Maharajas' Express Blog


India has always been a land of artistry and rich cultural heritage that boasts on its customs, handicrafts, stone carving, religions, food-habits, fairs, festivals and so forth. Ages-old ‘art of silk weaving’ at Varanasi is one such legacy of India.

Varanasi, also called Banaras or Kashi, is an ancient city with roots back to the 11th Century BC. Situated on the bank of the most sacred river of the country – the Ganges, the city is observed as the spiritual capital of India. The art of silk weaving at Varanasi is a testimony of India’s rich artistry and cultural heritage. It circulates in the blood-vessels of the people of this holy city, the weavers in particular. Silk weaving is not merely an art for them, it’s a heritage product, it’s a culture, and even more it’s a religion. In fact, Varanasi is famous for silk fabrics originally, Saris being the most adorned. Universally known by “Banarasi Sari”, they are trimmed with sophisticated designs, delicate embroidery by metallic threads and embellished with zaris.

Varanasi silk is as old as the city itself. Intricate art of silk weaving at Varanasi is profoundly mentioned in the Rig Veda and Buddhist texts as well. But it got revamped later actually; as new types of hand looms were developed, and new designs in gold and silver thread, new patterns, brocades and styles were introduced.

The weaver of Varanasi are exceptionally accomplished and dedicated artisans who sit on handlooms under the harsh light of blue bulb for hours and keep track of the extremely skinny silk thread whirled in intricate patterns creating an impeccable design. Their exhausting work can’t be compared with other labourers who put rigorous physical effort. A weaver, along with doing physical labour, keeps thinking throughout the entire weaving process.  Most of the weavers have switched to power looms now, the reason being a handloom takes 7-8 days to complete a Sari, while a power loom can weave a Sari with baroque design in less than a day.

Incorporation of new technologies in the silk weaving industry have diminished the human effort up to some extent facilitating weavers to pre-plan of the whole design prior to start weaving. In “Tanchoi” technique of weaving only silk yarn is required as raw material. Whereas, the Jamdani – another technique of Varanasi – works only around cotton fabric.

All you can experience for your life’s treasured memories with “The Indian Panorama” itinerary of The Maharajas’ Express. On the 6th day of this magnificent itinerary, you’ll be escorted to the Silk Weaving Center in Varanasi, followed by a splendid lunch at glorious Taj Gateway Hotel..

Click to book The Indian Panorama itinerary

* Maharajas Express Tariff is available in INR and US Dollars only for all of its itineraries.