GULABI MEENAKARI OF VARANASI By Saqlain Akhtar

Gulabi Meenakari is a unique and authentic example of creativity. It is a handmade art, which is very rare to find and hard to learn and practice. Meenakari is a form of glasswork, which involves coloring with metal oxides of silver, gold, copper and zinc. It is considered as the most alluring and technical of all metal decorations. Banaras is a land of artists from all the fields and even Meenakari is one of them. Actually, meenakari was first introduced in the time of Mughals and the one who learnt this art were called meenakars. Meenakari is just not limited to traditional jewelry but also expands into more modern products including bowls, ashtrays, key chains, figures of deities, and decorative showpieces now.

Meenakari in Varanasi is characterized by pink strokes on white enamel and hence it is called Banaras ‘Gulabi’ Meenakari. The art was actually learnt from Persian artisans who visited to Lucknow in 17th century during Mughal era. Involving in meenakari is not so easy as it very important to have artisans being experts with their hands. This art is famous as ‘Banaras Gulabi Meenakari’ because of its style and unique colour combination as well. Artisans use white enamel to make a craft, and then they paint it with the unique combination of pink on white. The meenakari artworks are promoted by government added central cottage industries emporium, Delhi.

It is really a privilege for all of us to have artists who create such wonders with their hands. And they turn beauty into reality and give us an opportunity to be more beautiful. Khoj certainly appreciates being a part of the collaboration with such unique masters. We believe in respecting such legacies of our country and try to promote them in our own little and big ways.