Tag Archives: handicrafts

Visiting Master Craftsmen In Moradabad

nickel-plated brass box

Reshma and I drove from Delhi to Moradabad early in the morning. Moradabad is famous for its brassware and we were told by the Head of the Brassmakers Association (we named him Mr White as he had on a pristine white kurta-pyjama, white sandals and yes a white phone!) that over 400,000 artisans work in the industry. We got to meet a national award winner and see the product he got his award for.

It was fantastic but very sad as well. The sons have focused on making products for the mass market and do not have the skills their father has, so his craft will die with him. He learnt it from his father who learnt it from his father – a skill that dates back to the Mughals, and now on the verge of extinction. He knows it and you could see the profound sadness in him.

Saw …

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Arastan is Born…

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The sights, sounds, smells of ancient trading routes…

the bustling bazaars and souks of ancient Constantinople…

the coming together of diverse cultures, peoples, traditions, crafts…

the colours of the deserts, the camel caravans traversing them…

the bridge between East and West through ancient cities: Chang’an, Dunhuang, Kashgar, Yarkend, Khotan, Herat, Almaty, Samarkand, Bukhara, Khiva, Merv, Nishapur, Isfahan, Babylon, Jerusalem, Damascus, Aleppo, Konya, Constantinople…

the art and architecture of majestic monuments: Daming Palace, Khoja Akhmad Yassavi mausoleum, Registan, Minaret Kalyan, Ichan-Kala, Buddhas of Bamiyan, Chogha Zanbil, Meydan-e Imam, Shirvanshahs’ Palace, Karatay Han…

the silks, the perfumes, the spices…

the gems: lapis lazuli, jade, cornelian, turquoise…

the embroidery, suzanis, carpets, kilims, dhurries…

the mosaics, patterns, designs…

Arastan is an endeavour to share the history and culture of the Silk Road through a range of exquisite handcrafted products including silks, gems, carpets and ceramics. These are made by artisans and master craftsmen following centuries-old traditions, …

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  • Welcome to Arastan

    Arastan was an online store that curated rare and handpicked treasures from exotic bazaars along the ancient silk route. Unfortunately we ceased trading in early 2014.

    You can read about the reasons for closure.

    You can still browse some of the products we used to have via the category links above, although none of these are available for purchase.

    Relive our travels and stories by browsing our articles and archives from the menus below.

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