My Trip to Kanchipuram - contd
by Lakshmi Menon
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Kanchipuram is also popular for hand woven silk sarees. The flourishing industry of silk weaving dates back to Pallava and Chola periods. Most of the families in the town are involved in this trade.
After the temple visits, we started with our shopping expedition. We were advised by friends that the new visitors to the city can easily get cheated by buying fake silk saris if you are not good at identifying the silk saris. Thus, selecting a Kancheepuram silk sari is quite challenging. So we appreciated Prakash's help.
Prakash took us to some silk sari weavers, recommended by him as well as to the shops which we had requested him to take us.
I was also interested to know about the speciality of these saris and why they are so popular. Kanchipuram silk Saris are made from pure mulberry silk with dazzling colours and fine zari work. Pure Kanchipuram silk saris are very expensive and usually worn on special occasions like wedding, important festivals and family functions in South India. Because of their uniqueness, these sarees are the favorites of millions of women.
They are hand woven and very laborious work. The motifs of the sarees are usually the designs of temples, bells, swans, parrots, peacocks, chariots, elephants, moon, sun etc. Each sari takes anywhere between 10 days to one month to complete the work because of its intricate work and costs between Rs.3500/- to Rs.1,00,000. Kancheepuram saris are also exported to many countries.