Mangalagiri is a town, a mandal of Guntur District, Andhra Pradesh. The town is known to have existed since 225 b.c. Before Mangalagiri sarees popularize the town, Mangalagiri was known for its pilgrimage importance. The famous temple of Lord Panakala Narasimhaswamy is situated here on a hillock. It is believed that this temple has been in existence since Satya yuga. Yudishtira himself installed the idol in the temple.
It is said that as per the traditions, the pilgrims have to purchase a saree from the local weavers after offering their prayers at this temple. It is also said that these pilgrims often buy these sarees from the local weavers and offer them to the deity as an offering. This is a brilliant way to give local weavers a livelihood and a fantastic way of preserving their art form for generations to come.
Mangalagiri saree is made from pure cotton yarn and is known for its durability, softness and elegance. The speciality of this saree is that it can only be woven on a pit loom which makes the weave so intricate without gaps.
The distinct style of Mangalagiri saree is the unique combination woven from cotton and pure silk with the most characteristic features known as Nizam border. It is usually woven from pure zari. The border is usually filled with intricate embellishments of golden threads and is usually two inches thick. Some sarees have very closely-knit patterns like tiny inverted checks. These zari is superimposed by weaving them over the regular weave unlike other handlooms. The body of the saree has minute checks or stripes which gives a crisp, simple yet elegant look.
"Mangalagiri Sarees and Fabrics are produced by performing handicraft weaving in Mangalagiri, a town in Guntur district of the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. It was registered as one of the handicraft in the geographical indication from Andhra Pradesh by Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999".
"The GI certification will be given for ‘Mangalagiri saris and fabrics’ and the artisans will henceforth have legal protection from exploitation of the name under the provisions of WTO’s Trade Related Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) Agreement." - The Hindu.