Pochampally, in Yadadri Bhuvanagiri district, is located 50 kms away from Hyderabad, and is often referred to as the Silk City of India for its exquisite sarees, which get woven through a unique style called Ikat. This style, Pochampally Ikat, had actually received a Geographical Indicator (GI Status) back in 2004.
Ikat is a Malaysian-Indonesian word which means ‘tie and dye’. Ikat has process of wrapping or tying, and dyeing sections of the bundled yarn to a predetermined colour pattern before being woven. The dye penetrates into the exposed sections, while the wrapped section remains undyed. This particular pattern which the yarn forms in this process is woven into the fabric.
The Union Minister of Culture and Tourism, G Kishan Reddy, has congratulated the people of the village for gaining this prestigious recognition. It is to be presented on occasion of the 24th session of the UNWTO General Assembly on 2 December in Madrid, Spain.
The minister said that Pochampally's unique weaving styles and patterns received special focus through Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s mantra of ‘Vocal for Local’ as part of the ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ mission.
The Minister said, “On behalf of the people of Pochampally in particular and the people of Telangana, I am grateful that this award has been bestowed on the village of Pochampally. I am also grateful to the ministry officials in presenting the case for Pochampally and other entries effectively.”
The Best Tourism Villages by UNWTO Pilot initiative aims to award those villages that are outstanding examples of the rural destinations, and also set out good practices in line with its specified 9 evaluation areas. It also aims to support villages, enhancing their rural tourism potential through the training and access to opportunities for improvement.
The Ministry of Tourism had recommended 3 villages for UNWTO Best Tourism Village entry from India namely - Kongthong in Meghalaya, Ladhpura Khas in Madhya Pradesh, and Pochampally in Telangana.
Pochampally is called as ‘Bhoodan Pochampally’ to honour the Bhoodan movement, which was actually launched by Acharya Vinobha Bhave from this village, on 18 April 1951. Currently, a 2-room Vinobha Bhave Mandir exists in this village. This was earlier the place where Vinobha Bhave resided during his visit to this beautiful village.
Reddy said, “The Ministry of Tourism has drafted a rural tourism policy which will not only promote tourism within our villages, but also revitalise local arts and crafts and promote rural economy. It will help redevelop and rebuild our villages and rural life and the residents of the villages will also get an opportunity to engage and interact with people from outside.”