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Bidar, Karnataka



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About Bidriwala

From a small town in Karnataka called Bidar comes an ancient art, taught to local artisans by the Persians, passed down from generation to generation for the past 400 years.

Bidri is the art of inlaying silver or gold on black metal. It involves 4 laborious & highly skilled techniques - melting the alloy, casting the article, engraving & inlaying the design and finally oxidizing.

Once the alloy of copper and zinc is cast, intricate designs are drawn by free hand and then engraved using steel chisels designed by the artisans themselves. The silver or gold wire/sheet is then hammered into these engraved designs. Finally, the article is oxidized to give its characteristic & unique black colour.

The black colour of the metal comes from a special variety of soil which is found only in the unlit portions of the Bidar fort. No one knows exactly what is special about it. The artisans need to test the taste of the soil with their tongue in order to assess its quality. This knack of assessment is an art known only to these artisans, learnt through experience and knowledge passed down from their ancestors.

Now a days, the artisans create a large range of beautiful handcrafted articles from traditional pots & vases to modern day usb drives, bookmarks, hukka and tissue dispensers!


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