Telangana has the highest concentration of distinct handloom weaves in the country with 2.5 million weavers. The textiles in the state vary from region to region as each has a different craft to offer. Among the villages, Pochampally is the most popular for this craft. Come here for Pochampally’s speciality – hand-woven ikkat saris.

You will need to drive through suburban sprawl and red dust to reach Pochampally, located an hour east of Hyderabad. Smack in the middle of this village is a gated community – a confection of redtiled cottages and landscaped greens – Telangana Tourism’s Rural Tourism Complex. Outside, the weavers’ colony bakes in the sun – a cracked wooden door, a threshold lovingly painted, a worn ikkat curtain fluttering in the breeze. The logo of Pochampally’s weavers’ co-op is an image of a weaver at a loom encircled by these words: ‘Salvation of India lies in cottages.’

THINGS TO SEE AND DO

Pochampally is famed for its ikkat textiles, where the yarn, tie-dyed before weaving, produces jagged geometric patterns. The ikkat saris here come in both cotton and silk – single-ikkat if only the yarn in the weft shuttle is tie-dyed, and double-ikkat if the yarn on the warp is tie-dyed as well. Pochampally’s ikkat tradition is newer than, and the work not quite as refined as, Gujarat’s Patola or Sambalpuri ikkat.

The Rural Tourism Complex here has a weaving museum. The guides are generational weavers from the surrounding villages; they will even demonstrate the weave for you and let you try your hand at it.

Nilotpal Baruah
A weaver making a Pochampally sari, Nalgonda District
A weaver making a Pochampally sari, Nalgonda District

However, don’t expect to buy saris from the homes of the weavers because unlike handicrafts, handloom is rarely, if ever, sold directly. You may find cooperatives that retail a small selection of saris here or a master weaver who is willing to sell a piece or two. Or if you drive to the neighbouring towns, you’re likely to run into a cluster of local textile shops. But it’s in Hyderabad that you will find weaves from every corner of the state, often under the same roof.

WHERE TO STAY AND EAT

At Pochampally, you can spend the night at Telangana Tourism’s Rural Tourism Complex (Cell: 09010264700; Tariff: ₹ 500-900). Hyderabad has hotel options for every budget. You can stay at the Haritha Taramati Baradari (Cell: 09848827102; Tariff: ₹ 1,750-2,091).

When to go Summer is best avoided. Rest of the year is fine Location A town in Nalgonda district of Telangana Air Nearest airport: Hyderabad Rail Nearest rail: Bibinagar

THE INFORMATION

Tourist Offices

Central Reservation Office

Telangana Tourism

NSF Shakar Bhavan

Opp Police Control Room

Basheerbagh, Hyderabad

Tel: 040-29801039-40

Cell: 09848540371

Toll free no: 180042546464

W telanganatourism.gov.in

Tourist Information & Reservation Centre

Telangana Tourism

Tank Bund Road, Hyderabad

Tel: 23450165

Cell: 09848125720

Tourist Information & Reservation Centre

Telangana Tourism

Tourism Plaza

Hyderabad

Tel: 23414334

Cell: 09848306435

Tourist Information & Reservation Centre

Telangana Tourism

Shilparamam (Night Bazaar)

Hyderabad

Tel: 23119557, Cell: 09666578880

Tourist Information & Reservation Centre

Telangana Tourism

BHEL, Opp Hotel Kirthi Mahal

Hyderabad

Tel: 040-64547729, Cell: 09848540374