Mata ni Pachedi

(Note: This is a special post created for ahmedabad4whc facebook group and its not a regular post of this blog)

Mata ni Pachedi (Cloth of Mother Goddess) – A rectangular piece of fabric offered to the goddess. The fabric is offered in the temples when any wish is fulfilled by the blessing of the deity.

More information about Mata Ni Pachedi can be obtained from House of MG documentation or the Kalamkari Blog. I am not going to repeat the finer details that are very well explained in these links.

1.  Sanjay Manubhai Chitara and his brother Vasant Manubhai Chitara are only a few families (5 to be precise of the same clan) that are carrying on this 300 year old tradition of painting clothes. Seen here Sanjay and Vasant Manubhai filling colors to the design.

2.  As this craft is preserved by the family system, it is necessary that each member of the family knows the craft well.  Wife of Sanjay Manubhai filling the colors to the same design.

3.  Don’t you expect the children of such families learning the craft at a very young age? Sumit, the six year son of Sanjay bhai is all focused on filling color to the design while his mother looks at his budding skill affectionately.

4.  He is the new face of the family (still unnamed). The parents are very hopeful that these two kids will carry on the family tradition of making mata ni pachedi.

5.  Traditionally, the pachedi was made in just three colours –  white, black and deep red.  Still the colors used for temples are the same but they are now made by block prints (and not hand printed). The price for these cloths starts from Rs 200. Seen here a block printed mata ni pachedi used for temple offerings.

6. The art is no longer limited to the temples, as most of the costly and finer hand made mata ni pachedi’s are purchased by art connoisseurs to be used as decoration for their drawing rooms / offices. For these creations, the colour range has gradually expanded to include orange, yellow, indigo, grey and pink. These hand printed designs sell from Rs 10,000 to Rs. 30, 000 (with marketing support from NID/NIFT/craftsmelas) depending on the cloth size and intricacies of the design. Seen here a large hand printed design along with a small one (Sells at Rs 400).

7.  As the big designs are costly people ask for hand printed smaller designs. Seen here a small design that sells at Rs 100.

8.  They have diversified to make hand printed silk stoles which sell at around Rs  1000. These stoles do not carry the image of goddess.

9.  They are felicitated with the National Award – Sanjay Manubhai Chitara in 2000, his brother Vasant in 2001 and their parents Manubhai Chunilal and Manjuben Manubhai jointly in 2004.  Sanjay Manubhai thinks that had there been support to provide the basic infrastructure required for mata ni pachedi (Table, blocks etc) along with marketing, other families would not have left this work.  He talks about a special government project aimed to revive mata ni pachedi as a art, but was never implemented.

This family has now build a new beautiful house. The market for these products is increasing and hope they continue to cash in on the rare art expertise they possess. Leaving you with a family picture. Hope every craft family can be so happy 🙂

Locate the Craftsmen here

Like This!


Night Heritage Walk – Mangaldas ni Haveli

Timing: 10 PM to 11 PM

Place: Starts from Mangaldas in Haveli, Lakha Patel ni Pol, Manek Chowk. (The owners of House of MG)

Fee: Rs 50 increased to Rs 200, I am told (Cards not accepted)

I had heard about this walk since a long time and wanted to go for  it. I was told that this walk introduces the night life of Ahmedabad. There is another walk that happens daily in the morning, which introduces the architectural heritage of Ahmedabad (More info in my earlier post).

Well, this walk also tried to attempt all that the morning heritage walk does during the day time. But the problem during night is, it is very difficult to appreciate architectural heritage due to low light conditions.

The routes of morning and night heritage walk are mostly separate and only merges towards the end.

1. Mangaldas ni Haveli (The Bunglow of Mangaldas) is around two hundred years old and has been renovated recently.

2. This place has been opened for tourists and has a cafe and a shop that sells ethnic Gujarati stuff.

3. The houses built during those periods used wood brought from Burma. It seems they are really long lasting.

4. The walk starts to show the kind of architecture which is unique of Ahmedabad, described in detail in my earlier post. This is an entrance of a Pol (like a small colony) during night. The structure above the entrance was used as a security cabin.

5. The guide used a torch to show the architectural details.

6. Another house that has used wood from Burma.

7. A Carving on a pillar on one of the houses.

8. The guide explaining “Ol” , A typical market where the owners live above the shop situated on the ground floor.

9. Khestrapal Temple statue. It is claimed that this statue is made from butter with an outer covering of silver foil. Since the last 200 years this statue has not melted.

10. The gate of Badshah-no-Hajiro , the tomb of Badshah Ahmed Shah, the founder of Ahmedabad. Earlier in the walled city drums were played during night to signal closing of the gates. A family whose forefathers guarded the walled city still lives here (The place above the board of Badshah-ka-Hajira in the pic) and plays the music at 11 PM everyday…. A tradition kept alive for 600 years.

You can listen to a short audio clip here of the drums.

11. The masoleum light at the Badshah-no-Hajiro.

12. The walk ends at Jumma Masjid, reflections of lights in the pool at night.

13. This is very close to Manek Chowk eateries. They remain open till 2 AM in the morning. I was so involved in eating that I forgot to take a pic of this location ;). So will update it next time.

Overall, this walk is not as good as the morning heritage walk which i will highly recommend as compared to this one. But if you think you can never be able to get up so early in the morning or  you are generally busy during mornings, this is a good option.

Happy Travelling 🙂