In simple words, the sarees made in the city of Benaras or Varanasi are known as the Banarasi or Benarasi sarees. But, in reality – there is nothing simple about an exquisite Benarasi!
From their magnificent appearance to the rich inter-play of colors and weaves – to their complex weaving process, which sometimes needs 3 or more weavers working simultaneously -to their regal design elements dating back to the Mughal era – each and every aspect of these grand heritage saree is outstanding. Like the stunning opulent weave you see in the image below – Banarasis have a majestic appeal, seldom matched by any other textile art.
Crafting every single, authentic Benarasi is a highly complex process – as complicated as the intricate weave itself. Banarasi sarees have an age-old charm; they date back to ancient times, and are known to find mention in the texts of Mahabharata. Initially made for royalty, Zari in these sarees used to in real gold and silver – and the fabric was known as Kinkhab. Typically Indian and Middle Eastern motifs of bels (vines), paisleys, butis, leaves, floral designs, peacocks etc. woven meticulously on these handloom silk sarees. There are many types of Banarasi sarees like Jamewaar, Brocade, Tanchoi, Organza etc.
The world of Banarasi weave and sarees is an enigmatic one – and it’s every Indian woman’s dream to own at least one or few of these timeless beauties. Wedding trousseaus are incomplete without them, especially in Northern India. In the same belt, Benarasi is the typical wedding saree – and at times, even the bridal saree. Many brides also tend to use Banarasis as their reception sarees. There are tons of cheaper imitations available for these heritage sarees – so finding the authentic ones – that too in affordable prices is a challenge. To help you in your quest of bagging a splendid iconic Banarasi – we present you an exclusive, hand-picked but limited edition selection ‘Reshmi Dhaga’ –
1. Brazen Bronze
Crafted in mystical earth tones of brown and bronze, accentuated with a broad flaming orange border with Zari, this classic Banarasi brocade saree is a delicate blend of grounded elegance and bold charm.
2. Deepest Blue
A grand saree that channels the depths of ocean and romance of youth – this deepest navy blue saree with a broad rani pink Banarasi weave border is made for queens!
3. Pink Accents
Quirky, bohemian take on the traditional Banarasi – this grey temple design silk saree with a wide border with colorful geometrical motifs on deep pink base and pink pallu – is a smart combo of understated and statement elements. A must-have for Banarasi collectors – of all ages!
4. Gorgeous Grey
A fitting reply to ones who equate bling and ostentation with Banarasis, this stunning subtle saree with all-over Persian motifs, flanked by plain Tanchoi border with a mustard yellow edging is a story in understated elegance. One of the priciest pieces of the collection, this one is a true heritage collectible!
5. Yellow Euphoria
Made in a trendy yet rare color combination, this ethereal yellow and navy blue pure Banarasi silk saree will make a perfect addition to any bridal trousseau. Be it its unique deer motifs, subtle floral patterns or that burst-of-color green band (with deer motifs) on the pallu – everything is markedly special about this beauty.
6. Pink Passion
Fuchsia or rani pink happens to be the most sought after color among hand-picked Banarasis – not without any reason! As the name suggests, this epitome-of-romance hue is fit for the queens – and so is this magnificent fiery pink and gold gorgeousness. Wear it to a loved one’s wedding, or flaunt it at a special auspicious ceremony at home.
7. Flames n Fire
A breathtakingly rich inter-play of colors comes alive in this glistening Tanchoi silk saree with a double-shaded effect. The fiery rust-orange of the body gets accentuated by the deep purple and antique gold borders – while the pallu has mesmerizing floral motifs.
8. Multi-hued Mystique
Well, who said Banarasis and silk sarees are for women of a certain age and class. Even saree novices, young women and girls who like to play with colors and textures can pick Banarasi beauties like these! Lined by a delicate brocade border, the rest of the saree in cascading colors of blue and a vibrant orange edging – this saree is pretty yet understated and bling-free.
9. Bold Black
Black is always enamoring. And, when this mystical hue comes alive with accents of bold gold and ravishing red – the resulting creation has to be beautiful beyond words!
10. Jewel Tones
Deepest of the color shades come to life in lustrous silk and fine weaves in this luxuriously lush saree that’s perfect for any red-carpet outing!
11. Mauve Magic
Demure, delicate mauve gets lifted to surreal heights, thanks to the exquisite Banarasi weaving in the silvery broad border of this marvelous yellow saree. A traditional piece, this saree’s unique color combination with a fun play of silver and gold metallic undertones makes it a creation perfect for women of all ages and preferences.
12. Green Grandeur
Few can remain uncharmed by the classic appeal of a timelessly elegant Banarasi design like this one. Flanked by a broad mustard-yellow border with brocade weaving, the light green body of this saree has heavy Banarasi weaving – making it perfect for brides, special relatives at weddings and even respected older members.
This amazing journey into the majestic land of Benarasis is sure to leave you intrigued – and inspired to own at least one of these splendid beauties.
However, remember that owing a glorious weave like Banarasi is great – caring for it and maintaining it well are also extremely important, so your prized possessions stay fresh and shining forever. How to do that? Well, to ensure that your Benarasi saris never lose their glory – we bring you save-able Infographic (as below) with wonderful saree care and maintenance tips.