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TYPES OF BENGALI SAREES

The portrayal of Bengali Women in movies like Devdas and Pareenita was on point in terms of character, beauty, and elegance.  Amidst westernization and embracing trending fashion sense, India will never lose the beauty of its traditional wear. Globally, a Saree is a portrayal of Indian culture and tradition for women. Across the country, there are distinguished styles of wearing this elegant attire, but one such form that catches the eye from afar is the Bengali Style. While talking about Bengali Sarees, one can remember the Bollywood beauties who have kept the tradition alive by sticking to their roots.  We often see Bipasha Basu, Rani Mukherjee, Kajol, Sushmita Sen, and many more embracing their traditional wear on several occasions.

There might be a distinct way Bengali females drape their Sarees, but there are varieties of sarees that come from Bengal. With different fabric and particular designs, the Sarees are recognizable by masses. This article talks in detail about types of Bengali Sarees that have made a mark for themselves in the market. Starting with two sarees that have been a part of Indian history and of Bengal. Tant and Baluchari Sarees caught attention in the 18th century and were worn by women regularly during the Mughal Era.

  1. Baluchari Saree: Baluchari Sarees are a masterpiece in itself and showcases the Indian culture and craft at its best. Made in a village Bulucha in Murshidabad, West Bengal the saree depicts mythological characters and stories on the Pallu. The weaving on the saree is one of the most elegant India has. The handwoven is done with vibrant golden or blue threads on luxurious dyed silk. The craftmanship on the saree takes weeks to complete and is worn as a status symbol.
  2. Tant Saree: The tant saree is a cotton saree with fascinating history attached to it. The Britishers tried to demolish the Tant Saree business which was picked up in the 18th century. However, they were unsuccessful in doing so. Tant Sarees are a perfect example of classic beauties, which are light in weight, vibrant in color, and have designer pallus. Further, there are various types of tant sarees based on the different areas; Fulia and Shantipure, Dhaniakhali, Begampur, Kalna, and Atpur.
    • Fulia and Shantipur: Combining the weaving styles of Shantipure and Tangail, the fusion created is called Fulia Tangail. Sarees of this region come in bright colors and have sophisticated and beautiful embroidery on them.
    • Dhaniakhali: Sarees from this region mostly come in light pastel shades that have striped patterns.
    • Begampur: The sarees of this region are loosely woven and light in weight. The fabric is a bit on the transparent side and comes in varieties of color.
  3. Tussar Silk: The Tussar silk sarees are one that defines the terms classy and elegant. Primarily produced in Jharkhand and West Bengal, tussar silk has a contrasting Patti over on the border to make the saree lively and vibrant.
  4. Murshidabad Silk Saree: Murshidabad Silk Saree as the name suggests is made in Murshidabad. The Silk sarees are known to be light in weight and are made ion various designs through different techniques like handmade, prints, etc.
  5. Kantha Sarees: Kantha is one of the finest types of embroidery rich in West Bengali. Essentially the Kantha work is done of sarees made of Pure silk, tussar silk or pure cotton. Kantha embroidery is intricate and is crafted by women of Bolpur Village who have learned the technique as part of their heritage. The patterns of the sarees take weeks or months to finish depending on the intensity of designs.
  6. Dhakai Jamdani: Dhaka and Bengal were essentially one before the partition, which makes Dhakai Jamdani authentically classic Indian work. The handwoven cotton is somewhat translucent when you look at the cloth. It comes in various colors and floral patterns. The word Jamdani is a Persian word which means flower vase, which is the theme of designs on Dhakai Jamdani.
  7. Korial Saree: The Korial is a derivative of the word Kora, which means "Without a mark" or Spotless in Bengali. When we talk in terms of Saree, it means White. That's right, the traditional white and red saree which women are seen wearing on Durga Pooja or Weddings are Korial Sarees. But they come in various other combinations. There are two forms of Korial sarees; Garad-Korial and Korial-Banarasi. The Garad Korial has Garad weaving along the pallu and the border, while the Banarasi version has dense Banarasi weaving.
  8. Tangail Saree: Weavers of Tangali, Bangladesh make Tangail Saree as the name suggests. The handloom fabric is a gift of 1000 years heritage to the weavers, as the skill has been passed on from generation to generation, which makes it unique. The weaving method is so particular for this saree that one saree takes good 5-7 days to complete. It is an exceptional skill in itself.
  9. Shantipuri Sarees: The sarees as the name implies are made in Shantipure, a city vibrant of Indian traditions. The handloom sarees designs on the saree are inspired by nature and are made on very fine cotton. The specialty of the saree is that it is made of Do-Rookha technique, which means it has designs on both sides making the saree look same on both sides; front and back.
  10. Batik Saree: Batik is short for word Ambatik, which means cloth with small dots. Batik is a type of art that was initially done on clothes and later turned into saree fabric. The technique involves three necessary steps waxing, dyeing, and scraping. The unconventional designs are created by wax on the material which is then dyed. After the process of dying, the wax is removed by submerging it in hot water.
  11. Garod Saree: How can we talk about Bengal and not talk about it's traditional white and red saree? Garad or Garod is made in generally manufactured in Tussar or Mulberry Silk which isn't dyed to keep the purity intact. Garad means white, which is a symbol of purity. The red borders and pallu of Garad sarees have motifs and patterns on it. Most times a golden thread or work is seen on the whole saree or border & pallu as work to keep it elegant and rich-looking.

The Bengali Sarees have one of the most authentic-looking draping styles. Many times we have been Bengali Beauties of Bollywood carrying the authentic look on Television and other occasions. Kajol is often seen wearing Tussar silk sarees with bold border pattis, pairing it with heavy necklaces and earrings. Mostly, such tussar silk sarees of pastel shades are worn during the day. Sushmita Sen, on the other hand, takes immense pride in being a Bengali. One can make out from her Insta post as she hashtags them with #DuggaDugga, which is a way of thanking Goddess Durga for her blessing. But also often, she is seen wearing traditional Bengali attires with pride.

Bipasha Basu, who got married not long ago, was seen as Bengali bride, which made our hearts swell. During and after the wedding we saw her carrying out all the Bengali rituals with much poise and elegance. Her traditional white and red wedding Saree was breathtaking, and we know Karan couldn't take his eyes away. Rani Mukherjee is also seen with her Begaliness with her dressing, wearing a Saree with Big bindi and middle hair parting.

Bollywood's perfect portray of Bengali women has set the bar really high. Aishwarya's iconic role as Parvati in Sanjay Leela Bansali's Devdas has touched our hearts. Bansali is known to put life in characters and movies through sets and clothes and choices of places. Devdas captured the Bengali essence through the sets, costumes, and Bengali accents of the characters, but mostly with the accurate fashion statements. Parvati's saree's were seen to be trending soon after the movie was released and we know why.

One can see how culturally rich is West Bengal once they step down in the city. Some of the most talented and creative people come from there be it in literature, actors, singers, or athletes. While Rabindranath Tagore is a globally recognized name, Sourav Ganguly, is a favorite worldwide cricketer. The only metropolitan in India where we can still smell the tradition and see roots of culture. West Bengal is an experience in itself, be it clothes, food, or city life.