Subscribe for Newsletters and Discounts
Be the first to receive our thoughtfully written
religious articles and product discounts.
Your interests (Optional)
This will help us make recommendations and send discounts and sale information at times.
By registering, you may receive account related information, our email newsletters and product updates, no more than twice a month. Please read our Privacy Policy for details.
By subscribing, you will receive our email newsletters and product updates, no more than twice a month. All emails will be sent by Exotic India using the email address

Please read our Privacy Policy for details.
Your Cart (0)
Share our website with your friends.
Email this page to a friend
Textiles > Saris > A Baluchari Sari with Legend from the Mahabharata
Displaying 1 of 515         Previous  |  NextSubscribe to our newsletter and discounts
A Baluchari Sari with Legend from the Mahabharata

A Baluchari Sari with Legend from the Mahabharata

A Baluchari Sari with Legend from the Mahabharata

Sold Out

Pure Silk

Blouse/Underskirt Tailormade to Size
Item Code:
$305.00   Shipping Free - 4 to 6 days
Notify me when this item is available
Notify me when this item is available
You will be notified when this item is available
Add to Wishlist
Send as e-card
Send as free online greeting card
A Baluchari Sari with Legend from the Mahabharata

Verify the characters on the left

You will be informed as and when your card is viewed. Please note that your card will be active in the system for 30 days.

Viewed 16709 times since 10th Oct, 2010
This fabulous sari, the Indian woman’s most characteristic wear, no other article so exclusively revealing her Indian identity or rather her Indianism as a sari does, is a rare piece of artistic textile. Woven of pure Bengal silk, with golden yellow, its base-colour, this textile length represents the legends of Draupadi’s swayambara – wedding of Draupadi, the daughter of king Drupada, and the Pandavas’ twelve years’ exile in the forest. Besides these legends from the Mahabharata, the great Indian epic of the sixth century B.C., the talented craftsman of this sari has used the sari’s field for portraying an isolated icon of Mirabai, the timeless legend of the divine love and devotion, and a tiny motif comprising two paisleys and a rising sun like form crowning it. Though its basic form being paisley, a design-pattern of extraneous origin, this tiny motif gives a feel of ‘Vishnu-pada’ – Lord Vishnu’s feet, one of the holy symbols in Vaishnava tradition. For brocading these legends and motifs the sari makes use of white and deep purple silk threads.

The sari is duly designed to have, besides an elegantly designed field, an artistically rendered pictorial border and pallu illustrating the episodes from the epic Mahabharata. Bound in floral courses on both sides of the length the border represents the final stage of Draupadi’s swayambara – the bride and her groom garlanding each other. Himself a great archer king Drupada had pre-determined that his daughter would wed only him who pierced with his arrow the eye of the fish (in some versions, that of a bird) hung on a high post by seeing only the reflection of the fish in the oil contained in a tray just below the pole. Many archers tried but it was only Arjuna, one of the great Pandavas of the Mahabharata and the unparalleled archer of his time, who fulfilled the condition and married Draupadi.

This event of the Mahabharata had far greater significance. Duryodhana, the eldest son of the Kaurava king Dhratarashtra and the heir apparent of Hastinapur, was also one of the suitors at Draupadi’s swayambara. When Duryodhana failed to shoot at the eye of the fish, Draupadi uttered sarcastically, ‘A blind man’s son can not be expected to have eyes’. This deeply hurt Duryodhana and he took a vow to avenge this insult. Hence, when Pandavas lost Draupadi at the stake in the game of ‘chaupara’, Draupadi was insulted at the hands of Duryodhana worse than a woman ever in the history of mankind. This led to a series of inhuman acts including one in which Draupadi anointed her loose hair with Dushasana’s blood after Bhima killed him and tore his breast for it. While selecting this event for illustrating it on his textile the Murshidabad’s weaver seems to be aware of its rare significance in the Great War.

The ‘swayambara’ legend begins with the pallu which has five plus one horizontal strips, the third – the central one, being double in breadth. The first, one on the extreme end, and the fifth, towards the field, portray Raja Drupada, Draupadi’s father, seated on a chair in the centre of the two figures, a male and a female. The gesture of his hand indicates that he is asking the male, obviously Arjuna, to shoot the eye of the fish only thereafter his daughter Draupadi standing behind him would marry him. The second, and the fourth, illustrate Arjuna drawing the bow-string while Draupadi, attired and bejeweled like a bride, sands before him. Arjuna is looking downwards and above him is hung a fish. The next stage of the legend : Draupadi and Arjuna garlanding ach other has been represented on the border.

The third and the central strip, with the space doubled, except the flanking end-parts, each of which has been divided into two cubes and woven with the same motifs as comprise the second and the fourth strips, that is, Arjuna drawing the bow-string, portrays five Pandavas along with their consort Parvati in the forest. All are bare-footed and except Draupadi attired like ascetics. They are moving towards a beautifully thatched cottage suggesting their exile. On the bottom of the panel there are flowering plants while the branch of a tree extending towards the cottage, and a number of birds flying in between the cottage and the tree, define the sky-line. Befitting to an Indian mind that holds a woman in high esteem, the craftsman has draped Draupadi not only in suitable ensemble but has portrayed also with a crest. Above these five strips defining the pallu there is an extra band comprising a series of a lone figure of garland-carrying Draupadi, each contained within a paisley-frame.

The entire field has been adorned with two motifs – an icon of a lady with a vina in her right hand, and a set of wooden cymbals, in the left, and a Vishnu-pada like motif, strewn all over. The female figure is in a posture of wandering. Besides that a Baluchar sari with its focus on themes depicting legends, folks or customs, would not portray an irrelevant isolated figure without a folk or mythical background behind, the musical instrument vina and cymbals and the wandering mode essentially reveal her identity as Mirabai, the fifteenth century legendary Krishna-devotee and the princess of Mewar in Rajasthan who after abandoning her royal household traveled untiring to various Krishna-shrines. Maybe, in context to the Great War – Mahabharata, the artisan manufacturing this sari had in mind Krishna, the architect of Pandavas’ victory and the ultimate champion of the Great War. However in consideration of his divine status he evaded drawing his icons on a wear, but sought to mark his presence by representing Mira, one of his devotees, and his feet-symbol.

This description by Prof. P.C. Jain and Dr. Daljeet. Prof. Jain specializes on the aesthetics of literature and is the author of numerous books on Indian art and culture. Dr. Daljeet is the curator of the Miniature Painting Gallery, National Museum, New Delhi. They have both collaborated together on a number of books.

Click on the Buy Now Icon to submit measurements for blouse and underskirt.

Post a Comment
Post Review
Post a Query
For privacy concerns, please view our Privacy Policy

Related Items

Simply-Green Self Weave Silk Sari from Banaras with Woven Motifs on Aanchal
Art Silk
Blouse/Underskirt Tailormade to Size
Item Code: SDG66
Add to Cart
Buy Now
White and Black Digital-Printed Sari from Purvanchal with Krishna and Gopis on Aanchal
Pure Silk Blended with Viscose
Blouse/Underskirt Tailormade to Size
Item Code: SDG67
Add to Cart
Buy Now
Ceramic-Green Baluchari Sari from Kolkata Depicting the Swayamvar of Sita
Pure Silk
Blouse/Underskirt Tailormade to Size
Item Code: SDG27
Add to Cart
Buy Now
Tropical-Green Baluchari Sari from Kolkata Depicting the Swayamvar of Sita
Pure Silk
Blouse/Underskirt Tailormade to Size
Item Code: SDF76
Add to Cart
Buy Now
Hawaiian-Ocean Kanjivaram Sari with Woven Little Krishna on Aanchal
Pure Silk
Blouse/Underskirt Tailormade to Size
Item Code: SDF83
Add to Cart
Buy Now
Moonlight and Pink Kanjivaram Sari with Woven Little Krishna on Aanchal
Pure Silk
Blouse/Underskirt Tailormade to Size
Item Code: SDF57
Add to Cart
Buy Now


The best and fastest service worldwide - I am in Australia and I put in a big order of books (14 items) on a Wednesday; it was sent on Friday and arrived at my doorstep early on Monday morning - amazing! All very securely packed in a very strong cardboard box. I have bought several times from Exotic India and the service is always exceptionally good. THANK YOU and NAMASTE!
Charles (Rudra)
I just wanted to say that this is I think my 3rd (big) order from you, and the last two times I received immaculate service, the books arrived well and it has been a very pleasant experience. Just wanted to say thanks for your efficient service.
Shantala, Belgium
Thank you so much EXOTIC INDIA for the wonderfull packaging!! I received my order today and it was gift wrapped with so much love and taste in a beautiful golden gift wrap and everything was neat and beautifully packed. Also my order came very fast... i am impressed! Besides selling fantastic items, you provide an exceptional customer service and i will surely purchase again from you! I am very glad and happy :) Thank you, Salma
Salma, Canada.
Artwork received today. Very pleased both with the product quality and speed of delivery. Many thanks for your help.
Carl, UK.
I wanted to let you know how happy we are with our framed pieces of Shree Durga and Shree Kali. Thank you and thank your framers for us. By the way, this month we offered a Puja and Yagna to the Ardhanarishwara murti we purchased from you last November. The Brahmin priest, Shree Vivek Godbol, who was visiting LA preformed the rites. He really loved our murti and thought it very paka. I am so happy to have found your site , it is very paka and trustworthy. Plus such great packing and quick shipping. Thanks for your service Vipin, it is a pleasure.
Gina, USA
My marble statue of Durga arrived today in perfect condition, it's such a beautiful statue. Thanks again for giving me a discount on it, I'm always very pleased with the items I order from you. You always have the best quality items.
Charles, Tennessee
Jay Shree Krishna Shrimud Bhagavatam Mahapurana in Sanskrat Parayana is very very thankful to you we are so gratefully to your seva
Mrs. Darbar, UK.
Its a very efficient website and questions queries are responded promptly. very reliable website. Thank you.
Kailash, Australia.
Beautiful and amazing products. Super quality
Vraja, USA
Thank you so much. I have received Krishna statue. Excellent art work and beautiful as I expected. Certainly I will recommend and plan to visit your store when I am coming to India.
Kannan, Canada.
All rights reserved. Copyright 2017 © Exotic India