Design Feature > Daksha’s Varanasi


Dakshayini Gowda is a remarkable woman. And what I have here is just a thread from the ingenuous fabric she’s weaving for society. Her efforts come together in ‘Sanchali’ which she set up to work towards two ends; to create avenues for financial dependence for rural women, and to demystify history for children by creating musuems they could touch, interact with, even help set up, in their own schools. One of the works that came out of her organisation Sanchali’s work with women in Karnataka was ‘Varanasi’ – a collection of jewelry recycled from scrap Banarasi material. The result is so beautiful and elegant that it makes me want to own an entire jewelry box of them.












Daksha says:

On the inspiration: Handed down for many generations without any training, Indian grandmothers have creatively conjured up designs and crafts out of everyday excess scrap materials like broken bangle fragments, textile scrap, seeds etc. A lost tradition in today’s world of recycling plastics and other man-made wastes, salvaging natural remnants, like tree bark shed during seasonal changes, as sources of artistic mediums, is a dying trade. Not only saving artisans a trip to the market for art supplies, but also these mother-earth provisions are readily available at no cost at all. Inspired by this novel system of waste management which is part of our age old tradition, my goal is to revive this dying tradition lost to modernization as well as encouraging art novices and connoisseurs to draw upon their proclivity for nature.

On this collection: Varanasi. The legendary city at the banks of the mighty Ganga River. For ages this place has been radiating a strong mystical image both within India and the west, marveled for its never-resting life around Mother Ganga where Religion melts into Magic, as well as for the traditional Banarasi hand-woven Silks. This Collection aims at bringing to you along with a small piece of this precious material, a small piece of the age-old magic of this holy and genuine piece of Varanasi.

My intention is to recycle this precious material to the fullest, using leftover that is thrown by tailors, weavers or an old sari which is out of use. These scraps are transformed into work of art or an expression of the craftsmen of today. This jewellery is sequenced with stone, glass, clay beads. Or bark of a tree, wood or seed which are naturally found to add to the aesthetics of the craft in its traditional way. Still adhering to the authenticity and aesthetics of the product, the jewellery is uniquely designed and created out of recycled material from nature while its exterior packaging imparts an educational message to its consumers. My goal is to revive this dying tradition lost to modernization as well as encouraging art novices and connoisseurs to draw upon their proclivity for nature.

On Sanchali: ‘Sanchali’ means movement in Sanskrit and aims to be a bridge between past civilisations and modern day living. This project is based on the historic arts and crafts from various periods. It attempts to revive traditional Indian art forms as well as shatter the “stuffy” image of museum-learning by taking the museum experience out to a more public domain. Sanchali conducts workshops in both rural and urban areas. It’s mission is that every school should have a space where viewers can touch and engage with artifacts and be involved with museum development. Sanchali also works with rural women to teach them life skills that give them financial independence and confidence. The Varanasi collection is produced by village women in Karnataka with design inputs from Daksha. This project has become a livelyhood project for these women.

Dakshayini Gowda is a designer + museologist + archaeologist from MSU Baroda and runs Sanchali. You could also write to her on sanchali(dot)in(at)gmail(dot)com

Thank you Raina.

49 Responses to “Design Feature > Daksha’s Varanasi”

  1. 1 rahul nirakar

    Amazing……………I have no words to say….as designing student…..really really really liked it…

    god bless you…

  2. It is truly a nice and helpful piece of information. I am glad that you just shared this useful info with us. Please stay us up to date like this. Thanks for sharing.

  3. thanx for all the lov!!!

    sanchali team

  4. 4 anshumali

    its so wonderful to see such inspiring work..thanx for keeping creativity alive.. 🙂
    kudos to u n d sanchali team..!

  5. 5 yashi bahuguna

    loved it………jst 1 word to say…AWESOME!

  6. 6 Shantala

    Hi Daksha,
    Truly inspiring work.As a fellow CKPite, am really proud of what you are doing.Are any of these beautiful pieces of art available in the US/online? Also would love to help in any way I can…Great work again!

    • hey …good to hear from u!
      i do supply it to a fair trade company in USA. so they have exhibitions and fairs where store owners come visit them. there are store which has showcased these jewelry but i dont know the names of them.
      do let me know the ones u like…. i can post them 2 ya. my mail id is i could send u pics of more designs. also do check

      keep giving me feedbacks on the work…that would help!
      thanx 🙂

  7. ha ha thanx dips 🙂

  8. so this is what you do when you dissappear of the map for a while! 🙂
    fantastic work daksha!

  9. 10 Simmz

    Daksha…This is really great!! Klaus told me you send a gift for me…Sweet! Thanks! haven´t met this guy for a month or so, but next week I will and GET MY PRESENT….
    What´s up, I´m coming to India this or next month and I hope to ******* see ya!!!

  10. now in delhi!!
    Contact : the maxiMum store co.
    Phone : 011 26493150

    Address : 5-J/1, Ground Floor, Shahpur Jat, New Delhi – 110049
    Website :

  11. Amazing designs. Keep them coming!

  12. thanx for all the support 🙂
    guys do check sanchali’s handcrafted jewelry at

    MARMALADE Phone: 080 41221814 9945090947
    Address: 3, Marielle Apartments, Ground Floor, Magrath Road, Bangalore- 560025
    Landmark: In Marielle Apartments


    8-2-460/4, Road No 4Banjara Hills, Hyderabad,
    Andhra Pradesh 500034
    phone: 040 23355441

  13. 15 Malaveeka


  14. 16 anand

    Great going girl!!! I really appreciate such a sensitive thought; finely executed in the form of beautiful samples of jewelry. A correct propagation of this “dying art” would offer new refreshing avenues. Really something to look upto. Congratulations daksha!!!

  15. 17 Roopa


    Amazing collection…I would like to buy them?
    let me know how to go about.

    Thank u

  16. These are so lovely, and such fun. I am heading off to have a look at Sanchali.
    Simply Bril!!!

  17. 19 Divya

    Wow! these are so pretty! and such inspiring work
    I would suggest Levitate at the 100 feet boutique, The native place and grasshopper in Bangalore as store options to sell Sanchali products. I am currently based in Dubai and would love to be of any use in promoting Sanchali over here. Do let me know if it could be of any use.
    All the best.

  18. So Beautiful 🙂 They are Something Really Different… I Wish I Can get Them to my Ears Soon 🙂

  19. 21 Mee

    Simple beautiful:), dramatic and unusual. Hope these get to bombay soon too…

  20. 22 Bhavna

    Goregous! And how very creative! Thanks for sharing

  21. We are looking for stores to keep Sanchali stuff in…… so do suggest some store names. Right now they are showcased at ANTS in bangalore, UNITED DESIGNERS in hyderabad and vishakapatanam. Yes we have just finished an order that was placed by a company in USA… we hope you find these jewelry in your nearby stores 🙂

    • 24 Avni Vasa

      Hi Daksha,

      Hope all is well.

      Got your ref from Kavita, i have a company called Flower Power where we Design ,Manufacture & Supply(Womens Wear)to High end Fashion Stores.As a result we are left with a lot of Scrap which could be useful to you.

      Please let us know how we can go about it, at the earliest.It would be a Pleasure to associate with you.Let us know if we can be useful in other way.

      Looking forward.

      Avni Vasa
      (Flower Power)

      • hey!!
        super super
        very thoughtful of you 🙂

        pls do check your mail on details
        thanx a ton!!!

  22. 26 Runia

    lovely … refreshing to see an aesthetic and innovative take on jewellery.

    Being made in karnataka I am hoping that they are available for sale in bangalore somewhere!!!

    Grat work:)

  23. How amazing to see scraps of cloth turn into something else…and how wonderful to see women being trained to be creative while learning how to be independent. Very powerful !!

  24. this looks much better than the felt jewellery that is all over the place right now in Ny

  25. these are gorgeous! are they available for sale in the U.S.?

  26. Thanx so much for all the lovely comments!!!!!
    its so encouraging indeed.
    Sanchali team is so thrilled. This is the first time Sanchali’s women work is online…thanx to raina and kavita.
    please do mail ur on for any kind of info
    thanx again 🙂

  27. 31 radha

    i want one of that looking down rose with the cylindrical beads! the third from top
    Also one of the first one!

    just stunning work i must say

  28. Love them! Love the concept- the whole idea of letting people experience something instead of having to teach them. And the jewelry is so pretty, delicate, and CUTE!

  29. How cool is that, simply brilliant!

  30. 34 Arch

    Gorgeous. Gorgeous. Gorgeous.

  31. 35 Abhishek

    very cool stuff……

  32. these are beautiful. Such amazing work! And i loved the shots..did you take them?

  33. 37 mario d'souza

    a wonderful work,it has everything i look for in a good work of art,simple,rich and easy,all the best dear,love you,congratulations! mario

  34. 38 Jannis

    Lovely! Thats movement and the power of art.!!!
    Keep that good work going.

  35. 39 apu

    Fantastic stuff. Unfortunately, their website is under renovation and doesn’t mention where these are being sold currently 😦

  36. 40 AM

    earrings look lovely and its great to have an accompanying write up explaining the philosophy behind it.

  37. these are so so lovely. especially the first one. and the photography is excellent too. congrats!

  38. 42 mathatheist

    Purvi: You could mail Daksha, her email id is given at the end of the feature, and find out if she does.

  39. I like this.

  40. 44 Raina de Nazareth

    congratulations! though I see my fav. shoulder length pink/wt and the loops didnt make the page!

  41. This is Interesting…. I liked the earrings in the first pic… unique inspiration… Do you know whether it is sold online?

  42. Woh my Daksha!
    So beautiful!!

  43. just amazing… how creative and beautiful!!

  44. 48 Purvi


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