Bidri derives its name from the township of Bidar in Karnataka. It is one of the most important handicraft exports of India and is prized as a symbol of wealth.

Bidri art has obtained Geographical indication (GI) registry. The unique artwork is originally gifted by Persian artists. An art form embedded in time – bidriware was started by a single craftsman in the 16th a century and it has provided livelihood and artistic expression to craftsmen in Karnataka across generations.

Bidri craft is a perfect fusion of Iranian and Indian heritage. An alloy of zinc, copper, and silver are used for this craft. And the ratio used is 16 parts Zinc to 1 part copper.

In the 16th century, Bahaman sultans shifted to Bidar from Gulbarga. They started building a fort during that time. A craftsman was called from Iran, named Abdullah bin Kaiser, to decorate these forts by decorating shells in stones and gold and silver metal in iron. That’s when the craftsmen from Bidar learned his technique and created a new form of craft.

This was how Bidriware craft was accomplished as they added the soil of Bidar’s fort. This story is over 500 years old. Bidri crafts are their culture became a part of our inheritance for generations.

Bidriware came to life in India in the 16th century thanks to an Iranian craftsman and it inspired generations to come. This amalgamation of different metals is influenced by the richness of Persian culture. Bidri ware originated from the city of Bidar, in the Deccan but also spread to Aurangabad in Maharashtra. The wares are now cast from zinc, copper, and tin alloy, to which varying proportions of lead is added.

The vessels are then inlaid with a metal of choices, predominantly silver although occasionally with gold and brass. Their refined function is reflected by the objects in their collection. The spittoon was the symbol of a sophisticated lifestyle, as it was an indispensable accessory for the chewing of betel nuts. The pot and washbasin was an essential combination in every middle-class and aristocratic household in India and had the symbolic status within aristocratic houses demonstrated in numerous paintings and illustrations.


 Sourcing raw materials
 Design and base mold preparation
 Hand etching
 Hammering
 Final blackening
 Washing and polishing.


The first stage is molding. In this step, a mold is filled with clay and placed inside a hollow frame. Then molten zinc is poured inside the frame to create a model of the desired shape. This model is then taken out and smoothened by filling. For design, purposes coat it with a solution of copper sulfate to obtain a temporary color. Then with the help of a steel chisel, we carve designs engrave it with a harmer. After that according to the size, they inlay silver wire on it once that’s done, they file the object to make it smooth and buff it looks like stainless steel. After all this, They dip the object in a boiling mixture of Bidar forts soil and water, which turns the zinc part into black color and the silver part remains white. finally, to obtain a shiny look, they apply coconut oil on it and keep it aside for twelve hours and, this is how they make bidriware.


The Emperor tries smoking…… a narrative abut BIDRI

Akbar tried smoking from a huqqa, introduced into the Mughal court for the first time by the courtier Assad Beg. He found it in the Deccan, where it had just been imported by the Portuguese. Out of curiosity, he agreed to try the huqqa and taking the mouthpiece into his scared moth, drew two or three breaths’. But Akbar had an iron will and discipline and indulged with restraint.

Huqqa vase with irises, late 17th c. This beautiful huqqa base, with irises and other flowers, would have originally been fitted with a long stem supporting a brazier and a pipe through which the smoker would have inhaled. Many of the known examples of huqqa bases from the 17th and 18th centuries were made in the Deccan and decorated with the type of metal inlay known as bidri which the base metal of the object is darkened through chemical processing in order to highlight the inlaid metal of the object.

Truly remarkable craftsmanship exemplified by the delicately swaying irises and the undulating leaves. We are transported to the 17th century-the Emperor sits on a soft velvet gaddi, laid over the fashionable Lahore flower carpets. His favorite courtiers sit alongside. A Chauri bearer whisks away flies. The cool evening air is redolent with frankincense. He chugs away at his pipe connected to this magnificent huqqa base.

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