Handicrafts of Uttar Pradesh
The highly skilled craftsmanship of Uttar Pradesh has, for centuries, been a byword for quality and beauty. From its fabulous heritage of 'zardozi' embroidery to the delicacy of 'chikan' work, its block printing from Lucknow to ivory carving (now replaced by bone), has contributed richly to India's handicraft repertoire.
Zardozi & Chikan Work:-
From Varanasi, Agra, Lucknow, Rampur, Bareilly and Farrukhabad are supplied the stunning heritage of zardozi work (embroidery in gold and silver), which was introduced in India by the Sultans in the 12th century. Apart from showcasing its splendor on traditional garments such as 'salwar', 'kameezes', 'lehngas' and 'sarees, it is also being used to embellish bags, belts, photo-frames and wall hangings. Enjoying a revival zardozi work has travelled across the globe, as garment exporters respond to the spurt in its demand of Indian fashion. From SEWA outlets and numerous other stores in the bazaars of Lucknow, you can find your pick of traditional 'chikan' work done on muslin and cotton 'salwar', 'kameez' and 'sarees' available at prices to match all pockets.
Batik & Block Printing:-
Geometric, floral, figurative and ornamental motifs embellish the cotton fabrics that are treated to special hand block & batik processes in the city of Lucknow. Cushion covers, bed covers and other garments are available in 'Paisley' which is Lucknow's trademark design.
Bone Carving & Marble Craft: -
Traditional ivory carving influenced by court patronage, has been turned into another medium-Bone. Carved figurines, deities, lamps, boxes and containers showcase their craft in all its beauty today.. The Taj Mahal defines the finest aspects of Indian craftsmanship, and the splendid workmanship of marble is a vibrant heritage amongst the craftsman of Agra. The incomparable splendor of its traditional marble inlay work is beautifully revealed in the wide range of souvenirs which include boxes, lamps, miniature Taj Mahals and other decorative items.
Exotic Stone Work, Leather & Paper Works: -
From Kanpur and Agra come some of the finest leather crafts while Varanasi's Raida community produces excellent stone carving. Vrindavan and Mathura produce the finest works in alabaster & soft stone as also the ancient art of 'Sanjhi' paper craft still done around temples. Khurja's pottery has made its mark in the Delhi bazaars but you might prefer the black pottery of Mirzapur. Saharanpur and Nagina in Bijnore district produce the finest woodcraft and the ancient tradition of kite crafting from Rampur, Bareilly and Lucknow will bedazzle you afresh every time.