Article | Blog | Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, Ministry of Culture, Government of India


Deendayal Hastkala Sankul – A Trade Centre and Museum

By : Deendayal Hastkala Sankul – A Trade Centre and Museum

March 10, 2022

India over the years has become one of the leading producers and manufacturers of textiles. The importance of textiles dates to olden India where local artisans and craftsmen had prominent places in the courts under the patronage of various dynasties and they played an integral part in the promotion of art and culture during the time of a ruler. However, they lost their status and patronage during the rule of the British East India Company. In order to rectify this, the Government has put into place several schemes and policies to ensure the preservation and promotion of these artisans and weavers as they continue the cultural legacies.

In 2014, Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone of an ingenious institution – Deendayal Hastkala Sankul at Badalalpur, Varanasi. The state-of-the-art institution is a careful amalgamation of a trade center and a museum, ideated by the Ministry of Textiles, to support the handloom and handicraft sectors of the region. This initiative aims towards providing a dais for the enhancement of trade, offering impetus to domestic and international buyers, and exhibiting and preserving the handloom and handicraft heritage of Varanasi and the regions around it.

One of the oldest living cities, Varanasi is a treasure trove of art, culture, traditions, and heritage. Known for its mesmerizing ghats and temples, the city offers a multitude of diversity when it comes to handicrafts. Banarasi sarees, brassware, ivory carvings, wooden crafts, and much more attractive people from all over the world visit this city. Owing to this recognition, the Deendayal Hastkala Sankul has been set up here to offer a stage for these local artisans and craftsmen to practice. The facility has its own fully equipped workshop area for the artisans to work and interact with each other and develop a wide network in the community.

The in-house museum of this center has an enthralling display of crafts and textiles that showcase the rich tradition of Varanasi by engaging its visitors. The museum also preserves the rare and finest examples of Varanasi crafts as a reference source for the development of Indian crafts. Divided into four galleries – TanaBana and Handloom Gallery, Carpet Gallery, Handicraft Gallery, and Art Gallery, the museum has aesthetically curated exhibitions to amplify the artifacts.

  • TanaBana and Handloom Gallery: The major collection of the museum is dedicated to textile and handlooms. This gallery has on display 41 varieties of weaving methods in handlooms.
  • Carpet Gallery: The display in this gallery is dedicated to the intricate art of carpet making and to the artisans. The gallery is designed in such a manner that it encompasses topics such as the history of carpets in India, making techniques, source of raw materials, and so on. It is a one-stop destination for artists, tourists, and textile enthusiasts who wish to know more about carpet weaving and its history.
  • Handicraft Gallery: The gallery is on the first floor of the building along with the handloom and carpet gallery. The display here is mesmerizing for the visitors with 425 artifacts (ivory carvings, wooden objects, brassware) on display showcasing the rich handicrafts of the region.
  • Art Gallery: The art gallery of the museum has a beautifully curated display of paintings and artworks. The spacious environment allows the visitors to observe and appreciate the collections.
Tana Bana and Handloom Gallery
Carpet Gallery
Handicraft Gallery
Art Gallery

After inaugurating it on 22nd December 2016, the Prime Minister, on 22nd September 2017, visited it and dedicated this facility to the nation with a vision to encourage people to visit the center and further amplify tourism in the region. He emphasized on the positive impact that Deendayal Hastkala Sankul would have on the lives of the artisans and weavers and further inspire future generations to carry on the legacy. On 22nd January 2019, the Prime Minister inaugurated 55 outlets as Centers of Excellence within the complex. This initiative is a milestone achievement towards the development of Indian handicrafts and handlooms and a necessary step towards reviving the art and cultural heritage of India.

Learn more about Deendayal Hastkala Sankul.