Motif Limelight - The 'Mayil' or Peacock

Updated: May 14

Timeless motifs of Kanjivarams

Over the centuries, a range of several patterns has become characteristic of Kanjivaram sari designs. These motifs and patterns were not just decorative but also had strong symbolic connotations, both in mythology and folklore. Motifs play a twin role — of aesthetic appeal, and as a reflection of symbolic meaning. Over the years, many drastic changes have occurred in the making and weaving of Kanchipuram sarees, but the traditional motifs and patterns remain unchanged.

Mayil (peacock)

A beautiful and inherently long-established symbol of the Indian culture since historic times, the Peacock motif has graced several forms of art and architecture and has been a matter of pride and prestige for centuries. A 12th-century text describes the city of Kanchipuram as a peacock. It’s no wonder that this deeply rooted symbolism paved into Kanjivarams famous weaving community.

The Kanchipuram sarees were used to showcase royalty and class during the king’s era and the peacock motifs were the cherry on top of these silk canvas. Having deep ties with Hindu gods and goddesses, they are considered a matter of great pride, luxury and nobility in ancient times.

Symbolizing wealth, beauty, pride and more importantly royalty, the peacock signifies all the characteristics of a modern Indian woman.

Here are some of our Kanjivaram silk sarees woven with motifs of these regal creatures, handpicked by our curators.