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Pipili Town

Pipili is one of the most famous tourist place known for its art and beautiful Appliqué handicrafts. It is a small town near Puri which is said to be the home for the artisans involved in the fabrication of the clothes with verities of the appliqué art work done on it. It is also the centre point while visiting Puri and Konark from the state capital of Bhubaneswar. It is located at a distance of around km from Bhubaneswar, around km from Konark and around km from Puri. The small town of Pipili is believed to be named after a famous Muslim saint Pir Palli, who resided at the Pipili one upon a time.

There are several shops on the main road that connects the Puri with Bhubaneswar, involved in selling the Appliqué work products and the tourists that visit Puri and other nearby places of it buy these products from these shops. These appliqué work are very famous all over the globe and the tourists that visit Puri from all parts of the world do not miss to visit Pipili just because of these appliqué art products. The people of Pipili are involved in these appliqué since generations and the best part about it is that every member of the family of the houses involved in this creative work takes active participation. This appliqué work is the only source of income for the people of Pipili. The appliqué work done at Pipili is known as the 'Chandua' which is a process of patching the cloth designs. By using the appliqué craft these colorful designs are specially made and this appliqué art form is said to be the synonym for the Pipili. Shamianas, canopies, lamp shaded, fans and umbrellas are made by applying the Appliqué process and these are widely used during the festivities.

Religious Harmony in Pipili

Pipili is also a location of communal harmony and secular affinity where Hindus and Muslims altogether participate in selling and crafting the appliqué craft work designs. The village near the Pipili town demonstrates the strong participation of the men as well as the women, in the production of appliqué work. The best part of this art is that all the women involved in this art gather together and form groups and sit under the common shed and work with unity. The shops on the main road are decorated w dazzling appliqué are and this attracts several tourist passing through. Just at the rear end of the main road these families of artisans stay in a very typical rural setting. The months of November and December are said to be the best months for the sale of these appliqués made here as the tourists visit the places of Puri and Konark in these months only.

History of Famous Craft Work of Pipili

In earlier days the designs which were done on the clothes as the form of appliqué work used to incorporate the elements of the gods and nature, which now has transformed to the geometric patterns which are used in the modern designs of today. Previously the craftsmen used to make banners, umbrellas, canopies, fans foe the festivities that used to take place at the famous Lord Jagannath Temple of Puri. The craftsmen were engaged by the kings of Puri in the service of Lord Jagannath and also allotted them a village where they can stay peacefully and work. These were some of the most skilled workers experienced in the designing of the canvas cloth which is used to the chariots of the deities of the Jagannath temple of Puri. Four basic colors – black, red, yellow and white were the most used in the art form to produce a striking effect. These art forms were very much patronized in temples and other religious institutions. It is believed that the encouragement for theses art forms were mainly religious in nature.

Present Day Scenario of Pipili

For the village folks of Pipili the only major source of livelihood are the Appliqué work of Art. Mostly in the houses of Pipili all the family members are involved in this craft. The well skilled people of the family get involved in designing the stunning intricate where as the less skilled ones of the family get involved into the stitching and preparation of the base cloth pieces. The hand stitching is basically done by the women and machine stitching along with the finishing is done by the men who are experienced and skilled enough. The growing tourist market is the main reason for the increased manufacturing of these art products. At the time of Dola Jatra of Puri the traditional appliqué work, Adhoni, Chhati, Chandua, Bana, Adhoni, Alata, Mandant and Trasa are the mostly used ones. The appliqué work of Pipili has a deep connection with that of the Jagannath temple of Puri especially at the time of the religious ceremonies of Lord Jagannath. Jagannath culture is said to be at the base of these art forms and hence these art forms were also patronized by nobility and kings Orissa there was a time when these art forms were at the highest peak of excellence.

Other products also started getting involved as the art form evolved over a period of time and these were then manufactured for the domestic uses as well. Pasa-Pali and Batua wre the two famous products of the appliqué work that were used for the domestic use. Batua was the special type of bag prepared to carry betel leaf as betel is commonly chewed in Orissa. It was very much popular among the tourists visiting from the Eastern parts of the country. The Pasa Pali or the dice-mat is also one of the famous ancient appliqué work products sold at that time. Now-a-days these products are being replaced from the main menu of appliqué art. The products which are mostly in demand by the tourists are the lamp sheds, cushion covers, wall hangings, letter bags and the garden umbrellas are now prepared. The huge canopy on top of Lord Jagannath is the best example of an endure appliqué work of Pipili. By the word of mouth spread through the pilgrims that visit Puri has led to spread the popularity of the craft's and thus the craftsmen started preparing several other utility items in sync with the modern day requirements like cushion covers, handbags, lampshades etc.

With a  touch of a little modernity the garments of varied designs are also made at Pipili, with the craft work although it is used in several religious occasions. Ladies item like blouse, handbags, frock and the purses etc are some of the products which are demanded all around the year. Huge screens with an appliqué art touch are also in demand and are being made depicting several characters from the religious myth and are used in interior designs or decorating the houses. The wall hangings with the design of Jagannath and the face of it being outlined with a variety of chain stitch are also some of the very famous craft works done at the town of Pipili.

Pipili Town near Puri

The ‘chhatti’ is yet another most famous art work which is believed to be a contemporary version of ceremonial umbrella which consists of two cloth covers, one at the interior and is ornamented with patchwork along with the appliqué art work, and the other one on the outside of it. During one of the most famous events of the Jagannath temple, the Chandan yatra, the entire procession, comes out covering and displaying the deities along with the ‘chattris’, the umbrellas designed of the appliqué work. 

Food and Festivals of Pipili

Pipili witnesses the followers of various religions Hindus and Muslims the calendar here lists a wide range of celebrations. Both the communities take active participation in each other's celebrations and festivals. Dussehra, Eid, Rath Yatra are some of the major festivals which are observed with equal enthusiasm. Rice being the favored food of the entire state is also taken with immense pleasure along with the lentils and simple preparations of vegetables at Pipili.

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