Spice up 2016 with a boutique calendar of images of West Bengal's heritage Baluchari silk sarees celebrating the myth and magic of the 200-year-old craft. Originating in the 18th century in a small
village named Baluchar along the bank of river Bhagirathi in Murshidabad district of Bengal, the hub of the craft later shifted to Bishnupur in Bankura district, the capital of the Malla rulers.
Intricate mythological motifs depicting episodes from the Mahabharata and Ramayana are unique aspects of this style of weaving. It takes at least a week to produce one saree.
To promote and market the exquisite craft for an international audience, NGO FREED worked with photographer Surajit Hari for an exclusive calendar showcasing the designs and varieties. It was launched on January 7.
Bengali actresses Rituparna Sengupta, Koneenica Bandopadhayay and Rachana Banerjee have modelled the sarees for the calendar, said the NGO's secretary Somnath Pyne.
"In addition to generating awareness about the endangered craft, there is a training component to the project to instill skill to the weavers," Pyne said.
Baluchari has been granted Geographical Indicator status in India.