challenges · Heritage · Photography

Spots And Dots Of A Kumaoni Pichora

The last time we wore our ‘Kumaoni pichora’, or ‘leopard spotted stoles‘ as my youngest insisted on calling, was for my cousin’s wedding two years ago.

I took this picture of my mother around that time. She was among the few ladies who glowed in her distinctive Kumaoni nose ring. Draped on her was the pichora.

My Mother!

This polka-dotted wrap, the pichora, belonged to my Nani (grandmother). It was handcrafted and had pink dots which were in itself unusual. I have only seen red dots in all others.

According to my mother, during earlier times, ladies used to wrap a coin with some cotton in a cloth. They then dipped it into natural dyes and stamped dots to create these unique pieces of clothing. The downside to that process was that the natural dyes bled easily. Not a good choice to wear with your Sunday best if the day turned out to be a blistering hot one.

Lucky for us, modernisation hit this cottage industry too.

The Young Bride.

Today we are all proud owners of perfectly printed red polka-dotted pichoras that promise sturdiness and colours that will always remain bright.

Yet, on that day, my mother’s stole stood out as the most charmingly unusual one. It was the only one made by hand in a sea of perfectly round, factory printed ones.

Where the past meets the present!

See if you can spot the difference.

Lens-Artist Photo Challenge: Spots and dots


39 thoughts on “Spots And Dots Of A Kumaoni Pichora

  1. Beautiful photograph that brings along added knowledge. It is special to have something past along from your grandmother. I was denied that legacy. I grew up without knowing my grandparents. I do have one photograph of each of my grandparents.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you Marlene. So happy you liked the post. Yes, family heirlooms are always special and more so if they come with stories. I was lucky to have known both sets of my grandparents. Now I share their stories with my children and through this blog. 😊Stay safe, stay healthy.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for sharing such wonderful photos and your mother is so beautiful! I can see the difference between the handmade which just brings huge smiles as it stands out so pretty. I love the heirlooms and the family stories! ❤️ ~ Diana

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you for sharing the stories and history, Sheetal! I can clearly see the difference between the hand made and the factory made. I see why no one could be more elegant than your mother!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ann – Christine, thank you for your words of appreciation. Your challenge was the perfect nudge to get me going and put it down in writing. I’m glad it worked out so well. Also my mother will be delighted to read your comment. So thank you on her behalf.


  4. So glad to see you back again Sheetal, and what a wonderful way to return to us! Your mother is quite beautiful, as is her wrap. Of course the difference is apparent, and how fortunate that you appreciate it as you do. Nothing is better than a treasured heirloom.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Tina for your good wishes . Yes, we are all up and about and hopefully the worst is behind us.
      I am happy you liked this post. I’m making an effort to document my cultural heritage and family stories, especially when they involve a treasured heirloom. I know my mother is thrilled to bits. Thank you ! 😊


  5. A beautiful re-visit to traditions that are rich with folksy simplicity of deft methods.. Well, to be around with these almost perfect makeovers of those purebreds, done by modern technology , must be quite a tug for those who have lived those rich cultures, pichoras et al.
    Mom surely looks warm & cosy in her pichora, not to miss her look of pride wrapped in a gem from the tradition.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well said Pratibha ! Folksy simplicity of deft methods have undergone a makeover in every sense. Mum is certainly nostalgic but happy to hold on to those memories of Nani and her stories. Thank you for stopping by and for leaving such a warm comment.


    1. Your comments bring so much joy, Brian. Thank you for the warm praises and for adding the Hindustani touch to the conversation. Bahut accha laga padh kar. Aapka din mangalmay ho( have a blessed day). 😊

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ha! I wish my Hindustani were more than a couple of words. But it’s all right. I learn every day. And I copy every “new” word to a dedicated file. Learnt a few new words today. I remember ‘accha’ from a long time ago. My parents even said it from time to time. They spoke good Urdu.
        Bahut accha my friend. 🙏🏻

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Ki baat hai, I re-learnt form another blogger. 🙏🏻 I will check bahut kushi.
          Writing words dow is an easy way for me to go back to the word and slowly memorize them. Phir milenge.

          Liked by 1 person

        2. I’m guessing the blogger meant ‘Kyaa’ instead of ‘ki’. Bahut- a great deal, lots
          Khushi- happiness.
          😊 This conversation has now inspired me to pen a post on how familiar words of a language keep memories of a place and people alive. I know how my ears prick when I hear Italian. Time to get cracking on a detailed one. Dhanyavad, Brian.

          Liked by 1 person

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