Travel

Showcasing The Durries Of Salawas

Salawas, about 25km from Jodhpur, will host a Durries Festival to showcase its hand-woven rugs

Salawas near Jodhpur is known for its colourful durries
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If you are in Rajasthan’s fort city of Jodhpur and prefer handmade goods over machine-made ones, then you may like to visit Salawas, a village about 25km away. Salawas is home to families of weavers who have been making cotton durries (rugs) for many years. Although Salawas may be visited round the year, this year, in the second week of September, the village is hosting a ‘Durrie Festival’ under the aegis of Banglanatakdotcom, a social enterprise working across India ‘to foster inclusive and sustainable development using culture-based approaches’.

According to Amitava Bhattacharya, founder and director of the organisation, “Deriving its name from the claw like tool, Panja, used by the weavers, these rugs are called Panja Durries.”

Earlier, the durries used to be made from camel or goat hairs, which gradually shifted to cotton.

Essentially used as a floor covering, the weavers have now adapted their weaving to suit modern demands. Apart from colourful floor coverings, they also make bags, cushion covers, wall-hangings, etc. The designs range from geometric patterns to the natural world around them. Although the use of chemical dyes is not unknown, the weavers are being encouraged to return to their traditional use of organic colours. 

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A weaver at work in Salawas village JossK / Shutterstock.com

During the festival, visitors will be able to interact with the weavers, watch them at work, and buy directly from them.

The ‘Durries Festival’ will be held on September 10 and 11 this year; both days, the festival will start 11am onwards.  In the evening (7pm to 9pm), cultural programmes highlighting the music and dance of western Rajasthan, will also be held.

You may stay at the homestays opened by the weavers (but rooms are very limited) or travel to and from Jodhpur. 

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