by Shatika, January 6, 2016

Gujarat, the wondrous state of pristine parks, dramatic vast lands and pilgrim places characterizes luminous splendour and opulence. It is no less than a land of legacies laced with treasures and sublime fables. Apart from the carnival charm it possesses, its home to rare crafts and maestro craftsmen that find this state a suitable haven to practice numerous art forms. Bandhej is the most popular art form widely put into practice in this vibrant state. Countless people from places far and wide visit this famous travel spot, not only to witness the immaculate beauty of its enigmatic culture but also the inimitable Bandhej work.


Bandhej, also known as Bandhani or Tie-dye is practiced mainly in the states of Rajasthan and Gujarat. This art derives its name from the sanskrit word “Bandhan” that means “to tie”.  As per the evidence in historical texts, Bandhej dates back to the pre-historic times of Alexander the great. According to history, the first Bandhani Saree was worn at the time of Bana Bhatt’s Harshacharita in a royal marriage. The walls of the world famous Ajanta caves also stand evidence to this explicit traditional art of India. Bandhej has a rich history and has been practiced and passed on from one generation to another.


Tie-dye is one of the most conventional method of dyeing in India. It showcases an artistic and ethnic assortment of motifs, designs or patterns that possess their own special significance. This art renders appealing colors to simple fabrics. The technique used in Bandhej involves the dyeing of fabric that is tightly tied with a thread at several points to create varying patterns. Red, green, blue, black and yellow are the main colours that are used in bringing numerous designs to life such as, depending upon the manner in which the cloth is tied!


Bandhej since its inception shares innate links with social and religious customs across the country. Odhnis, turbans and sarees in Bandhani work are linked with numerous occasions. A Bandhani saree in red represents a bride and is believed to bestow her with a good future.  Various others colors, patterns and designs vary as per the community, region and social events.


Bandhej is one of the finest and the most popular art of India. This astounding traditional craft has been popular across the country since ages. Gujarat is one of the most recognized hub famous for Bandhej art. Countless Gujarati craftsmen toil day and night to produce an explicit specimen of Bandhani art that showcases the beauty in every minute detail. This century old skill has found its way in bustling bazaars, festivals and fairs. Bandhani’s popularity and demand has increased over the past few decades.


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