Bandhej: The Grace of Marwar


Artists in Bandhani Turban

Artists in Bandhani Turban (Image Source: Shutterstock)

The folk cultures of Gujarat and Rajasthan are renowned across the globe for their ethnic exuberance, and traditional fashion. This lavishness and richness beautifully reflect in the colorful textiles of the states. Amidst the glittering mirror work, multicolor Kutch embroidery and Ajrakh painting, Bandhej art (also known as Bandhani) is one of the most alluring art forms.

Dots, squares, waves and stripes on cloth, narrate a color story of pink, red, blue, green, brown and other hues, taking you through the astounding traditional art of Bandhani. Designed in breathtaking patterns, this tie and dye art mirrors the skillful Indian artistry. Bandhani lies in the heart of Rajasthan and Gujarat, but today the vividness of Bandhani is not just limited to the rustic lanes of these states, but is the epitome of the colorful culture of India.

Talking more about art, let’s delve deeper into the two creative forms of Bandhani: the colorful turban and the beautiful odhni.

The Pop Side of Bandhej

Bandhej is spread across different backdrops. This art of tie-dye is breathing into Indian music, art, culture and fashion. Enthusiastic and lively groups of pop artists from Rajasthan playing musical diversity in India, are not just taking India to the world, but their colorful costumes with Bandhani turbans evidently highlight their love for this traditional and Indian culture.

Bandhej, The Flamboyance of Gujarati Heritage

Bandhani Turbans

Bandhani Turbans (Image source: Shutterstock)

Testifying the richness of Gujarat textile heritage, Bandhani is celebrated in Indian festivals, bringing together people during Dandiya and Garba-Raas. Modern India has been exploring the spectacular side of Bandhani by fusing it with western silhouettes, to refashion it in contemporary avatars. Bandhani printed accessories and clothing are making its presence feel in every realm of fashion.

Grace of Bandhej in Performing Arts

Grace of Bandhani in Folk Dance of Gujarat

Grace of Bandhani in Folk Dance of Gujarat (Image Source: Shutterstock)

Worn as odhinicholigaghra by women and turban by men all over Gujarat and Rajasthan, craftswomen intricately create poetry of emotions in colorful designs of Bandhani, taking forward the legacy of Indian tradition and culture. Colors of Bandhani and mirror work blend together, amplifying the look of the dupatta as it shimmers and sparkles with every movement of the folk dancers.

Bandhani Dupattas

Bandhani Dupattas (Photographed By Shruti Chakraborty)

So, next time you buy a Bandhani dupatta, the moment you start exploring and unraveling the hues and patterns of Bandhej, you know you’ll not be owning just another outfit but a unique art in your closet in its knotted and folded avatars. And the excitement and spirit of new-found wonder is like that of a child who feels impatient when un-wrapping his gift.

Categories:   Ethnic Alley, Street Clothing