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Summer-Melon Flared-Palazzo Salwar Kameez Suit with Zari-Woven Florals and Motifs

Summer-Melon Flared-Palazzo Salwar Kameez Suit with Zari-Woven Florals and Motifs

This one is a distinctively bridal number. The three-piece Indian salwar-kameez is as revered of a wedding-wear tradition as sarees and lehengas, thanks to the influence of the foreign, northwestern cultures. And it is not simply about the unputdownable colour palette of gold, enhanced by the sheen of the silk fabric, and ultra-feminine peach bordering on pink. The sheer proportion of bling that graces this dress makes this fit to be spotted at a wedding.

Also, the floral motif is an undying bridal statement. Zoom in on the kameez to truly appreciate the intricacy of the embroidery, which is done with zari (gold thread), a style of embroidery that defines traditional Indian fashion. Similar sequined motifs in gold grace the translucent peachy pink dupatta, which matches the hemline of the kameez. The super-flared style of salwar that completes this dress, popularly called the sharara, is what makes this an unusual wedding dress.

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Namaskaram Lord Garuda With Imposing Wings

Namaskaram Lord Garuda With Imposing Wings

The evolution of Lord Garuda in Indian art is an interesting one. As the vahana (mount) of the great Deva Vishnu, He is observed to have been shedding His aquiline characteristics towards a form that is more human than eagle. The sculpture you see on this page has been handpicked for the balance that the artisan has struck up between eagle and human, making for an image that is at once powerful and relatable.


Clad in a loincloth, His shringar comprises of a bunch of snakes (He is considered the archenemy of death, of which the snake is a symbol). In fact, He is called Nagantaka, the devourer of snakes. According to Indian mythology, it stems from the acrimony between His mother, Vinata, and Kadru, Her sister/co-wife and the serpent-queen. He is seated with a knee touching the grand lotus pedestal, His hands folded in all humility in the Namaskaram mudra.
The dark burnished finish on the insides of His wings add to the beauty of His imposing wings. From the macrostructure of the same to the plumage and stance, they have been sculpted with a great deal of skill and imagination, the kind that stems from the heart of the Vishnu devotee. From the raw lines that make up the countenance to the rugged texture of the overall composition, the primal strength of Lord Garuda has been conveyed well in this workl

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Battling the Demons

Battling the Demons

The Shahnama is one of the finest epics from West Asian literature. With the first one having been composed by Abu’l Qasim Firdausi as homage to the fierce Mahmud Of Ghazni, it is a complex interplay of history and lore, the themes explored in which have educated and edified rulers of the medieval and early modern Islamic world. Numerous calligraphers and illustrators have put together their own editions of the Shahnama, each of which is a finer example of the Islamic aesthetic standard than another. This one is a contemporary replica, an embellished Persian miniature, of a page from one of those illustrated manuscripts. Zoom in on different sections of the scene to take in the exquisite workmanship.
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Pearl-White Shawl from Kullu with Kinnauri Woven Triple Border

Pearl-White Shawl from Kullu with Kinnauri Woven Triple Border

Simple and stylish, this is one of those shawls that you set eyes on once and realise is a must-have. Designed to go with practically any outfit, no matter the colour or ethnic appeal, this shawl is made from pure wool to keep you looking fashionable this season. The one-of-a-kind Kinnauri weave has been distributed across three panels along the tasselled edges of this shawl. A work of considerable beauty and skillful labour, the milk-like white of the field is brought out by the select neutrals that have been employed in the weave.
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Devi Mahishasuramardini Contained In A Ring Of Flames

Devi Mahishasuramardini Contained In A Ring Of Flames

Everything that is to be said about Devi Mahishasuramardini (slayer of Mahishasura) is in the mahalaya (maha means ‘great’; laya, tune), a piece of folk music from neighbouring Bengal. It expounds Her primal beauty, set off in turn by Her matchless ferocity. The sculpture you see on this page is a visual of the great laya - in terms of its superb execution of detail, as well as the iconography that is at once rooted and universal.


The primary identifying aspects of the Mahishasuramardini iconography is the Mahishasura (bull-demon) brought to his knees at Her feet. It is a powerful portrayal of adharma’s defeat - She has him by the hair, Her trishool piercing His very being, while the head of his mahisha has rolled off from the body that is dangling by the tail from another of Her hands. The tremors that could be read in his body language are the result of a skill that lends dynamism to even a static form of art.


The typical Nepal-style crown rests upon a brow lined with determination and invincibility. The kundalas from Her ears give way to a garland of severed demon-heads that reaches all the way down to her skirts. She is flanked by Her numberless arms, each bearing a divine weapon (note the damru in one, indicative of Her husband). The entire composition is framed by an aureole from which coils of fire are jutting out into space.

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The Inseparable Radha-Krishna

The Inseparable Radha-Krishna

Radha-Krishna's ardour is well-known to devotees as well as to the not-so-devoted. Their love has a transcendental appeal that has spread across varying times, spaces, and cultures. This superbly framed watercolour by Kailash Raj, India's most well-known contemporary artist, depicts Their respective profiles in twin portraitures. Given the size of each painting, the level of detail will fascinate you every time you gaze into it. So telling are Their respective composures of countenance. Krishna looks straight ahead at His Radha, His brow arched in admiration; while Radha prefers to look at the flower He is holding up to Her, Her gaze resting beneath His, so overcome is she by bashful reserve before Her Lover.

As expressive as the emotional current flowing between them is, this is a watercolour of multifaceted beauty. Krishna's majestic turban, the colour of a field of marigolds in the Indian countryside, has been secured with strings of pearls. The miniscule rubies and emeralds that punctuate the pearls have been painted in with rich, irresistible colours. Krishna's skin has been given the colour of cool twilight, His fingers long and slender, His attire regal. Radha shields Her face with Her bootie-studded dupatta, Her tattooed and bejewelled hands holding it in place against Her flawless skin. Her shringar is elaborate, becoming Her great beauty. Her jet black tresses fall about Her frame, the slender curves of which are revealed rather than concealed by the translucent dupatta. Both have been given classically handsome features by the artist.

Do not miss the frame painted around each profile. Characterised by soft pastels, gold and silver tendrils set off the beauty of the subject. Note how the royal green background is darker in the case of Radha, in harmony with Her fair complexion. Pristine marble railings in the respective foregrounds indicate that the two lovers are enjoying each other's company on a moonlit terrace.

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Traditional Dhoti and Angavastram set for Puja with Golden Thread Weave

Traditional Dhoti and Angavastram set for Puja with Golden Thread Weave

Nothing like pure homegrown silk to fashion a set of ritual-wear from. This exquisite dhoti with angavastram set is bound to become your signature pick for ritual gatherings and rites. Characterised by the unrivalled shimmer of silk and the rich gold thread of the woven border, this ensemble comes in statement-making base pastel variations, each with decidedly auspicious undertones. For when you want to look traditional but do not want to blend in with the herd, this dhoti set would suffice your purpose.
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Gorgeously Draped Lord Vishnu, Canopied By Sheshanaga

Gorgeously Draped Lord Vishnu, Canopied By Sheshanaga

The Lord Vishnu is what comes between creation and destruction. He is responsible for the preservation of what Lord Brahma has created, prior to its destruction by Lord Shiva. In this light, He presides over each cycle of creation, sustains it till it is time for another end and another beginning. No wonder He is one of the most popular entities of the Hindu pantheon, a fountain of inspiration to artists all over the subcontinent.

The art of the South has an inimitable character. The media used in this sculpture is locally grown cedarwood, whose natural creme colour does justice to the divine glory of the subject. His dhoti and angavastram fall upon and around His chaturbhujadhari frame in superbly realistic drapes, which is a distinguishing mark of the workmanship. His bare torso and arms are adorned with a world of shringar, sculpted with crisp attention to detail and symmetry.

The distinguishing aspect of this standing Lord Vishnu sculpture is the presence of Sheshanaga, who raises its five-hooded head above His crown. It is the same naga that He usually makes a bed of, in terms of His more conventional iconography. Note how the pleasant composure of His haloed countenance seems to be offsetting the ferocity of the serpent behind Him.

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Shri Dhanvantari Upasana Yantra (Yantra for Good Health)

Shri Dhanvantari Upasana Yantra (Yantra for Good Health)

This intricate yantra has been designed to inspire good health. An image of the Dhanvantari devta Himself graces one half of the thin copper sheet, as He emerges from the waters in an abundance of foamy spray. His sumptuous shringar, the sacred implements in His hands, and the divinity of His whole stance have been engraved on this painting with considerable skill and precision. Coupled with the right upasana (technique of worship) and personal discipline, this yantra is a powerful precursor to one's general well-being. Apart from the complex series of numbers on this yantra, a variety of motifs add to its aesthetic appeal - kalash, flowers, foliage, and tendril-like curves. The mantra at the bottom reads, "Om namoh bhagavate vasudevay/Dhanvantarye amritkalashahastaya/Sarvabhaya vinashaya trailokyanathay/Mahavishnave svaha".
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Blue-Coral Kashmiri Robe with Ari Embroidered Flowers by Hand

Blue-Coral Kashmiri Robe with Ari Embroidered Flowers by Hand

This statement-making robe is bound to become your second skin. As fashionable as it is functional, it ticks all the boxes on the list of quintessentially Kashmiri aesthetics. Fashioned from the warmest variety of homegrown wool, check. Dyed a deep gorgeous shade of pastel blue, like a lake in the valley reflecting the skies above, check. Luxuriant proportions of the endemic ari embroidery across the field of the dress, check. Drape this over your form such as to layer the front-panels for greater warmth, and hold it in place with the substantial belt at the waist (it comes with a panel of embroidery that matches the one along the edges of the panels).

The Kashmiri artisan's way with crewelwork makes for striking results. From the continuous chain stitches one could observe by zooming in on the motifs to the signature colour palette of natural pastels, ari embroidery is instantaneously recognisable and inimitable. It finds its way into most of the much-coveted produce of the region, from shawls and stoles to jackets and sarees, and is the very picture of Kashmiri aesthetics and traditional elegance. Indeed this one-of-a-kind robe is for those of us for whom glamour is a habit.

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