Sambalpuri Saree vs. Khandua Saree: The Distinction

Sambalpuri Saree VS Khandua Saree The difference
Sambalpuri Saree VS Khandua Saree The difference

Sarees hold a special place in Indian culture, representing grace, tradition, and elegance. In the state of Odisha, two renowned saree varieties, Sambalpuri sarees and Khandua sarees, have captivated the hearts of saree enthusiasts. While these sarees share similarities, they possess distinctive features that set them apart. In this article, we will delve into the differences between Sambalpuri sarees and Khandua sarees, exploring their weaving techniques, motifs, cultural significance, and popularity.

Weaving Techniques:

Sambalpuri Sarees:
Sambalpuri sarees are known for their intricate Ikat patterns, which contribute to their elaborate and dense designs. The weaving process involves tie-dyeing the warp and weft threads before arranging them into a pattern for weaving. This meticulous technique gives Sambalpuri sarees their distinct aesthetic appeal. It is worth mentioning that the entire process of weaving a single Sambalpuri saree can take several weeks due to its intricate nature.

Khandua Sarees:
On the other hand, Khandua sarees are traditionally woven using wooden looms. These sarees are dyed in vibrant red, orange, or yellow colors, with the red shade obtained from the Shorea robusta (sal tree). Khandua sarees feature motifs such as an auspicious elephant depicting Buddha, peacocks, flowers, and the unique Orissan animal called Nabagunjara, a deula kumbha. Additionally, Khandua sarees are renowned for their plain and temple borders, which add to their charm.

Material and Cost:

Sambalpuri Sarees:
Sambalpuri sarees are available in both cotton and silk yarn varieties. Due to their elaborate Ikat patterns and intricate craftsmanship, Sambalpuri sarees tend to be more expensive compared to Khandua sarees. The higher cost is justified by the amount of effort and time required to create these masterpieces.

Khandua Sarees:
Khandua sarees, in comparison, are relatively more affordable than Sambalpuri sarees. These sarees are typically made from silk yarn or pure cotton. Despite being less expensive, Khandua sarees possess their own unique beauty and cultural significance.

Cultural Significance:

Khandua Sarees:
Khandua sarees hold immense cultural significance in Odisha and are deeply connected to Lord Jagannath. These sarees are considered auspicious and are often worn during religious ceremonies and festivals. The motifs found on Khandua sarees depict religious and traditional elements, reflecting the rich cultural heritage of the region.

Sambalpuri Sarees:
Sambalpuri sarees also carry cultural significance and are popular among women for various occasions. They are highly valued for their artistic appeal and intricate designs. Sambalpuri sarees represent the exquisite craftsmanship and rich heritage of Odisha.

Popularity and Confusion:

Khandua Sarees:
Khandua sarees, with their vibrant colors, intricate motifs, and affordability, have gained popularity among saree enthusiasts. However, it is worth noting that some people mistakenly refer to Khandua sarees as Sambalpuri sarees due to a lack of awareness or confusion between the two varieties.

Sambalpuri Sarees:
Sambalpuri sarees, with their elaborate Ikat patterns and dense designs, have garnered a reputation for their exquisite beauty. They are sought after by those who appreciate the artistry and are willing to invest in a higher-priced saree.


Sambalpuri sarees and Khandua sarees, both originating from Odisha, possess unique characteristics that differentiate them from each other. Sambalpuri sarees are renowned for their elaborate Ikat patterns and higher cost, while Khandua sarees showcase vibrant colors, religious motifs, and cultural significance. It is important to appreciate the distinctions between these two exquisite saree varieties and avoid any confusion that might arise due to their similarities. Embracing the beauty and heritage of both Sambalpuri and Khandua sarees allows us to preserve and celebrate the rich textile traditions of Odisha.


Sambalpuri Sarees Khandua Sarees
Weaving Technique Tie-dyeing the warp and weft threads Woven using wooden looms
Motifs Elaborate Ikat patterns Religious motifs and traditional elements
Cost More expensive Relatively more affordable
Material Available in cotton and silk yarn Traditional silk yarn or pure cotton
Cultural Significance Represents the rich heritage of Odisha Connected to Lord Jagannath and considered auspicious
Popularity Appreciated for exquisite beauty Increasing popularity and sometimes confused with Sambalpuri sarees

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