A silk saree with 32 different motifs of the Chola Empire is on display at the recently inaugurated Co-optex’s international showroom in Egmore.

The saree took nearly three months to create and costs ₹3 lakh. S. Mani is a third generation weaver who learnt the art from his father. He is a member of the Thirubuvanam Silk Handloom Weavers Co-operative (THICO) Silks for the past 31 years.

The saree is resplendent with images that Thanjavur, the seat of Chola empire, is known for. Three weavers, including Mr. Mani, have woven into the saree images of Raja Chola, the Big Temple gopuram, the Chola flag, bullock carts, dancers, palanquins, a yazhi, the Big Bull (nandi), pillars, among other things.

Mr. Mani procured the ‘zari’ for the saree from Surat. The motifs have been woven using silk threads. The saree weighs 1,800 g. “We were trying to create a saree around the theme of Big Temple and the history surrounding it,” he said, when asked if the hype over the movie Ponniyin Selvan had influenced him to design a saree on the same theme. Incidentally, Co-optex has also launched a range of silk sarees with motifs from the Chola period.

However unlike Mr. Mani, his two sons are not planning on pursuing weaving. His eldest son works in Bengaluru, and his brother is pursuing an M.Tech degree in artificial intelligence at a college in Chennai.