Bagh–An artisan’s village!

An Indian Handicraft practiced in Bagh, Madhya Pradesh, Bagh Print is traditional hand block printing using natural color son textile with geometric and floral compositions as motifs.It gets its name from the place it belongs to and the name of the town stems from the renowned Baghcaves. According to local legend, there were living tigers referred to as bagh in several languages of India, in these abandoned Buddhist caves and hence the name!

Bagh caves are a group of nine rock-cut monuments, situated among the southern slopes of the Vindhyas. These are renowned for mural paintings by master painters of ancient India. Though they are referred to as caves these are not natural caves but man made and are a great example of Indian rock-cut architecture. Like the renowned Ajanta caves, the Bagh caves too were excavated by master craftmen on perpendicular sandstone rock face of a hill on the far bank of a seasonal stream, the Baghani. Buddhist in inspiration, out of the nine caves, only five have survived all of them being ‘viharas’ or monasteries with quadrangular plan. There are beautiful paintings engraved on the walls and ceilings of these viharas. The ground prepared for these paintings was a reddish-brown gritty and thick mud plaster laid out on the walls and ceilings. Over the plaster, lime-priming was done, on which the paintings were executed!The importance given to art in ancient times can be seen in these caves where the most significant of the caves is the Rang Mahal which means Palace of Colors.Displayed in Archaeological Museum of Gwalior are some of the paintings that were carefully removed in 1982 to prevent loss of the values of Indian classical art.

A village with rich history of art, Bagh Print in its current form started in Bagh in 1962 when a group of Muslim Khatri artisan migrated from the nearby Manawar to Bagh. They were originally from Sindh which is now in Pakistan and had since migrated to Marwad in Rajasthan and then to Manawar. With them they got 200 and 300-year-old blocks based on traditional motifs inspired by the 1,500-years-old paintings found in the caves in that region. The motifs included Nariyal Zaal, Ghevar Zaal, Saj, Dakmandwa, chameli, maithir, leheriya and jurvaria. They also made blocks which were based on the jaali work found in the TajMahal and local forts. They streamlined the processing of the two important colours – Red from Alum and Black from Corrosion of Iron and discovered new vegetable dyes such as yellow and green. But their biggest contribution was imprinting the Bagh Print on fabrics. And thus began the spectacular journey of the Bagh Prints on sarees!

Featured Articles

Six yards of elegance and comfort. That is what a saree is. We don’t think ….


Weaving a eNew Story – The Handloom Weavers of India

About Shatika

Since the dawn of civilization, handlooms have been associated with excellence in India’s artistry in textiles and fabrics, and sari which is considered to be the most ancient piece of clothing has been inspiring generations of artists and craftsmen to weave their dreams and visions into creating exquisite handloom sarees. However with passage of time, just like the clacking sounds of the looms, the dreams and visions of these weaves too are fading away.In an attempt to bring handloom sarees back in vogue, Shatika has begun a revolution; a six yard sari revolution is a humble attempt at bringing back the lost love for handloom sarees. Dedicated to creating a unique interpretation of the age old craft, we travel to all colourful corners of the country visiting weavers,guiding them on the latest trends so they weave out the age old tradition with a modern touch and bring them online so you can savor the delights of hand picking them from the comfort of your homes.