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Taj Khazana: Reviving rare Indian art and craft

It was a celebration of the revival of exquisite Indian weaves for artists and aficionados, corporate leaders and connoisseurs at a unique showcase of the creative talent of Indian artisans and craftspeople.

art and culture Updated: Feb 28, 2012 18:30 IST

It was a celebration of the revival of exquisite Indian weaves for artists and aficionados, corporate leaders and connoisseurs at a unique showcase of the creative talent of Indian artisans and craftspeople.

This was at Taj Khazana, Taj's in-house lifestyle store in its new avatar that features a revival collection of garments, textiles, art forms in paper, metal, wood , marble and iron. The list goes on to linens, bed spreads, furniture and leather as well.

Taj Khazana as a brand started 32 years ago, and the chain of luxury lifestyle stores is currently located in several cities including Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Bangalore, Hyderbad, Chennai and Goa, in various Taj hotels.

"The latest addition is Bekal in Kerala and we may soon have a presence abroad," Sarita Hegde Roy, chief operating officer, Taj Khazana, told IANS. The hand-woven Benarasi sari is a classic example of revival which can take two weeks to make!

The store has supported the revival of several villages of weavers which were being threatened by Chinese power looms. The uniforms worn by the staff of The Taj Group of Hotels including the front office, house keeping staff and the palace collection support these initiatives.

Similarly, a temple in southern India was supported from where sambar powder, chutney, idlis and filter coffee are being sourced.

"Middlemen have been eliminated and the traditional 'paramparik karigar' is at the forefront," says Krishnakumar.

The store showcases a treasure of meticulously hand-woven saris and fabrics accessorised with classic and contemporary jewellery. Crafted silverware, bidri objects d'art, books and lithographs created by master craftsmen and artists from various parts of India are a delight for collectors.

Some of the new collection recreates the feel and richness of princely India with unique works of several master craftsmen. The tables, swings and beds are ornamented with exquisite shimmering gold leaves that are reminiscent of old-Delhi charm.

In another unique initiative, Harper Collins Publishers India and The Taj Mahal Hotel formally launched the book Moda Goa: History and Style by famous designer Wendell Rodricks which showcases the rich tapestry of history of clothing and Goan costumes. In his tribute to Goa, Rodricks stresses the factors that shaped Goa's distinct garments style.

"It was in Goa that the first ever Indo-Western garments evolved," says Rodricks. The reader is taken to the beauty and backwaters of India's tiny golden state based on a research of the history of Goan costume over a decade.

Craft House, the lifestyle store at The Metropolitan Hotel, provides a holistic shopping experience and showcases premium merchandise, manufactured in India by hand picked artisans and master craftsmen.

The range of fresh teas from the tea gardens in Darjeeling and Assam also includes green tea plucked only on a full moon night!

Exquisite jewellery, home spa collection, hand woven shahmina & pashmina shawls, stoles and mufflers are in great demand and make ideal gifts particularly for foreigners visiting India. Following a huge demand, Craft House has opened a branch in Gurgaon as well.