Chhattisgarh as it is known today was separated from the state of Madhya Pradesh in November 2000. The name ‘Chhattisgarh’ derives from the word, chedisgarh, that means Raj or ‘Empire of the Chedis’ of the Kalchuri Dynasty of 980 AD. Though the state is fast developing, it is still filled with natural landscapes and archaeological sites, picturesque hills, caves, waterfalls, hot springs and the Eastern Highlands Forest. The 1st century stone inscriptions of Damau dhara have been preserved to this day.
The state is also committed to the preservation of a diverse array of traditional arts and crafts. From ancient literature, the folk dances of various ethnic communities, the lyrical Pandavani form of theatre, film industry of Chhollywood, to the traditional silk production and saree weaving, Chhattisgarh showcases the artistic talents and exquisite craftsmanship of its people.
Apart from the steel and electricity of its industrial sector, jewellery and handicrafts contribute much of Chhattisgarh’s development. Jewellery produced in Chhattisgarh, both in older times and today, uses a mixture of metals including gold, silver and bronze.
Chandrapur, situated in the district of Janjgir-Champa, is the centre of highly regarded Tussar – also known as Kosa – silk weaving and Kosa saree production. Practically all families in Chandrapur have been traditional weavers of Kosa silk sarees for generations, from the initial stage of collecting cocoons until the final stages of production and distribution.
Kosa silk sarees are known worldwide for their soft, fine and pure texture, exclusively produced in India. Interestingly, craftsmen of Kosa silk sarees from Chhattisgarh will persuade you to burn some threads of the fabric in order to gauge its authenticity – a left-behind residue and an unpleasant smell are indications of authenticity. Today, Kosa – or Tussar – silk is popular for garment making across the UK, Europe, America and the Middle East.