Top 10 Banarasi Saree Shops in Varanasi For Authentic Banarasi Sarees

Banarasi Saree Shops in Varanasi
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Summary

Banarasi sarees are a symbol of Indian heritage, craftsmanship, and elegance. If you’re planning to buy a pure Banarasi saree, this blog post will guide you through the top Banarasi saree shops in Varanasi where you can find the best quality sarees. We’ll also cover the history, materials, and the intricate process involved in making these sarees.

Introduction

Banarasi sarees have been a coveted possession for Indian women for centuries. These sarees are not just a piece of clothing but a work of art that represent the rich cultural heritage of India. Varanasi, also known as Banaras or Kashi, is the hub of Banarasi saree production, where skilled artisans have been weaving these masterpieces for generations.

If you’re in Varanasi and looking to buy a genuine Banarasi saree, you’re in for a treat. The city is home to numerous shops that offer a wide range of Banarasi sarees in different designs, materials, and price ranges. However, with so many options available, it can be overwhelming to choose the right shop. In this blog post, we’ll take you through the top Banarasi saree shops in Varanasi, where you can find the most authentic and high-quality sarees.

Why Banarasi Saree is Famous:

Banarasi sarees are famous for several reasons. First and foremost, they are handwoven by skilled artisans using intricate techniques that have been passed down through generations. These sarees are known for their rich silk fabric, intricate designs, and heavy embroidery work, making them a true masterpiece.

Another reason for their fame is the use of pure gold and silver threads, known as zari, in their weaving. These threads are woven into the fabric, creating a shimmering effect that adds to the saree’s elegance and luxury.

Banarasi sarees are also famous for their unique designs, which are inspired by the rich cultural heritage of Varanasi. The motifs often depict scenes from Hindu mythology, floral patterns, and geometric designs, making each saree a unique work of art.

Different materials used to make a Banarasi saree:

Banarasi sarees are typically made from a combination of silk and zari (gold or silver threads). The most commonly used materials are:

  • 1. Mulberry Silk: This is the highest quality silk used in Banarasi sarees. It is lightweight, lustrous, and has a soft, smooth texture.
  • 2. Katan Silk: Also known as Organza silk, Katan silk is a lightweight and sheer fabric that is often used in Banarasi sarees for its delicate and airy look.
  • 3. Muga Silk: This is a unique silk variety that is produced in Assam, India. Muga silk is known for its golden-yellow hue and durability.
  • 4. Tussar Silk: A type of wild silk that is known for its coarse texture and natural golden-brown color.
  • 5. Zari: This is the term used for the pure gold or silver threads that are intricately woven into the saree, adding richness and shimmer to the fabric.

Pricing of Banarasi Sarees in Varanasi

One of the most crucial factors to consider when shopping for a Banarasi saree is the pricing. These sarees can vary significantly in cost, ranging from a few hundred rupees to several lakhs, depending on various factors. Understanding the pricing structure can help you make an informed decision and ensure you get the best value for your money.

  1. Silk Quality: The quality of silk used in the saree is a significant determinant of its price. Sarees made from premium mulberry silk or katan silk will be more expensive than those made from lower-quality silk varieties.
  2. Zari Work: The amount and quality of zari (gold or silver threads) used in the saree play a crucial role in its pricing. Sarees with extensive zari work, especially those using real gold or silver threads, will command a higher price.
  3. Embroidery and Design Complexity: Intricate embroidery work and complex designs, such as kamdani or mukaish, significantly increase the saree’s value and price. The more intricate the design and embroidery, the higher the cost.
  4. Brand Reputation: Well-established and reputable brands or stores that specialize in Banarasi sarees will typically have higher prices due to their reputation, quality assurance, and customer service.
  5. Location: Sarees purchased directly from manufacturers or wholesale markets may be more affordable than those bought from retail shops or high-end boutiques.
  6. Exclusivity: Limited edition or one-of-a-kind Banarasi sarees with unique designs or exceptional craftsmanship can command premium prices due to their exclusivity and rarity.

To give you an idea of the pricing range, a basic Banarasi saree made from decent quality silk and minimal zari work can start from around INR 5,000 to INR 10,000. Mid-range sarees with intricate designs and moderate zari work can cost between INR 15,000 to INR 30,000. High-end, premium Banarasi sarees made from the finest silk, extensive zari work, and exceptional embroidery can range from INR 50,000 to several lakhs, depending on the craftsmanship and exclusivity.

It’s essential to remember that while pricing can be an indicator of quality, it’s not the sole determinant. Always inspect the saree carefully, ask questions about the materials and craftsmanship, and make an informed decision based on your budget and preferences.

Top 10 Banarasi Saree Shops in Varanasi:

i) Dasasamedh Market – Street Shop

Dasasamedh Market is a vibrant street market located near the famous Dasasamedh Ghat. This market is a paradise for bargain hunters and those seeking affordable Banarasi sarees. With numerous small shops lining the narrow lanes, you’ll find a wide array of sarees in different designs, materials, and price ranges. Haggling is expected, and if you have a good eye for quality and excellent negotiation skills, you can score some great deals. However, keep in mind that the quality can vary, so it’s essential to inspect the sarees carefully before making a purchase.

ii) Chowk (Bansfatak) – Wholesaler

Chowk, also known as Bansfatak, is a bustling wholesale market that is a hub for Banarasi saree traders and wholesalers. This market is where many retailers and exporters source their sarees from. While the prices may be higher than street shops, you’ll find a wider selection of high-quality sarees in a range of designs and materials. The shopkeepers here are knowledgeable and can guide you through the intricacies of Banarasi sarees, making it an excellent destination for those seeking authentic and premium sarees.

iii) Dalmandi Market – Wholesale

Similar to Chowk, Dalmandi Market is another prominent wholesale market for Banarasi sarees in Varanasi. This market is a maze of narrow lanes and alleys, filled with wholesalers offering a vast array of sarees at wholesale prices. Whether you’re looking to buy in bulk or want to explore a diverse range of designs and materials, Dalmandi Market is worth a visit. However, keep in mind that the prices here are generally higher than retail shops.

iv) Vishwanath Market – Retail

Located in the vicinity of the famous Kashi Vishwanath Temple, Vishwanath Market is a popular destination for both locals and tourists seeking Banarasi sarees. This market offers a mix of budget-friendly and high-end saree shops, catering to a wide range of preferences and budgets. With its convenient location and diverse offerings, Vishwanath Market is a great place to start your Banarasi saree shopping experience.

v) Golghar Market – Retail

Golghar Market is another vibrant market in Varanasi known for its Banarasi saree shops. This market is characterized by its lively atmosphere and a wide range of saree shops, offering sarees in various price ranges and designs. From trendy to traditional, you’ll find a diverse selection of Banarasi sarees here, making it an excellent destination for those looking for variety.

vi) Nai Sadak Market – Retail

Nai Sadak Market is a bustling market that offers a unique shopping experience. Amidst the hustle and bustle, you’ll find numerous shops selling Banarasi sarees, along with other traditional Indian attire and accessories. This market is a great place to immerse yourself in the local culture while exploring the diverse range of sarees on offer.

vii) Thatheri Bazar – Retail

Thatheri Bazar is a historic market that dates back to the 18th century. This market has a rich heritage and is known for its authentic Banarasi sarees, as well as other traditional handicrafts. If you’re looking for a more traditional and historic shopping experience, Thatheri Bazar is a must-visit destination.

viii) Vishwanath Lane – Retail

Situated near the iconic Kashi Vishwanath Temple, Vishwanath Lane is a narrow street lined with numerous Banarasi saree shops. This lane offers a concentrated shopping experience, with saree shops catering to both locals and tourists. If you’re short on time and want to explore a variety of saree shops in one location, Vishwanath Lane is an excellent choice.

ix) Godowlia Market – Retail

Godowlia Market is a vibrant and lively market that offers a wide range of Banarasi sarees, along with other traditional Indian attire and accessories. This market is known for its diverse offerings, catering to various tastes and budgets. Whether you’re looking for a simple or an elaborate saree, Godowlia Market is a great place to explore.

x) Dal Mandi Market – Retail

While primarily known for its wholesale trade in lentils and spices, Dal Mandi Market is also home to several shops selling Banarasi sarees. If you’re in the area and looking to explore more options, this market is worth a visit. However, keep in mind that the selection may be limited compared to other dedicated saree markets.

Bonus Shops for Banarasi sarees in Varanasi

xi) Lahurabir – Retail

Lahurabir is a renowned saree shop that has been in operation for over a century. This shop is known for its high-quality Banarasi sarees and exceptional customer service. If you’re looking for a more curated and personalized shopping experience, Lahurabir is an excellent choice. However, be prepared to pay a premium for the quality and reputation of this establishment.

xii) Julaiya Market – Manufacturer

Julaiya Market is a hub for Banarasi saree manufacturers and weavers. If you’re interested in buying directly from the source, this market is the place to visit. Here, you’ll find numerous workshops and factories where you can witness the intricate process of weaving Banarasi sarees. While the prices may be lower than retail shops, you’ll need to have a keen eye for quality and a good understanding of the manufacturing process.

xiii) Madanpura Market – Manufacturer

Similar to Julaiya Market, Madanpura Market is another hub for Banarasi saree manufacturers and weavers. This market is a great destination for those looking to buy directly from the source and explore a wide range of sarees at wholesale prices. However, as with any manufacturer market, it’s essential to inspect the sarees carefully and have a good understanding of the manufacturing process and quality standards.

How Is Banarasi Saree Made In Varanasi From Scratch?

The process of making a Banarasi saree is a labor-intensive and intricate process that involves several steps. Let’s take a closer look at how these masterpieces are created:

1. Silk Yarn Preparation: The process begins with the preparation of silk yarn. The silk threads are dyed in different colors and then wound onto spools or bobbins.

2. Weaving: The weaving process is done on a special loom called the “Banarasi Loom.” This loom is designed to incorporate the intricate designs and patterns that are characteristic of Banarasi sarees.

3. Zari Work: One of the most distinctive features of Banarasi sarees is the use of zari, or pure gold and silver threads. These threads are skillfully woven into the fabric, creating intricate patterns and designs.

4. Embroidery: Many Banarasi sarees feature additional embroidery work, which is done by skilled artisans using techniques like “kamdani” and “mukaish.” These embroidery techniques add richness and depth to the saree’s design.

5. Finishing: Once the weaving and embroidery are complete, the saree goes through a finishing process. This includes washing, pressing, and any additional treatments required to enhance the saree’s appearance and quality.

The entire process of making a Banarasi saree can take several weeks or even months, depending on the complexity of the design and the level of embroidery work involved.

How to choose the best shop for Banarasi saree in varanasi:

Choosing the right shop to buy a Banarasi saree in Varanasi can be a daunting task, especially for those who are new to the city or unfamiliar with the local market. Here are some tips to help you find the best shop:

1. Research and Reviews: Before visiting any shop, do some research online and read reviews from other customers. This will give you an idea of the shop’s reputation, quality of products, and customer service.

2. Location: As mentioned earlier, some markets in Varanasi are known for their Banarasi saree shops. Consider visiting areas like Dasasamedh Market, Chowk (Bansfatak), Dalmandi Market, Vishwanath Market, and Godowlia Market, as they are famous for their saree shops.

3. Quality vs. Price: Banarasi sarees can vary greatly in price, depending on the quality of the fabric, the intricacy of the design, and the amount of zari work. Determine your budget and prioritize quality over price. Remember, a genuine Banarasi saree is an investment that will last for years.

4. Reputation and Experience: Look for shops that have been in business for a long time and have a reputation for selling authentic Banarasi sarees. Experienced shopkeepers will be able to guide you through the process and help you choose the right saree.

5. Customization Options: Some shops offer customization options, allowing you to design your own saree or make modifications to existing designs. If this is important to you, inquire about it before making a purchase.

6. Negotiation Skills: In many shops, especially in street markets, negotiation is expected. Don’t be afraid to politely haggle for a better price, but remember to be respectful and reasonable.

Things to Keep in Mind While Shopping Banarasi saree in varanasi:

Shopping for a Banarasi saree in Varanasi can be an exciting and rewarding experience, but there are a few things you should keep in mind:

1. Authenticity: Ensure that you’re buying a genuine Banarasi saree from a reputable shop. Look for the distinctive zari work and intricate designs that are characteristic of these sarees.

2. Fabric Quality: Pay attention to the quality of the fabric. Genuine Banarasi sarees are typically made from high-quality silk, such as mulberry silk or katan silk. Avoid sarees made from synthetic materials or low-quality silk.

3. Zari Work: The zari work (gold or silver threads) is a defining feature of Banarasi sarees. Inspect the zari work closely to ensure it is of good quality and evenly distributed throughout the saree.

4. Embroidery: Many Banarasi sarees feature intricate embroidery work, such as kamdani or mukaish. Examine the embroidery closely to appreciate the craftsmanship and ensure there are no loose threads or uneven patterns.

5. Pricing: Banarasi sarees can vary greatly in price, depending on the quality of the fabric, the amount of zari work, and the level of embroidery. Don’t be swayed by extremely low prices, as they may indicate a lower quality product.

6. Negotiation: In many shops, especially in street markets, negotiation is expected. However, be respectful and reasonable in your negotiations, and don’t haggle to the point of insulting the seller.

7. Care Instructions: Ask the shopkeeper for care instructions to ensure your Banarasi saree maintains its beauty and luster for years to come.

Conclusion:

Varanasi is a true haven for Banarasi saree enthusiasts, offering a wide range of shops that cater to every budget and preference. From street markets to high-end boutiques, the city has something for everyone. Whether you’re a seasoned collector or a first-time buyer, a visit to Varanasi is an opportunity to experience the rich cultural heritage and craftsmanship that goes into creating these exquisite sarees.

Remember, buying a Banarasi saree is not just a shopping experience; it’s a chance to own a piece of history and tradition. Take your time, explore the different shops, and don’t hesitate to ask questions or seek guidance from experienced shopkeepers.

In the end, the joy of owning and wearing a genuine Banarasi saree is unmatched. It’s a testament to the skill and dedication of the artisans who have kept this ancient craft alive, and a celebration of the vibrant and diverse culture of India.

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