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Elephant trappings – Jhul, cloth of gold

Author Affiliations

  • 1Maharana of Mewar Charitable Foundation, The City Palace Museum, Udaipur, Rajasthan, India

Res. J. Recent Sci., Volume 7, Issue (2), Pages 21-27, February,2 (2018)


Since ages, the practice of draping and armouring an elephant has been prevalent in most Southeast Asian countries, especially India. The process of decorating the giant is an elaborate process as the animal often played an important (and often, the sole) defence of a kingdom thus it exhibited the greatness of sovereign’s supremacy or the temple\'s affluence. The animal is bedecked with numerous jewellery, twisted ropes and embroidered clothes and jhul are one of them. Literally, jhul is a large rectangular unstitched garment caparisoning elephant employed in temple veneration, regal processions and warfare. It is exquisitely embroidered with gilded and silver metallic thread on rich cloth. This research article concerns with the identification of India’s languishing textile heritage Jhul – the elephant trappings by documenting the craft with respect to raw materials, techniques, designs and motifs used in making the traditional trappings. This research may also look at the iconography, historical references along with a schematic diagram of jhul and line sketches of borders, jaal, motifs, fillings and central motif used to embroider the fabric.


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