The motif series had a great start with the ever powerful Gandaberunda  about whom we spoke about the last time. And today of course is no exception as we are back with another historic and mystical motif which I am sure is gonna leave you in awe.

It is about the elegant and graceful Anna Pakshi. Let me warn you now, that this bird from the heavens led to some serious debating and a lot of research as most of us(including me, until recently)  unknowingly considered it as peacock . Well, though it looks similar, it is definitely not a ‘Mayura’ and our  line of reference are the motifs from our Kanchivaram sareees it self. The thumb rule to identify an Anna Pakshi is this bird is rather curvy, round  with a paisley shaped feathers. Below is the picture which clears the confusion. The center one is the Anna Pakshi while it is covered with Peacock motifs around.

Annapakshi motif on Silk saree
Annapakshi motif on Silk saree

Anna Pakshi happens to be a white, short and beautiful mythical swan which happens to hail from the heavens. They say that it is immensely magical and that this ‘Swetha pakshi’ is a symbol of purity. Did I say purity? Yes, when given a bowl of milk mixed with water, they say that it would only take in pure milk leaving the water aside. Hmm.. while the authenticity  is unknown, this definitely reminds me of the Kabir Das doha which says that we humans, should be only take in the good in the world leaving aside the evil.

Anna pakshi inspired sarees
Anna pakshi inspired sarees

“Hamsa Gayatri
Om Hamsaaya Vidmahe
Paramahamsaaya Dhimahi
Tanno Hamsha Pracodayaat”

When I was drafting this blog, I magically heard my mom chanting the above lines .The above phrase is a version of Gayathri mantra talking about this mythical swan which is the vehicle for Lord Bhramha and his consort Saraswathi. I guess the Anna Pakshi was seeking me to put this point across and I definitely consider it as a blessing.

With all these divine motifs, there is no wonder why Kanchipuram sarees  are considered celestial. But hey its not just the sarees which has Anna Pakshi motifs, look what we found, the Vilakku or the Deepam. I am sure that this is a common sight across all the south  Indian households, especially in Kerala who use gaint Vilakku. Deeparathana is considered to be very pure in Hindu rituals and our ancestors combined that with the symbol of purity. Wah!!  I cannot stop myself from admiring their thoughtfulness behind customs and ancient designs, which is seen across the rituals.

The Anna Pakshi vilakku
The Anna Pakshi vilakku

And we are not done yet . Tanjore paintings, another iconic art of the south gives a visual retreat of this Anna Pakshi in hues of gold and it is definitely worth a stare without blinking your eyes. Hand painted Anna Pakshi with some stunning gold foil and stone work. Found a spot for this in the living room yet?

Tanjore painting of Anna Pakshi
Tanjore painting of Anna Pakshi

Last, but the not the least, every one loves Kalamkari and there are two versions to it. One the block print and the other is the Pen Kalamkari. However the latter is a lot more special as the artisan pictures the entire design and dyes them with hand and here we found a impeccable portraiture  of the Anna pakshi using the Pen Kalamkari technique. Not one, but two, forming the twin Anna pakshi frame.

Anna pakshi using Kalamkari technique
Anna pakshi using Kalamkari technique

Now my favourite question to all of you , which out of these would you want to own as a Keepsake?  If you ask my choice, obviously the saree(women love sarees you see..) and additionally the Tanjore Painting too for the little corner in my living room.

To satiate your visual cravings for Anna Pakshi, here are some beautiful handwoven sarees from Kanakavalli !!

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Hope you all enjoyed the blog. Stay tuned to Brides essentials for more such interesting updates!!

 

 

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