Benares, also known as Varnasi, is home to the very popular Benarsi sari which is that masterpiece of gold and silver brocade on the finest of fine silks.
Motifs inspired by Moghul art, like foliate motifs and trellis patterns, adorn these saris but the pride is the pallav with the most intricate designing and gold work. The special dying, metal casting techniques, compact weaving and painstakingly intricate hand embroidery along with the choice of the finest of silk and cotton of the Benares sari (which takes anything from 15 days to even 6 months to create), reflects the luxurious weaves of a bygone era. And, like the river on whose banks it is created, the sari carries with it an aura of festivity.
Across cultures and down many generations the Benares, as it is simply known, has found its place in almost every bridal trousseau.
Banarasi saris first appeared around the 17th century, but they actually date back to the 14th century (they really took off during the18th and 19th centuries) This cottage industry has remained more or less the same over the years with almost everyone in the region connected (directly or indirectly) to the handloom silk industry.