Nabakothi Khandua Saree: Embracing Tradition and Culture

Nabakothi Khandua Saree
Nabakothi Khandua Saree

The Nabakothi Khandua Saree, a rare and unique tradition from Odisha, holds deep religious significance and showcases the region’s rich cultural heritage. With its nine distinctive motifs representing auspicious elements, this silk saree is a testament to the religious beliefs and legitimacy of Odisha. Let us delve deeper into the history, weaving techniques, cultural significance, and the expansion of this authentic handloom fabric.

Nabakothi Saree: A Symbol of Auspiciousness

The Nabakothi saree is closely associated with the number 9, a powerful symbol in Odisha’s religious practices. This auspicious number is connected to various aspects like Navarasa, Navami, Navaratri, Nabagraha, and the nine incarnations of human life. The Nabakothi saree beautifully embodies this symbolism through its nine unique motifs placed horizontally across the body.

The Unique Motifs of Nabakothi Saree

Each Nabakothi saree features nine different motifs meticulously spread across its body. These motifs include kaincha (tortoise), mayurpankh (peacock feather), chakra (inspired by the Konark wheel), sakatpar, phula (flower), shankha (conch shell), padma (lotus), parrot, elephant, singha (lion), peacock, gada (mace), kalash, fish, and prajapati (butterfly). The craftsmanship and attention to detail in these motifs make each saree a unique work of art.

The Origins of Khandua (Nabakothi)

The history of Khandua (Nabakothi) saree can be traced back to the 12th century AD. It is closely associated with the rituals of Lord Jagannath Temple in Puri, Odisha. The sarees are woven using traditional hand weaving techniques, with the entire village of Nuapatna dedicated to preserving this heritage craft. Approximately 10,000 weavers and 6,000 looms are involved in producing these exquisite sarees.

Weaving Centers: Nuapatna and Maniabandha

Nuapatna is the hub of Nabakothi saree production, where traditional wooden looms are used to weave these sarees. The village is home to numerous weavers, and their expertise and dedication ensure the authenticity and quality of each saree. Just 3 kilometers away from Nuapatna lies Maniabandha, a region known for its unique weaving style. With a population of 3,500 and 384 looms, Maniabandha contributes to the rich tapestry of Odisha’s handloom industry.

Expansion of the Nabakothi Theme

The Nabakothi or Nabarangi theme, known for its distinctive design of nine boxes, has gained popularity beyond Khandua sarees. This theme is now incorporated not only in Manabandh Single Ikat sarees but also in Sambalpuri Double Ikat sarees. The Nabakothi motif adds a touch of tradition and cultural heritage to these handwoven masterpieces.

Cultural Significance and Versatility

The Nabakothi Khandua saree‘s traditional motifs and vibrant colors make it a popular choice for various occasions. Whether it is a puja, a function, or any other event, wearing this saree embraces the rich cultural heritage of Odisha. The Khandua fabric, apart from its traditional use, is also a luxurious material for high-end garments, reflecting its versatility and appeal.

The Legacy of Nabakothi Khandua Saree

The Nabakothi Khandua saree is not just a piece of clothing; it carries with it the legacy of generations. The traditional handloom weaving techniques employed in its creation have been passed down from one generation to another, preserving the artistry and authenticity of this heritage fabric. By wearing a Nabakothi saree, individuals become part of this rich legacy, paying homage to the skilled artisans and craftsmen who have kept the tradition alive.

Preserving the Craft: Nuapatna and Maniabandha

The weavers of Nuapatna and Maniabandha play a crucial role in preserving the craft of Nabakothi saree weaving. These artisans possess deep knowledge of the intricate weaving techniques, dyeing processes, and the cultural significance behind each motif. By supporting the weavers and purchasing authentic Nabakothi sarees, individuals contribute to the sustainability and continuation of this traditional art form.


The Nabakothi Khandua Saree stands as a unique tradition, deeply rooted in Odisha’s cultural heritage and religious beliefs. With its nine distinctive motifs and handwoven craftsmanship, this authentic silk saree showcases the richness and artistic excellence of Odisha’s handloom industry. By embracing the Nabakothi saree, one not only adorns oneself in a rare and exquisite piece of art but also becomes a part of the legacy that has been passed down through generations. Let the elegance and heritage of Nabakothi sarees enchant you and keep the cultural traditions alive for generations to come.

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