Odisha’s Gopalpur Tussar Silk Fabrics – Famous GI Tag Tussar

Odisha’s Gopalpur Tussar Silk Fabrics – Famous GI Tag Tussar

Odisha’s Jajpur district is a heritage district and Gopalpur Tussar Silk which has a GI tag is an important part of its rich heritage. Tussar silk is the cultural heritage of Jajpur.

Odisha’s Gopalpur Tussar Silk Fabrics – Famous GI Tag Tussar

India’s bond with silk dates back to the Vedic times and beyond. India is home to an exhilarating array of silk fabrics and Gopalpur Tussar Silk is one of them. The name, Gopalpur is ubiquitous when it comes to Odisha, and the Gopalpur that is at the centre of Tussar Silk weaving is located in the historic Jajpur district of the state.

Jajpur in Odisha is a veritable hub of arts and crafts besides being a rich repository of heritage and culture. The district is home to thousands of weavers, craftsmen, and performing artists. Its kaleidoscopic talent has grabbed the attention of UNESCO. Jajpur was the only Indian city that participated in a global workshop organized by UNESCO Creative Cities Network, and Jajpur also hosted the International Craft Summit which saw the active involvement of 4 UN agencies along with 5 UNESCO Creative cities.

Gopalpur Tussar Silk is the pride of Jajpur, Odisha, and India, and it brings into vibrant life the rich heritage, craft, and culture of India. Gopalpur Tussar silk is the cultural heritage of Jajpur.

Jajpur was the ancient capital of Odisha. With its existing assets of religious tourism, urban tourism and Buddhist tourism it has the potential to be a major tourist hub. The cultural heritage of Jajpur is reflected in its vibrant art forms – Naveen Patnaik, Odisha Chief Minister

Gopalpur Tussar Silk – A Silken Saga

Odisha’s Gopalpur Tussar Silk Fabrics – Famous GI Tag Tussar

Silk is believed to have been introduced to India by the Chinese, and the ancient Silk Road remains a watershed in world history. Different varieties of silk fabrics evolved over time across India, and many of them became synonymous with the places in which they were woven.

Religious rituals, weddings, and other social gatherings were incomplete without the exquisite presence of silk. Some of the well-known silk centres were  Varanasi in the north, Kanchipuram, Mysore, and Bangalore in the south, among many others spread across the country.

Over the years Gopalpur village in Jajpur district wove its place into the limelight with its hand-reeled yarns and earned its place in the sun. In 2009, Gopalpur Tussar Fabrics got a GI (Geographical Index) tag from the Government of India.

Gopalpur Tussar Silk History

Gopalpur Tussar Weaver
Gopalpur Tussar Weaver

The history of Gopalpur Tussar silk is intricately woven with the saga of the Gopalpur Tussar Weavers. In Gopalpur weaving is both a tradition and a means of livelihood. Weaving came to Gopalpur along with the devotional music and dance of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu in the 15th century.

Chaitanya Mahaprabhu
Chaitanya Mahaprabhu

The historic Jagannath Temple of Puri was what drew the saint to Odisha, and like a pied piper, he drew thousands of ardent devotees with him. Among his followers were many from the Burdwan region of what is now West Bengal.

When Chaitanya Mahaprabhu returned, some of his followers who were weavers from the Burdwan region decided to stay back and settled in Gopalpur. They were traditionally cotton weavers, and for centuries they spun their lives and livelihoods with cotton. The Jajpur Weavers’ Village of Gopalpur was quite literally struck with a bolt from the blue in the form of a cyclone in the year 1972. The cyclone left a path of destruction in its aftermath, the looms of the weavers were destroyed and their dreams lay shattered.

But as they say, fate works in strange ways and the weavers of Gopalpur took to the “Silk Route,” moving to silk weaving, and the rest is of course history.

Visiting Gopalpur Village – Connecting With Gopalpur Tussar Fabrics

Visiting Gopalpur Village in Jajpur District
Visiting Gopalpur Village in Jajpur District

When we were in Jajpur, Odisha, it was our privilege to visit Gopalpur, a weaving village of Odisha and interact with the weavers. Though Gopalpur Tussar Fabric of Odisha, has brought the village into the limelight, we realized that there is so much more to Gopalpur than just Tussar. We spent a couple of hours walking in the village and visiting a few weaving facilities.

Gopalpur is a complete arts and crafts village in Odisha. There is art at every bend in the road, and there seems to be music everywhere, in the hurried footsteps of a villager, the laughter of kids, and bells hanging around the necks of cows.

Beautifully crafted pots with sacred Tulsi plants
Beautifully crafted pots with sacred Tulsi plants

Each of the around 700 households of the village which is now part of the Prathamakhandi Panchayat, is engaged in some or the other art or craft. The walls of the houses are gaily decorated, many have wedding wishes artistically painted, and many also have beautifully crafted pots with sacred Tulsi plants.

Culture And Heritage In Jajpur District

You will find women, dressed in sarees of vibrant colours working on the looms, weaving magic with their fingers.

Gopalpur Tussar Weavers
Gopalpur Tussar Weavers

Though we did find men working on the looms, the women outnumbered them by far.

Gopalpur Craft – What Is Tussar Silk?

Gopalpur Craft - Tussar Silk
The Sarpanch of Gopalpur explaining the process of the making of Gopalpur Tussar Silk Fabrics

Tussar Silk is also sometimes referred to as, “Wild Silk.” The reason for this is that this silk is obtained from the cocoons of a species of silkworms that feed on the leaves of trees that grow in the wild. These are trees like Arjun or Terminalia Arjuna, Sal or Shorea robusta Gaertn, and Saj or Terminalia Elliptica.

A unique aspect of Tussar Silk is its matte texture and its golden shade which gives it an attractive lustre.

Transforming Cocoons Into Fashion Statements

Gopalpur cocoons

When you look at the cocoons of the silkworms, it is hard to imagine that the exquisite sarees and other apparel that embellish shops and emporia across the country have originated from them. However, the journey from fibre to cloth is an interesting one.

Gopalpur cocoons

The raw material for Gopalpur Tussar Silk is the wild Tussar Silk cocoons. The forests in the area are rich sources of cocoons. The village of Sukinda at a distance of about 58 kilometres from Gopalpur has traditionally been a major sericulture centre, known for its Sukinda Ecorace breed of silkworms.

However, over time the yields of Sukinda Ecorace have dwindled. and this indigenous is being replaced by another substitute called Daba TV. However, it is heartening to note that the District Administration has joined hands with the Sukinda Chrome Mine, a unit of Tata Steel to revive and conserve Sukinda Ecorace. The Sukinda Sericulture farm is being transformed into a world-class centre, spread over a massive area of 298 hectares.

The Sarpanch of Gopalpur village, himself, explained the process of Tussar Silk weaving to us. He showed us different types of cocoons which, depending on the quality of fibre were used to produce different qualities of silk yarn, and finally silk sarees or other apparel.

Fibre from which Tussar silk is made in Gopalpur

The cocoons which are initially hard are softened by boiling in water and then the silk is extracted manually by the womenfolk and tied in short bundles. The Tussar Silk that is extracted from cocoons that are broken is known as Ghicha and from this are made the famous Ghicha Sarees.

Coloured yarn at Gopalpur

The silk that is extracted from the cocoons is rolled into small circular bundles, so that they do not get entangled, or knotted. The yarn then goes through a tie-and-dye process of colouring before it gets onto the handlooms. The weavers of Gopalpur then hand-reel the yarn. This is then tied and dyed to form the temple borders of the saree.

The loom is then arranged for the process of weaving yarn into cloth. This includes warping and wefting which is locally known as Tana and Bana. Warping or Tana is the process of arranging the yarn lengthwise on the loom, while wefting is the process of arranging the yarn breadthwise.

The Gopalpur cluster is known for weaving Tussar silk sarees having beautiful and intricate weft patterns in the Pallu (The loose end of the saree which is draped over the shoulder)

Hand Spun Yarns at Gopalpur
Hand Spun Yarns at Gopalpur

After this the dexterous hands and feet of the weaver take over, they move in synchronous and precise movements to weave the yarn into sarees, dupattas, dress material, and much more.

Gopalpur Craft
Art and Craft in Gopalpur Village, Jajpur District, Odisha

The Gopalpur sarees and other apparel are completely handmade and involve a lot of labour. The final products are the labour of love of its men and women. The story of Tussar silk which begins as a cocoon in Gopalpur is spun into a magical tale and ends up as a finished product which adds sheen to weddings, ramp walks, glitzy malls, and other occasions of celebration.

Gopalpur Tussar Sarees – Weaves Of Fantasy

Gopalpur Tussar Silk Sarees
Gopalpur Tussar Silk Sarees

Silk sarees are the stuff that dreams are made of for Indian women. No celebration, be it a wedding or a religious function is complete with the glittering presence of Silk sarees. Gopalpur Tussar Silk fabrics are well known and much in demand, but as expected, it is the Tussar Silk Sarees of Gopalpur that hog the limelight.

Gopalpur Tussar Sarees
Gopalpur Tussar Sarees

These sarees are cheaper as compared to other silk sarees, but have the same grandeur and exquisite finish. They truly reflect the rich culture and heritage of India in silk.

Gopalpur silk fabrics have a lovely, matter lustre that spells elegance. Most of the Gopalpur Tussar sarees have borders that are inspired by the temples of the region.

Gopalpur Tussar Dolabedi Sarees are well known and are an innovation of Gopalpur weavers. The design of the saree includes motifs with the shape of a small house, known as, “Dolabedi .” Inside this, “Dolabedi,” are placed motifs from nature, like flowers, birds, and so on. The making of a Dolabedi saree requires intensive labour and precision work, and a special wefting technique that the weavers of Gopalpur are experts at.

Gopalpur Tussar Fabrics
Gopalpur Tussar Fabrics

If you want to script your dream with yarn spun in Gopalpur, you can buy Gopalpur Tussar Sarees online from anywhere, but the best place to buy them is from the Gopalpur Tussar Saree manufacturers, i.e. from the weavers themselves thereby promoting Rural livelihoods and sustainable tourism.

Buy Tussar Silk in Jajpur

Not only Tussar silk sarees, but you can also directly buy from these weavers, Tussar Kurtas, Stoles, Shawls, Dress Materials etc and boost Gopalpur Tourism. If you wish to buy, you may connect with Gopalpur Handloom Tussar Saree:
Mobile:+91 78948 96502  and  +91 93374 06195 

Images Of Gopalpur Craft Village

Here are some captivating images from the Gopalpur Craft village.

Gopalpur Craft
Images Of Gopalpur Craft Village Weavers

You can see the weavers of Gopalpur crafting magic with their skills in the pictures above.

Gopalpur Tussar Sarees
Gopalpur Tussar Sarees

Pure magic, a few Gopalpur Tussar sarees to give flight to your imagination.

Gopalpur Tussar Fabrics
Gopalpur Tussar Fabrics

An array of vibrant fabrics that have been handcrafted by the weavers of Gopalpur.

Where Is Gopalpur? – How To Get To Gopalpur | Gopalpur Odisha Tourism

Gopalpur village Odisha

If you are in Odisha, you must visit the Jajpur district and discover its treasures, and when there, do not forget to include a Gopalpur tour in your Jajpur itinerary. It is one of the highlights of Culture And Heritage in the Jajpur District.

Gopalpur Village Map / Direction

Gopalpur Village Map / Direction

Click here for directions to travel by road to Gopalpur from Bhubaneswar/Cuttack/Jajpur.

Gopalpur is a coastal village in the Jajpur district of Odisha, India. It nestles near the banks of the Brahmani river and is part of Prathamakhandi Gram Panchayat. It is close to the city of Jajpur, which is the administrative headquarters of the Jajpur District.

  • Puri to Gopalpur distance is about 137 kilometres
  • Bhubaneswar to Gopalpur distance is about 83 kilometres
  • Jajpur to Gopalpur distance is about 18 kilometres

Reaching Gopalpur By Air

The nearest airport to Gopalpur is the Biju Patnaik International Airport in Bhubaneshwar. You can get flights from and to different places in India like Bangalore, Mumbai, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, and Delhi, among others. You can travel by road from Bhubaneshwar to Jajpur and from there to Gopalpur.

Reaching Gopalpur By Train

Jajpur Road is the nearest railway station to Gopalpur, Odisha.

Reaching Gopalpur By Bus

Gopalpur is well connected by road with Jajpur, Cuttack, Bhubaneswar and other places in Odisha.
If you are planning a visit to Gopalpur or Jajpur or any other place in Jajpur District, you can book your flight tickets right here through Cleartrip or Makemytrip or CheapAir or Priceline and fly to Bhubaneswar. If you are thinking of a road trip, do check out the rental car options.

Where To Stay In Gopalpur

Hotel Jajati Courtyard, Jajpur
Hotel Jajati Courtyard, Jajpur

As of now, Gopalpur tourism is still in a nascent stage. Jajpur Road has a number of nice hotels, where you can stay and visit Gopalpur on a day trip. We stayed in a lovely hotel called Jajati Courtyard located on Jajpur Road.
If you are planning to book any of the hotels in Jajpur or anywhere else in Odisha, India you can book right here –  TripAdvisor or Cleartrip or  makemytrip or  goibibo or  Booking.com or  HotelsCombined or  Agoda and save a lot by getting the best deals on booking your stay.

Click to book the best hotels in Jajpur or hotels in Bhubaneswar

Gopalpur Tussar Silk Fabrics – FAQ

Cultural Heritage Of Jajpur
Cultural Heritage Of Jajpur

Which place is famous for Tussar?

Gopalpur in the Jajpur district of Odisha is famous for Tussar silk fabrics.

What is the Gopalpur to Puri distance?

Gopalpur Craft Village to Puri distance is about 137 kilometres.

What is Gopalpur Tussar saree?

They are Gopalpur Handloom silk sarees that are made from Hand Spun Yarns of Tussar silk in the village of Gopalpur.

Is Tussar silk costly?

Tussar Silk is relatively cheaper as compared to other silk fabrics.

What is the difference between Tussar Silk and other silk?

Tussar Silk is made from the fibre that is generated by Silk moths that feed on leaves of wild trees like Arjun, and others. The traditional silk is made from silkworms that feed on mulberry leaves.

Gopalpur Tussar silk fabrics are not just that, they are the intangible heritage of the region. The silky fabrics have woven within their intricate patterns, the very essence and spirit of Gopalpur, its history, and its culture. The next time you wear a Gopalpur Silk Saree or any other Gopalpur silk fabric, remember that there lie many stories woven within the fabric.

We hope you liked reading about the unique craft village of Odisha, Gopalpur. Do let us know your thoughts through our comments section. Subscribe to our blog for more interesting and informative content.

Our visit to Gopalpur in Jajpur District, Odisha was part of a familiarization trip organized by the Jajpur District Administration. The views and opinions expressed in this blog post are our own. #Jajpurodisha #HACTJajpur #visitjajpur #Odishatourism #UNWTO #jajpur #Odisha #GopalpurTussar

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Gopalpur Tussar Silk Fabrics

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Odisha’s Gopalpur Tussar Silk Fabrics - Famous GI Tag Tussar

Odisha’s Gopalpur Tussar Silk Fabrics - Famous GI Tag Tussar

11 thoughts on “Odisha’s Gopalpur Tussar Silk Fabrics – Famous GI Tag Tussar”

  1. Wow!! I am so impressed that you have shared the details about tussar silk which I really did not know before. Keep sharing more such Indian values and culture with us!!

  2. I enjoyed reading this blog post about Gopalpur Tussar Silk and Jajpur district in Odisha. The cultural heritage of India is so rich and diverse, and silk weaving is an important part of it. It’s fascinating to learn about the history of Gopalpur Tussar silk and how it came to be woven in this region. I’m impressed by the talents of the weavers in Gopalpur, and it’s wonderful to see the efforts being made to preserve their craft and culture. The photos of the weavers and their work are stunning. I appreciate the insight into the daily lives of the villagers and the vibrant art and music that permeates their community. I hope to visit Jajpur and Gopalpur someday and experience this magical place for myself.

  3. Being a Bengali and having spent the first 5 years of my life in Bengal, I clearly remember visiting Odisha every year and mom buying tussar silk sarees from Gopalpur.
    However I was today years old when I learnt the difference between tussar silk and traditional silk! Thanks for the information.

  4. Our country has many marvels, and handicraft is just one of them. Tussar silk has been an integral part of all Indian fashion wardrobes, I remember my mom had one and I too wore a salwar suit made out of that saree. We must do more to preserve the art and add more initiatives to take it across the globe.

  5. The process of making silk is something I’m always mesmerised with. Your post reminded me of the many silk sarees my mother has, and yes Tusser is one of them. Definitely a must-have and a labour of love!

  6. Wow this process of making the Tussar silk and the effort involved is so fascinating and interesting. I have visited a few handloom and silk factories and I know how hard working and talented the workers are.

  7. Bedabrata Chakraborty

    Tussar is one of my favourite natural fabrics. Not only does it make fabulous sarees but it is also great for kurtas and shirts. Sandy you look resplendent in that temple border saree. Looking forward to more pictures.

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