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A signature Tilfi artwork for India’s new Parliament House


“Yatra” is an odyssey through time, a journey through Varanasi and its origins, unraveling through the medium of this holy city’s finest contemporary craftsmanship. Through intricate hand-embroidery, brass repousse ornamentation and exquisite handloom artistry, the legacy of Varanasi's storied past unfolds.

The Story of Craftsmanship

The cynosure of Yatra is its magnificent handwoven textile artwork, exquisitely crafted in Banaras itself. At 96 inches, with no design repeat, it is an ambitious ode to the city that has been meticulously planned and designed keeping in consideration the topographical, architectural, spatial and directional accuracy of historically and religiously significant places. 

Handwoven in pure Satin Silk with a Tilfi Nakshi Kadwa technique and Satin 120 Chowk, the artwork employs pure silver zari, traces of pure gold zari, and requires the most intricate craftsmanship from the hands of highly skilled weavers. Expertise passed on through generations and a desire to push the boundaries of craftsmanship, made it possible for Tilfi’s artists and craftsmen to undertake an artwork of this unprecedented scale. 

Yatra’s hand-drawn blueprint for the loom or graph is over 32-feet in length and the textile’s creation has exceptionally employed over 42,000 Jacquard punch cards or naksha-pattas. On a loom, these series of punched cards control the threads raised in producing the pattern, and it is usually already considered difficult when 5,000 cards are being used: Yatra defies all limitations of the art of weaving.

“Yatra” holds space for the poetries of artisanship, architecture, history and spirituality to write their verses on the golden threads of Varanasi’s ghats.

Through thick and time

Through intricately crafted details, Yatra displays the myriad of places that carry the memories of this crossing of worlds. It brings the viewer on a journey through space and time, where history and spirituality converge in the stones of the most meaningful places in the city. 

“Yatra” starts its journey on the left, from the Ganga Mahal Ghat -an extension of Assi Ghat in the south- upto the Raj Ghat on the right -near Varana river in the north. In order, are displayed the Ganga Mahal Ghat, the Chet Singh Ghat, the Darbhanga Ghat, the Manikarnika Ghat, the Tarakeshwar Mahadev Temple -also known as "Lord of the Crossing"-, the Ratneshwar Mahadev Temple -also known as the “Leaning Temple'' with its garbhagriha resting below water most of the year-, the Panchganga Ghat, the Alamgir Mosque, the Hazara Diya, the Raj Ghat and the Namo Ghat.

“Yatra” has been commissioned for the Indian Parliament by the Dastkari Haat Samiti, under the leadership of Ms. Jaya Jaitly, and can be viewed at the Shilp Deergha in the new Parliament House in New Delhi, India.