Udaipur : The shrines of Lord Vishnu and Goddess Mahalaxmi at the famous Jagdish and Laxmi temples here have been adorned with gold and silver embroidered clothes worth rupees 12 lakh this Diwali. In an auspicious muhurat on the Dhanteras day, the shrines were decked up in the expensive attires, crafted by skilled artisans from Kolkata.
“ We did the famous Mewari Danka work in the clothes using pure silver sheets weighing some 10 kilograms” informed Rajendra Kothari, the saree merchant at Maldas street who got the work completed by eight craftsmen from Kolkata. It took one and a half month for the workers to complete the task. “ Mukul Madhav Suhalka, an ardent devotee has made the order while it’s the devotion of the craftsmen that has enabled them to carve out such delicate and intricate embroidery work in velvet” Kothari remarked. Danka work is a 400-year old embroidery craft that has primarily been practiced by Udaipur’s Bohra community.
The ‘danka’ is a small square plate, varied in size, but not bigger than 1.5 cm. Though originally it was made of pure gold, now silver-plated with gold dankas are used. To make the danka, thin, well-finished and polished silver sheets of 98 percent purity are electroplated in gold in strips of 30 cm X 2.5 cm. These are washed in water and polished with fine sand. Then the strips are cut into 1.5 cm squares and the squares hammered with a stone implement till they resemble the tip of an ice cream cone. The cost of the Danka work is calculated according to its weight. This decorative technique is usually worked on fabrics like satin, chiffon, silk and velvet.