Panipat Looming Large
History, craft and cottage industries come together at this important junction between the Punjab and the Gangetic Plains.
About 100 km from Delhi, in the state of Haryana, is the sprawling industrial city of Panipat, a luminary of the handloom industry in India. Long before one enters the main city, billboards proclaim the presence of the weaving units. Further, up, the main road is flanked by a string of showrooms with local handloom products on display.
Panipat is famous for ‘panja’ durrie a kind of a floor covering, which is in great demand in India and abroad. Originally, it was a traditional item made by village women meant to be a part of daughter’s dowry. But slowly the product came to be recognized beyond Panipat and the growing demand for durries resulted in a burgeoning number of private and state owned weaving units within the city.
The panja durrie is only one of the floor coverings made in Panipat. There are several other kinds of floor covering like large sized handloom durries, chindi or fabric and leather scrap durries, rugs, druggets and carpets. Also made and marketed locally are blankets, khes (the sturdy item used for bed lines) and a vast variety of furnishing fabrics.
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