Sunday 12 April 2020

Jagannath, Jayadeva, And Khandua Sarees And Fabrics #OdishaGI #KnowYourGI #GIsofIndia

Odisha has a rich tradition and history of handicrafts and handlooms.
Khandua Saree and Fabrics are a type of Orissa Ikat. Orissa Ikat has the Geographical Indications (GI) tag.

Khandua is Single Ikat (fabrics are woven with tie and dye process either on warp or weft). Khandua is basically a weft Ikat. 
Khandua is woven on cotton, silk and tussar sarees, dress-materials and wall-hangings.
Khandua Saree and Fabrics has got the GI Tag too.

Lord Jagannath and Puri Temple Link

Like many other GIs of Odisha, Khandua Silk is closely related with the Jagannath cult.
The art of weaving of Nuapatna is more than 800 years old and Khandua Saree and Fabrics have been associated with the rituals of Lord Jagannath Temple of Puri in Odisha.  

Some weavers exclusively weave Khandua silk sarees/fabrics (Pata) of special design with extra large specification as ritual dresses for Lord Jagannath, Balabhadra & Subhadra. Generations of weavers have been weaving Khandua for Lord Jagannath, Balabhadra and Subhadra for different religious occasions as per the ritualistic demands for the different ‘Besa’ i.e. attire as per the temple administration traditions.

The colour combinations of these tie and dye sarees represent the ethical sense of life. Yellow coloured Khandua for Lord Jagannath symbolises salvation, green Khandua for Balabhadra symbolising life and peace, and red Khandua fabrics for Subhadra signifying power (shakti). Besas vary as per the tithi/day/date.

It is called “Khandua” because early days most people were not financially sound to offer full length of a saree to deities. They were offering Gita Govinda saree in pieces. Piece means “Khanda” in Odia. From Khanda, it became popular as Khandua. Even today, devotees offer Khandua silk saree to Lord Jagannath for different Besa. 
Gita Govinda Khandua pata

Jayadeva (Jaidev) - Poet; Composer of "Gita Govinda" Link

During the 12th Century AD, Jayadeva (also called Jaidev), the famous poet, desired to offer his epic, Gita Govinda, to Lord Jagannath wrapped in a silk fabric. Weavers of Jayadeva’s Kenduli village wove the script of verses of Gita Govinda by using tie and dye technique. Kenduli, located in Odisha, is the birthplace of Jayadeva. Jayadev wrapped his epic Gita Govinda in the same and offered it to the three deities at Shree Jagannath Temple.

Till today, Gita Govinda verses are woven on silk and a special red-coloured Khandua cloth with verses from Gita Govinda is worn by Lord Jagannath at Puri Temple. The Rathas (chariots) are also covered and decorated with this Khandua silk during Ratha Jatra (Rath Yatra – annual Car Festival held at Puri).

Some special weavers of Nuapatna are producing calligraphy on the fabrics with Gita Govinda and Dasavatar (Ten reincarnations of Vishnu). During production of these fabrics for spiritual purpose, the male weavers strictly observe some principles like fasting and not taking non-vegetarian food.

Nuapatna and Maniabandha in Cuttack district are the major handloom clusters for production of Khandua Saree and Fabrics in Odisha. 

Khandua Sarees –Nabarangi/Nabakothi are considered auspicious as they have nine sacred symbols and used as bridal wear during marriages. Tara (stars), Gaja (elephants), mayura (peacocks), deer, parrots, Nabagunjara, padma (lotus) and other flowers, creepers, kumbha (temple) etc. patterns have been used since long in silk and cotton fabrics.

Khandua Silk Sarees are famous for their fine layout, designs and harmonious colour schemes. The handwoven silk, cotton and tussar tie and dye fabrics are one of the major activities and source of income in this geographical area of Odisha.  

J For- Jagannath and Jayadeva
I am writing A-Z posts about the Geographical Indications (GIs) of Odisha #OdishaGI.
GI is a distinctive certificate used to identify a product as originating from a particular region or locality that has specific qualities, reputation or other unique characteristics. GI products are linked with the culture, traditions, history etc. of a geographical location. 
Only when info is shared, people can learn and be aware.
This is my sincere attempt to share information about the GI-Tags of Odisha.
You can check out my other GI posts here.
Let us all use GI products - the "invaluable treasures of incredible India", and encourage our artisans, weavers, and farmers.
Are you aware of Geographical Indications? 
Did you know about the link of Khandua Saree and Fabrics with Jagannath and Jayadeva?
Please do share in the comments below.


  1. It is interesting to know, how our traditional fabrics have a spiritual connection.

  2. it was an informative post... thanks for sharing..

  3. Wow! Khandua fabrics look beautiful! Thank you for your lovely wish on my blog :)

  4. Hey Anita, I am a total saree lover and has taken from mother's genes. My maternal grandmother used to wear beautiful sarees from south and different parts of the country. Knowing about Khandua saree is a real treat added to my saree treasure.

  5. Being from Cuttack in Odisha I have special love for Khandua patta :)!!My grandmother used to say many stories of the various prints and what they signify and how they are related to religious beliefs. This post reminded me of her and her stories :)

  6. Interesting to see the a type of saree having a religious/spiritual significance.


  7. I could relate with this post as I have visited Puri once, I also love to read Geeta Govindam, and the thing I came to know here is the lovely saree. How beautiful and graceful they are!! Lovely. Thanks for writing this lovely informative post Anita.


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