Gajendragad is the epicenter of weaving in Karnataka. This small town is an old Chalukya dynasty site and was once the center of the Vijayanagara Empire.
Gajendragad, a town around 450 kilometers away from Bengaluru, was historically a hub of handloom production. Handloom weaving in this town can be traced back to the 10th century.
This hub is known for weaving the handloom cotton sari from north Karnataka, the Patteda Anchu. With a plain border and tiny checks, Patteda Anchu has two pallus in different colors. It is known for the thickness of the weave and is reversible. While the basic pattern of the sari has remained as a simple coarse cotton weave with a broad border, its colors have evolved beyond the original red and mustard.
The handloom weavers of Gajendragad have their own Goddess of weaving in Bhimamma. There are temples in Gadag district, where the priests are married women. Here, the offering to the God is always a cotton sari and the prasad (take away for the devotees) given is a bundle of yarn. We hope that the Goddess is benign and turns handloom cotton into the fabric of the future.