Utkalika Orissa State Emporium,
Chandigarh - 160022
What you see – Located in one of the main markets of Sector 35 in Chandigarh, Utkalika Orissa State Emporium is easy to locate. The air-conditioned showroom is quite spacious. Inside, there’s a riot of colors that dazzles in subtle lighting. There’s a rich, cultural aura around.
Given the diverse range of handicrafts and handloom available from Orissa, the store has separate sections for each product type. On the whole, the décor of the showroom is able to exude a feel of authentic Orissa culture.
What you get – The handlooms of Orissa are extremely famous for their rich designs. The store has sarees, fabric, embroidered salwars and dupattas. The sarees are available in silk and cotton. Those in silk come with tribal motifs in Bomkai (hand woven from silk or gold colored silk threads) and Ikat (tie and dye patterns) work. All of these are made with 100% pure silk and have unmatched finesse. The price range for the silk sarees begins from Rs. 3,000 and can extend up to Rs. 9,000 depending upon the material and the work done. The cotton sarees are available in a wide range of colors and have subtle designs. The average price of a cotton saree here is close to Rs. 2,000. And then, salwars and fabric comes with the beautiful, traditional Pipli work embroidery (appliqué). For around Rs. 400 per meter you can get a Pipli work unstitched suit.
Utkalika also has a range of handicrafts form Orissa including wall hangings, Dhokra artifacts (non-ferrous metal casting) with figures of gods like Ganesha, lamp shades, paintings and more. The wall hangings are available in various shades of black, blue and red and are reasonably priced from Rs. 400 onwards. Apart from this they have a good collective of silver jewelry in filigree style. The earrings, pendants and nose rings are made with intricate designs and a silver pendant would approximately cost around Rs. 1,600.
Apart from all of that, Utkalika has blankets, curtains, bed sheets, towels, sofa covers and duvets. The blankets and duvets are made from traditional cotton and have bright colored designs on them. The bed sheets and sofa covers are quite reasonable and start from Rs. 400.
Our verdict – Utkalika is a complete storehouse of Orissa’s rich cultural heritage. Worth a buy are the hand-woven fabrics and silk sarees with traditional motifs and patterns. The range of both the handloom and the handicrafts section is equally vast though some are slightly expensive. In terms of customer support, every section has a store attendant. Parking space is available.
Anytime between – 10 AM – 7 PM (Closed on Sundays)
By Harmeet Singh