Vrindavan, 2019-12-26 (VT): With the mercury dipping continuously in Braj, Vrindavan’s woollen ‘poshak’ business soared to an all-time high of 70 million this December. The ‘Zari’ and ‘Zardozi Poshaks’ that lined the shops of Shri Dham until a couple of months back were replaced by their woollen counterparts that rule the market from September to January every year.
There are nearly 300 shops dealing in deity ‘poshak’ in Banke Bihari Temple area/market, Shahji Market, Athkhamba Bazaar, Dusayat, Govardhan Gate, Loi Bazaar, Rangji Market, and Ramanreti Bazaar. While Delhi, Haryana, Punjab, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Kolkata are the main markets for ‘poshak’ business, there’s considerable demand via the online route in Canada, Australia, America, Ukraine, Dubai, Sri-Lanka and Nepal as well.
Apart from Vrindavan households, families from around 24 nearby villages are engaged in the ‘poshak-making’ business. The industry provides employment to approximately 1.5 lakh people.
According to Deepak Goyal, (shop owner) there are ‘poshaks’ ranging from Rs 50 to Rs 2000 in the market. These include dresses for Radha-Krishna, Laddu Gopal, Gaur Nitai, Ganesha and most other deities. Talking of ‘murti’ sales, the yearly figures stand at INR 1 billion. Murtis made of brass, black stone, ashtadhatus, marble, and fibre range from Rs 150 to several lakhs. Highest sales are recorded in March, July, August and September.
December-January being the time of ‘Winter Break’ throughout North India, many pilgrims come to Vrindavan, particularly from Delhi-NCR. The year-end influx of tourists helps in boosting the local economy. Devotees from all over India and abroad can be seen in the winding alleys of Vrindavan buying these colourful woollen dresses to keep their deities warm and cosy during the harsh season.