking up just this one. I ended up buying 5 more. They were absolutely gorgeous pieces. In shopping, saree is my only weakness. There is no addiction to makeup or jewellery or bags or shoes but sarees are irresistible. In fact, heavy, over the top makeup is a turn-off. Coming back to this saree- it drapes like a dream. The silk is softer than butter. It feels like a treasure. There is something about it that makes me so happy. 

I would highly recommend Boyanika for Odisha handloom. They have tiny shops- one in Bhika Ji Cama place and the other in Palika. Both are not so well known. But they have gorgeous sarees at genuine prices. Visit government certified Emporiums if you are a saree connoisseur.  Boyanika is authorized to use “Handloom Mark” and “Silk Mark” as the Flagship Organization for the promotion of Orissa Handwovens and the first Govt. owned organisation to receive the ISO 9001 - 2008 Certificate.

This is traditional Odisha handloom saree. This unique handwoven traditional saree produced by the weavers of Bargarh, Odisha. Ikat Pasapalli motifs woven on the body with traditional fish, rudraksha motifs are woven on the border by dobby shedding device. Traditional pallu which has ikat flower, plant and animal motifs have been woven by ikat technique of weaving. 
Bandhkala (also known as Baandha) is a complex tied-dyed weave art which originated in Odisha, India. Popularly the Bandhkala saree is known as Vichitrapuri or Bichitrapuri saree in the lands of Odisha. 

-The highpoint of these sarees is traditional craftsmanship of the `Bandhakala`, reflected in their intricate weaves. 

-This was the all-time favourite and highest selling traditional Odisha Handloom silk saree.
-As an Orissa special saree, the speciality of this saree is its geometric design in the body and touch of traditional culture in the form of different motifs like Shankha (Shell), Chakra(Wheel), phulla (flower), animals with deep symbolism.
-The broad border of silk thread work, motif works and completely traditional aanchal or pallu are the beautiful features of the saree.
-The uniqueness of this saree is that it's having a traditional border in the middle which makes the saree look awesome.

Origin and History

Traditionally, the sarees of Odisha were available in four basic colours that are found on Lord Jagannath. The origin of the Vichitrapuri sarees does not have a mention in the history as such. But, the Bandhkala originated somewhere in the early years of 19th Century. The origin and popularity of Bandhkala led to the weaving of Vichitrapuri sarees which has a lot of Bandhkala involved.

Sources of Inspiration

The embroidery along the fabrics leads one to believe that the main source of inspiration as far as colours and patterns are concerned is the main lord of Puri, Lord Jagannatha. The beauty lies in the main body of the saree which is an interwoven weft of Gold and Silk threads creating fabric richness. The weavers create basic geometric patterns that figuratively look amazing when the saree is created and sold. The borders are painted with the various geometric patterns involved in creating shankha (shell), and chakra (wheel) designs.


The Ikat dyeing technique involved in making the Vichitrapuri sarees is same as that for the Sambhalpuri variety. Most sarees of the Vichitrapuri variety come with a fish border. This saree generally comes in 6-8 colours. The body of this saree is woven in the Pasapalli style giving the fabric an eternally rich and contending look.

Present Day Scenario

In the present times, there are textiles that give out the Vichitrapuri variety of sarees. What was initially hand woven and mastered, is now woven into the textiles? This way the sarees are customized to various colours. The textile dyes are available in more colours hence giving out these sarees in multi-coloured varieties. Also with the increasing popularity of these sarees, employment is growing in the lands of Odisha.


The innovations in this saree have come up in the matters of customized colours. Now one can have these sarees in the colours of their choice. Also, the sarees have started developing in various different materials making them available for a variety of occasions. One can see the stars draping this Vichitrapuri Sarees giving it fame and popularity deserved.

Occasion Dressing

This material started out as a marriage fabric. Slowly, this saree has now taken over the world in a variety of fabrics leading people to believe that it can be used for other occasions as well. Today, apart from weddings people drape this saree when attending a party or festival also. The saree has been adorned by stars in award functions as well.


Sarees that are made out of gold and silk threads would look good when adorned with gold and silver jewellery. So, one can wear good gold or silver sets whichever goes well with the saree. With the colours increasing to blue and other, even pearl or jade sets would go well with the saree.

Chronicles of the Future Foretold

These sarees are growing popular in the West as well. One can see that the politicians who are ambassadors of the country adorn these sarees when visiting people living in the West, thus increasing its popularity. Moreover, the textile production has led to the increase in the supply of these sarees matching its demand.

Interesting Facts and Comparisons

  • Both Sambalpuri and Vichitrapuri sarees have similar ikat dyeing but, they both are different in their patterns and pallus.
  • Traditionally these sarees were available only in Black and Maroon.

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