Telangana’s Telia Rumal and Jharkhand’s Sohrai Khovar Painting have quite recently received the Geographical Indication (GI) tag by the Geographical Indications Registry headquartered in Chennai, India. The GI Application for Telia Rumal was filed by the Consortium of Puttapaka Handloom Cluster-IHDS, while the application for the painting was filed by Sohrai Kala Mahila Vikas Sahyog Samiti Limited.
The Deputy Registrar of Geographical Indications, Chinnaraja G. Naidu, said that Jharkhand’s Sohrai Khovar Painting is a ceremonial and traditional mural art practiced by the local tribal women of the state during the harvest and wedding season. The women make use of the local and naturally available different colored soils in the region of Hazaribagh district of Jharkhand to draw the painting. While talking about Telangana’s Telia Rumal, Mr. Naidu said that the cloth has intricate handmade work with the cotton loom, which displays a plethora of designs and motifs in three specific colors, namely white, black, and red. He further said that these two unique products received the GI tag after due evaluation and verification.
Primarily, Jharkhand’s Sohrai Khovar Painting is practiced only in the district of Hazaribagh; however, for quite some time now, it has been seen in other regions of the state as well for promotional purposes. Earlier, the paintings were drawn only on the walls of mud houses, but now they are visible on other surfaces too. The extraordinary style of the paintings features a profusion of dots, lines, plants, animal figures, and, most importantly, religious iconography. In recent years, the walls of the well-known public places in Jharkhand, including the Tatanagar and Hazaribagh Railway Stations, the Birsa Munda Airport in Ranchi, to name a few, have been decorated with Sohrai Khovar Paintings.
As per the details submitted in the GI application of Telangana’s Telia Rumal, the cloth can only be created by using the traditional handloom process and not any other means to prevent the high-quality of the Rumal from losing. During the Nizam’s dynasty, Telia Rumals were worn as a veil by princesses at the erstwhile court of the Nizam of Hyderabad and as a turban cloth by Arabs in the Middle East. At present, Telia Rumals are offered at the dargah of Ajmer Sharif in Rajasthan, where some devotees offer 50 or even 100 pieces of the cloth.