We are experiencing awful Wi-Fi issues at the Ramada Hotel in Khajuraho, India. The town is considerably smaller than many we’ve visited over the past three weeks and without a doubt, this is the worse signal we’ve experienced.
For the past several hours, I have been trying, off and on, to complete and upload today’s post about a fantastic silk-weaving facility we visited on our last day in Varanasi.
From time to time, over the past seven-plus years we’ve been traveling, we’ve had an opportunity to describe and subsequently promote a small business we encounter along the way.
Should any of you decide to visit Varanasi in the future, the stunning shop is worth a visit. I drooled over the gorgeous Pashmina shawls and scarves and only wished I’d had room in my luggage for one or two.
Unfortunately, after recently paying the airlines for overweight baggage, there was no way I could purchase even the lightest item and have it make sense. Plus, I cannot wear scarves often when I attempt to keep my clothing accessories to a minimum.
On the Maharajas Express, we all received no less than eight scarves as gifts at various stations as welcome gifts. I will have no choice but to give them away along the way. No doubt they contributed to my bag being overweight when some of them were pretty heavy.
But, few travelers have the same issue of “traveling light,” and many tourists come to India for shopping which is exceptionally exciting in this land of diversity and color.
Tiwari International appears to be a family-owned business. With the shop so busy when we arrived, we had little time to speak to the owner/manager Keshav Tiwari who was extremely kind and welcoming, even knowing we were “lookers,” not “shoppers.”
He was excited to share that actress Goldie Hawn had recently visited the shop, as he pointed to the framed photo on the wall as shown here in our photo. They were so proud to have a celebrity visit but equally enthused to welcome us.
We told Keshav about our visit to India and our site and promised him a story with today’s photos as a thank you for showing us around. He couldn’t have been more pleased, as were we.
When he explained how time-consuming and deliberate the work is, we were all the more in awe of his massive inventory. Prices are reasonable, and support staff is available to assist in selections.
“Banarasi Brocades, as the world knows it, is called by the name kinkab in Varanasi. A high-quality weaving is done using gold and silver threads. Silk Threads are also used as well. The most common motifs include scroll patterns and butidars designs. The other designs are Jewelry designs, birds, animals, flowers, creepers, paisley motifs. Hindu religious and Mughal motifs also influenced brocade designs. When a Gold embellishment is done on a silver background, it is called Ganga-Jamuna in the local language.
The designs are first drawn on paper. The person who draws the layout is called Naqshbandi. The main weaver is assisted by a helper. This design is then woven on a small wooden frame to form a grid of warp and weft.
The requisite number of warp threads and the extra weft threads are woven on the loom. The famous tissue sari of Varanasi is unbelievably delicate, combining the use of gold and silver metallic threads.”
Finally, attention from Keshav was required, and we bid him thanks and good day with a typical Indian hands-together-bow, and we were on our way back out into the crazy traffic of Varanasi.
It was delightful, as always, to see how local products are made, adding even more substance and interest to sightseeing outings.
That’s it for today. Now, the challenge of uploading this post. Tomorrow, we’re embarking on an exciting road trip which begins at 8:30 am, taking us to one of our most sought-after adventures in India…eight days of safari in two distinct national parks where we’ll live in camps. Yeah!
Thanks to all of you for the many birthday wishes. Your kindness means the world to me!