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Varanasi’s Tiranga Barfi and Dhalua Murti Metal Casting Craft Receive GI Tag

In a significant development, two iconic products from the historic city of Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, have been granted the coveted Geographical Indication (GI) status. On April 16, 2024, the GI Registry Office based in Chennai announced that the Tiranga Barfi of Varanasi and the Dhalua Murti Metal Casting Craft have been included in the prestigious GI category.

Uttar Pradesh’s GI Product Tally Reaches 75

This latest addition has further strengthened Uttar Pradesh’s position as a leader in the GI domain. With the inclusion of Tiranga Barfi and Dhalua Murti Metal Casting Craft, the total number of GI products from the state has reached an impressive 75, comprising 58 handicrafts and 17 agricultural and food products. This remarkable achievement sets a new record for the highest number of GI tags associated with a particular state in India.

The Iconic Tiranga Barfi

Steeped in the rich history of India’s independence movement, the Tiranga Barfi holds a special place in the hearts of Varanasi’s residents. During the struggle for freedom, this tricolored sweetmeat was ingeniously crafted to facilitate secret meetings and information exchange among revolutionaries. The saffron hue is derived from saffron, the green color comes from pistachio, and the white shade is created using khoya and cashew nuts.

Varanasi’s Dhalua Murti Metal Casting Craft

The Dhalua Murti Metal Casting Craft, originating from the Kashipura locality of Varanasi, has gained national recognition for its intricate and exquisite metal idols. The craftsmen in this region have mastered the art of casting idols of deities such as Maa Annapurna, Lakshmi-Ganesh, Durgaji, and Hanumanji, along with various instruments, bells, thrones, and seals for minting coins.

Varanasi’s GI Journey

Varanasi, often referred to as the “most diverse GI city,” has witnessed a remarkable growth in the number of GI-registered products over the past nine years. Prior to 2014, only the Banaras Brocade and Sarees, and the Bhadohi Handmade Carpets from the Varanasi region had been granted the GI tag. However, this number has now soared to an impressive 34, reflecting the region’s rich cultural heritage and traditional craftsmanship.

Economic and Cultural Impact

The GI recognition has not only provided international legal protection to India’s heritage but has also generated an annual business of approximately Rs. 30,000 crores in the Varanasi region and nearby GI-registered districts. This has directly benefited around 20 lakh people who are now legally protected for their traditional products. Additionally, new employment opportunities have emerged, and these products are rapidly reaching global markets through tourism, trade, and e-marketing initiatives.

With the technical support of the Human Welfare Association alone, a remarkable 148 GI products have been registered across 14 states, further solidifying India’s commitment to preserving and promoting its rich cultural heritage.

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