Kolkata, the land of art and culture, is popular for its traditional Bengali sarees all over the country. Be it the texture, colour, material or the weave—you will simply love them. From the traditional simple cotton Tant sarees to the intricately crafted Jamdani sarees—the kolkata saree collection will command your attention with their beauty. You can even buy Baluchari sarees that have depictions of mythological scenes mostly on the pallu or the gorgeous Garad or Kantha embroidered sarees for special occasions. In case you only prefer silk then you can choose between Murshidabad and Tussar silk sarees. Here's a look at some of the beautiful Bengali sarees that you can buy in Kolkata. Kolkata saree shopping can be a delightful experience for any travelling woman.
When one thinks of Kolkata and sarees, Tant is the first name that comes to mind. It is a basic cotton saree that is usually stiffly starched. While Tant is weaved all over Bengal, certain districts like Murshidabad, Nadia and Hooghly (in West Bengal) as well as Tangail (Bangladesh) are more popular. Since these sarees are generally used on a daily basis, they usually cost less (INR 350-400 minimum). However, depending upon the quality and work, the price can sometimes go up to a few thousands. The cotton threads used to weave Tant sarees are known for their lightness. Thick borders, beautiful pallu as well as floral and artistic motifs are widely used in Tant sarees. If you want to buy a Tant saree, you can go to any of the saree shops in Kolkata as almost all of them sell it. Some noteworthy shops where you can find Tant sarees are Adi Mohini Mohan Kanjilal—College Street, Traders Assembly—Gariahat, and several saree shops in New Market.
Characterised by intricately designed motifs on an almost transparent, ultra-fine fabric, Jamdani sarees are considered one of finest muslin textiles of Bengal. Also known as muslin cloth, the fabric sometimes has a mix of cotton and gold threads weaved in it. With its roots in Dhaka (the capital of Bangladesh), Jamdani is also popularly referred to as Dhakai Jamdani. Earliest mention of these sarees can be traced back to Kautilya’s Arthashastra. It is believed that the word Jamdani is derived from two Persian words—jam and dani—which mean flower and vase respectively. Weaving Jamdani is considered one of the most time consuming and labour intensive processes. Just like Tant, floral motifs are quite common in these sarees while some have beautiful meenakari (enamel) work and broad borders. Needless to say that if you want to buy Jamdani sarees you will find endless choices in Kolkata, including Priya Gopal Bishoyi and Sons—MG Road, Rashbehari Avenue, Traders Assembly—Gariahat, Adi Dhakeshwari Bastralaya—Triangular Park and Jamdani Ghar—Gariahat.
With its origin in Bengal, Baluchari saree is very popular in India and Bangladesh. It is well known for its depiction of mythological stories, primarily on the pallu. Originally made in Murshidabad, Baluchari sarees are presently woven in the region of Bishnupur too. These sarees were traditionally woven in a small village named Baluchar in Murshidabad. In the 18th century, the weaving of Baluchari was patronised by the then ruler of Bengal, Nawab Murshid Kuli Khan; thus encouraging it to flourish further. While these sarees are known for their depiction of mythological stories, during the British rule, the designs depicted scenes from the lives of Mughal kings and sometimes even Europeans. Women smoking hookah often found their way into these designs. Nowadays, stories from two great Indian epics Ramayana and Mahabharata are extensively used. Baluchari sarees are often worn by women during festivals and special occasions. You will be spoilt for choice while shopping for Baluchari sarees in popular shops like RMCA Basak—Gariahat, Priya Gopal Bishoyi and Sons—MG Road, Rashbehari Avenue, and Traders Assembly—Gariahat.