The intricacies of the workmanship are so grand that as many as 120 knots per square inch were woven to create the carpets — amounting to over 600 million knots approximately in total. NEW DELHI: At least 900 master craftsmen from two villages in Uttar Pradesh — Bhadohi and Mirzapur — worked for about 18 months and hand-knotted carpets to adorn the new Parliament building, which was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday. They crafted 158 carpets for Lok Sabha and 156 for the Upper House before stitching them into a single carpet in the form of a semi-circle to sync with the architecture of both Houses covering an area of 35,000 square feet (sqft).
The intricacies of the workmanship are so grand that as many as 120 knots per square inch were woven to create the carpets — amounting to over 600 million knots approximately in total. While the carpets in Lok Sabha have the most intricate motifs of the peacock — symbolising India’s national bird, the rugs in Rajya Sabha showcase the exquisite motifs of the national flower — the lotus. Their colour has been primarily inspired by the shade of Kokum Red. These carpets, adorned with meticulously crafted patterns and embellished with 20-25 shades, stand as a testament to India’s unparalleled artistry.
The shade of floor covering in the Lok Sabha is based on Indian agave green, with inspiration from the plumes of the Indian peacock. Rudra Chatterjee, Chairman of Obeetee Carpets, the company which had prepared the carpets, said that the mammoth exercise to create the magnificent carpets for Parliament took over a year and a half. “We began the project in 2020 right in the middle of the pandemic. The weaving process started by September 2021 and it was over by May 2022, and the installation commenced in November 2022. Crafting each carpet with a high density of 120 knots per square inch took approximately seven months.
Being entrusted with the Central Vista project is an incredible honour for us at Obeetee,” he said. The workers spent a whopping 10 lakh man-hours, Chatterjee said. The craftsmen hailing from Bhadohi and Mirzapur are carrying on a legacy dating to Mughal Emperor Akbar. As the legend goes, Akbar had an exceptional fondness for carpets so he decided to bring the finest Persian artists and weavers to India.
During that journey, when they reached Gopiganj, a small town in modern Uttar Pradesh, their caravan was attacked by bandits. The weavers who survived that onslaught took shelter in villages around that area, this making Mirzapur famous for carpet weaving. “The carpet designs were conceived with great reverence for the halls, exuding intricate artistry, vibrant colours, and subtle elegance. Crafted at Obeetee’s own factory headquarters in Mirzapur, the manufacturing procedure was a tedious process as the weavers had to craft the carpets for halls measuring up to 17,500 square feet each,” Chatterjee added.
Obeetee was founded around 103 years ago by three British entrepreneurs, soon after World War 1 — the name of the company resembles the initials of their three names. Carrying on Akbar legacy The craftsmen from Bhadohi and Mirzapur are carrying on a legacy dating to Emperor Akbar. As the legend goes, Akbar had fondness for carpets so he decided to bring the finest Persian artists, and weavers to India. (THE NEW INDIAN EXPRESS)