Hit the road
A journey to explore the craft of western region of Madhya Pradesh is nothing less than expedition to search for a treasure. This time we had organized craft tour for Dr. Jayashree Chaudhuri who is an eye specialist by profession and artist by passion. This time in our craft tour list was to visit Tarapur village a hub of hand block printing.
Our journey starts from Indore on 24th January by road via Ujjain to explore the treasure of Ummedpura-Tarapur village situated on the banks of river Ghambhiri. It is a very tiny village of Neemuch district of Madhya Pradesh located at 350 kilometers from Indore.
When you visit Malwa region of Madhya Pradesh its delicious food is one of the attraction apart from craft and culture. We enjoyed famous street side sweet corn of Saver town while heading towards Tarapur via Ujjain.
Dr. Jayashree Chaudhury enjoying sweet corn
We reached Ummedpura-Tarapur a twin village in the evening while exploring various picturesque spots during the journey.
Pious Shivna River
Tarapur: A lost craft village
Ummedpura-Tarapur is situated on the banks of Ghambhiri river once known for 400 years old Nandana hand block printing. Nandana is the traditional hand block printing technique only practiced in this village by 100 families of "Chhippa Community" belongs to the lineage of "Sant Namdev" who as a devotee saint of 12th century tailor by profession. Some 10 years ago 98 families involved in this rare craft of hand block printing stopped production due to increase in cost and lack of marketing.
Today only 2 families left in the production of hand block printing and 4 years ago they also left the production of Nandana as they were not getting orders for it. Today both the families are involved in Alizarin hand block printing a kind of direct & mordant based technique, Dabu hand block printing a kind of resist technique and Tarapur hand block printing which is a combination of alizarin and dabu hand block printing.
EcoFab is working with one of the family led by Shri Banwari & Pawan Jhariya belongs to the 6th generation of chhippa community involved in hand block printing and dyeing. While working with Jhariya brothers (Banwari & Pawan Jhariya) we have again revived the "Nandana" hand block printing.
Visit to Tarapur
On the first day we reached Tarapur in the evening the journey we started from Indore. There are 3 options available with visitors to stay:
1. Home stay: On nominal payment basis one can stay at factory with minimal facilities available in a village environment.
2. Stay at Jawad: A hotel with decent facilities situated in Jawad a small town 5 kilometers away from Tarapur.
3. Stay at Neemuch: There are various hotels available in Neemuch a district place 30 kilometers away from Tarapur, ranging from Cheap, Budget and Comfort hotels.
Jayashree didi preferred home stay to feel the rural life and to gain the maximum information about the craft.
Dr. Jayashree with Master craftsman Banwari Jhariya
Stay, learn & co-create
Craft tour is not all about fun but also to stay with craftsman to see their work, learn about their tradition and if you are an artist its an opportunity to co-create.
Being a passionate artist herself Dr. Jayashree grab this opportunity to design the sarees as per her choice and imagination. Due to her artistic mind and knowledge about the craft master craftsman Pawan Jhariya asked me "दीदी वाकई डॉक्टर हैं या डिज़ाइनर हैं!" (Is she actually a doctor or designer!). On this comment Dr. Jayashree laughed a lot and said its the best compliment I have ever got and an honor when it comes from a born craftsman himself.
We stayed in Tarapur for 3 days and it was full of fun, learning about different hand block printing techniques practiced by Jhariya brothers and co-creation. Dr. Jayashree also documented the story of Nandana hand block printing. She also visited "Sukhanand" a serene and pious place 12 kilometers away from Tarapur.
On 3rd day we decided to leave Tarapur though Dr. Jayashree wanted to stay for few more days but her pre-scheduled work forced her to leave for Indore and then West Bengal where she lives and practice as an eye surgeon.
Last but not the least, on the last day of our stay we had one of the yummiest local rural food known as "Khanto Khichado" (Sour fried buttermilk & sweet khichadi). Sweet khichadi is made from jaggery and wheat. It was one of the best treat one can have on 26th January the day when India got its constitution.
If you are interested in exploring craft tour organized by EcoFab can contact us via email firstname.lastname@example.org or can whatsapp or call at 9993091955