Handlooms and Textiles Department of the Odisha Government has started developing the Maniabandha Buddhist Handloom Village Tourism Centre under Cuttack District. Maniabandha is one of the largest Buddhist villages in Odisha with over 520 Buddhist families. All are engaged in handloom work. There are eight Buddhist temples in the village.
(Photo Credit: The New Indian Express)
Interestingly, they follow both Buddhism and Jagannath culture which reflects in their weaves. While everywhere else silkworms are boiled alive to obtain silk fibre, Maniabandha’s weavers extract silk thread from the cocoons shed by the worms.
The department is planning to set up the centre over 6,000 sq ft area in the village. A demonstration and apparel training centre to be managed by Apparel Training & Design Centre (ATDC)-India, tourism amenities (cafeteria, toilets, rest sheds) and a mini museum to showcase Buddhist culture and handloom heritage of the village will be included in the centre.