'I can only note that the past is beautiful because one never realises an emotion at the time. It expands later, and thus we don't have complete emotions about the present, only about the past.' — Virginia Woolf.
Every time we read this quote, more and more we believe it was written about a craft. Nothing shows more emotions than a form of art with no words written on it. Something so divine, it's hard to put in words. Mesmerising in the core. We all know the moment before enlightenment is called bliss. The ideal happiness, great joy, and all serene sensation. We believe the weavers of the initial era felt identical when they were weaving cloth for gods. The mystical stories of Kanchipuram are no less than any magical adventure tale.
The Era Of A flourishing Weaving Industry
The origin of Kanjivaram sarees can be traced back to Hindu mythology. It is said that the Kanjivaram Weavers are the descendants of Sage Markandeya, who, aeons ago, worshipped lord Shiva and wove cloths from lotus fibre for the deities themselves. Throughout yore, this grandeur weaving practice blossomed in view of the fact that royal patronage, from the seventh century the town grew in prominence under the rule of the Pallava dynasty. Kanchipuram was their capital from the 6th century CE onwards. It had well laid out roads, high fortifications and prominent buildings, which attracted visitors from around the world and boosted the weaving industry.
The evolution of Kanjivaram silk from local craftwork to an enormous prosperous endeavour occurred in the reign of Krishna Deva Raya, the ruler of the Vijayanagara Empire. During his reign, the weaving clusters of Andhra Pradesh, the Devangas and Saligars, migrated to the south and settled in various regions of the empire. This wave of migration of weavers signified the old silk tradition of Kanjivaram was infused with new skills, new patterns, and techniques, taking the industry to new extremes.
Kanchipuram in Tamil Nadu has been one of the oldest and most eminent weaving centres of India for more than 1.5 Centenaries. This famous silk sarees craft of Kanchipuram are treasured for their rich and varied motifs. Kanchipuram is mentioned in the books of the Sanskrit grammarian Patanjali who lived in the 3rd – 2nd century BC. Chinese monk Hiuen Tsang visited Kancheepuram during the reign of Pallava King Narasimhavarman I in the 7th century CE. He mentions an enormous number of Hindu, Buddhist, and Jain temples as well as a flourishing weaving industry.