EXCLUSIVE: 100 hours, 3 days, hand-painted depiction of Ramayana – Alia Bhatt dons custom Mysore silk saree for Ayodhya’s Ram Mandir Consecration – Stylist Ami Patel describes intricate details

Bollywood luminaries graced the Ram Mandir Pran Prathistha ceremony on January 22, 2024, with Alia Bhatt and Ranbir Kapoor in attendance. Alia, styled by celebrity stylist Ami Patel, paid a poignant tribute to history in a bespoke turquoise blue Mysore silk saree. The garment, adorned with hand-painted depictions of pivotal moments from the Ramayana, showcased the artistry of celebrated artisans. Beyond a mere sartorial choice, Alia’s attire became a canvas, blending fashion with cultural homage at the auspicious inauguration of the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya.

Taking to Instagram on Tuesday, Ami Patel described the look that the actress wore for the event. Etched in the weaves from Madhurya Creations, the garment, adorned with scenes from the Ramayana intricately hand painted on the pallu, unfolded the epic narrative with a simplicity that spoke volumes. “Simple yet Historic! Alia Bhatt’s custom turquoise blue Mysore silk saree from @madhurya_creations had important scenes from the Ramayan intricately handpainted on the Pallu,” Ami wrote on Instagram.

In a traditional “Pattachitra” style, miniature paintings captured pivotal moments such as the breaking of the Shiva Dhanush, King Dasharatha’s promise, the boat journey with Guha, the allure of the golden deer, the dramatic kidnapping, the creation of the Ram Setu, Lord Hanuman’s poignant presentation of the ring to Ma Sita, and the grandeur of Rama Pattabishek. Each stroke of the artist’s brush encapsulated the essence of these scenes, immortalizing them on the fabric.  The meticulous artistry, taking a staggering 100 hours to complete, not only showcased a dedication to craftsmanship but also paid homage to the rich cultural tapestry of India.

“The breaking of the Shiva Dhanush, King Dasharatha’s promise, in the boat with Guha, the golden deer, the kidnapping, the Ram Setu, Lord Hanuman presenting the ring to Ma Sita and the Rama Pattabishek. These miniature paintings were done in a traditional “Pattachitra” style and took 100 hours to complete on time for this momentous occasion of the inauguration of the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya,” Ami added.

When Bollywood Hungama spoke to Ami Patel, she revealed, “We were exploring a few options. We were looking at a Baluchari weave, like handloom silk sarees originating from West Bengal and we were looking at other options that had Ram Sita weave and historic prints. We were looking at Banarasi sarees and a lot of options. And then this one kind of just hit the spot because it’s a painting; it’s so subtle, and just on the pallu. The turquoise blue is a beautiful colour. I also thought that turquoise was a color that nobody’s going to wear and it’s the colour of the sky, which is so beautiful. Amongst everything, this was honestly our favourite.”

Customized especially for Alia Bhatt, Ami Patel also added that the hand painting was very intricate work. “It had miniature work. There were 10 epic scenes of the Ramayana – different chapters of the epic.”

Ami Patel hoped to make a ‘moment’ with his handloom that Alia Bhatt was going to wear because it was a very important and special event. “Ofcourse, we wanted to do a handloom but picking the right handloom. There were several options and colours,” adding, “Alia and I, we have a vibe and understanding. I like to present options to her. Alia always has great input thoughts and style also. We were on board, on the same page with everything!”

Adding further, Ami said, “I made the matching batwa (purse) for her. The whole look came together with a blue shawl from Dusala Kashmir, which is again supporting Kashmir weavers. Also, the saree, all the proceeds from Madhurya Creations’ go towards supporting the education of rural children through the Art of Living Foundation. So, it was important as well.”

Bollywood Hungama also spoke to Bharathy Harish, founder of Madhurya, who revealed that the hand-painted work on the pallu of the saree was done in three days. “Ami Patel told us that Alia Bhatt has been invited to this huge event, so send something interesting that is appropriate for this event. What we had was the lovely turquoise blue Mysore silk sake in the store. We asked Ami for a brief – in terms of colour, pattern etc. Once we received that, we showed her this colour and she said yes, the colour works. So after that, then we had to figure out what we could do in such a short time. So we thought of Lord Rama’s coronation, so if it can have something about him, but at the same time respectful. So you know you can’t put it in the border or the leg. So the pallu was like the best place to showcase something beautiful.”

Talking about working with their senior artisans, Shashi Bala and Sujit Behera, Bharathy further said, “We had artists on our team, this chalchitra artist who is very senior and they need to be able to paint also, in excellent quality, in a short time, which means it has to be a master artist. So we have a chalchitra artist in our team and we requested that we do this. The time is very short. Normally, he would have needed at least two weeks to do this but we told him we have three days to work day and night on this and get it ready. He also accepted the challenge and the husband and wife painted non-stop, day and night and very nicely they completed it. And then we took a chance and sent it to Ami and we are just very glad Alia liked and wore it.”

Juxtaposing the handloom creation with contemporary fashion, she said, “The saree is a combination of traditional yet modern because it’s not heavy, not overbearing. It’s subtle, flowy and classy. The pallu just has the traditional craftsmanship on it. So it works both like in a lovely combination that way turned out that way. So we are glad.”

Talking about selecting the chapters from Ramayana, she revealed, “Ramayana is a story we have all grown up with. The story itself is separated into different volumes like Balakandam, Ayodhyakandam, Aranyakandam, Kishkinda kandam, Sundara kandam, Yuddha kandam and Uttara kandam. So we just chose the most important events, especially what came to our heart, as a very important event that happened in that particular chapter of Lord Rama and Lord Sita’s lives.”

Adding further, she said, “We chose the part where Lord Rama broke the Shiva Dhanush at Janaka’s place and Sita with a garland – that is one scene we added. Then the next significant event that made it was Dhashratha asking them to go to the forest, based on Kaikeyi’s requests. So those scenes are depicted like Lord Rama taking lessons from Dhashratha to go to the forest. Guha, who is the devotee, and who is taking Lord Rama, Sita and Lakshmana, across the Ganga in the boat and his devotion is iconic, that was a scene that was depicted.”

“If you see in the second panel, the golden deer, if you see there, that is there; it’s a very miniature thing. Then, the kidnapping of Sita when Ravana comes in disguise as a saint and kidnaps her and subsequently is the iconic Ram Setu construction across the ocean. Hanuman presents [Lord Rama’s] ring to Sita and after that is Lord Rama’s coronation. So these eight events, at that moment, we thought as significant and symbolic turning points in the Ramayana and the last is a very celebrated coronation.”


ACTOR: Alia Bhatt

OUTFIT: Madhurya, with hand-painting by Shashi Bala and Sujit Behera artisans

STYLIST: Ami Patel, assistant by Garima Garg, Sanjay Kumar Dohalia

SHAWL: Dusala Kashmir

EARRINGS: Neety Singh Jewellery

HANDSTACK: Mahesh Notandass, Curio Cottage Jewellery

BATWA: Ami Patel

HAIR: Amit Thakur

MAKE-UP: Riviera Lynn


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A post shared by Ami Patel (@stylebyami)

ALSO READ: Alia Bhatt, Ranbir Kapoor, Vicky Kaushal, and Katrina Kaif pose together in Ayodhya; see viral pic

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