In a remarkable display of craftsmanship, the Tamil Nadu Banana Producers Association has dispatched a special gift to Ayodhya for the upcoming ‘Pran Prathishtha’ ceremony at the Ram Mandir. A 20-foot-long and 4-foot-wide saree made from banana fiber has been meticulously woven by skilled artisans from the Natural Fibre Weaving Group in Anakaputhur, near Chennai. The intricately designed saree, symbolizing the Ram temple, required 10 days of meticulous craftsmanship. This thoughtful gift underscores the cultural richness and inter-state contributions to the monumental event in Ayodhya.
Anakaputhur weavers, known for using natural fibers like banana stems, cactus, pineapple, and bamboo, export their products globally. The banana stem saree, a blend of craftsmanship and tradition, signifies India’s rich cultural diversity. Additionally, a Mahabalipuram-based wood carving unit crafts an intricately designed wooden palanquin for the temple, showcasing the nation’s artistic flair. The five-foot-long palanquin, carved from Burma teak, features swans, elephants, mythical creatures, and floral motifs, embodying the essence of the Ayodhya temple.
Anakaputhur has a rich tradition of handcrafting items using natural fibers like banana stems, cactus, pineapple, and bamboo. The Tamil Nadu Banana Producers Association, based in Anakaputhur, specializes in crafting handwoven products, which are sold both domestically and abroad. The 20-foot banana fiber saree, created for Goddess Sita, symbolizes India’s cultural diversity and unity.
Wooden Palanquin from Mahabalipuram
A Mahabalipuram-based wood carving unit, known for creating 48 wooden doors for the Ayodhya temple, crafts a wooden palanquin with exquisite carvings. The intricately designed palanquin, measuring five feet long and two feet wide, features open roofing and was made within 12 hours to fulfill a last-minute order from the temple trust.
The wooden palanquin, weighing around 40kg, is crafted from Burma teak and adorned with elaborate carvings, including swans, elephants, a mythical creature called yaazhi, and intricate floral designs.The palanquin, costing Rs 90,000, will be used to transport the processional deity from balalayam to the new temple.
Sekar, President of the Natural Fiber Weaving Group, sees the banana fiber saree as a symbol of India’s rich tradition of handcrafts, religious devotion, and artistic expression. The weavers of Anakaputhur are known for their proficiency in creating diverse products like dhoties, sarees, handbags, pants, shirts, using natural fibers.
The wood carving unit from Mahabalipuram, using Balharsah teak wood for the Ayodhya temple doors and Burma teak for the palanquin, showcases artistic expertise. Sculptor K Ramesh Sthapathy emphasizes the significance of the palanquin, featuring intricate carvings depicting swans, elephants, yaazhi, and floral designs.
These contributions from Tamil Nadu artisans showcase the state’s diverse cultural richness and artistic heritage.
The banana fiber saree and wooden palanquin symbolize the unity and diversity inherent in India’s cultural and religious traditions.
Artisans from various domains, including weaving and wood carving, contribute their skills to Ayodhya’s Ram Mandir, representing the collaborative spirit of the nation.
This unique blend of traditional craftsmanship and artistic expression reinforces the cultural bonds that connect different regions of India.