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Kancheepuram Varamahalakshmi - Call it temple or store

By Susmita Das | Vjmedia Works | May 20, 2013

The specialty saree brand from Tamil Nadu, Kancheepuram Varamahalakshmi has opened its second store in Bangalore generating its customary temple like essence where Chettinad architectural elements blend with Kancheepuram traditions.

Kancheepuram Varamahalakshmi, the exquisite saree brand from south India has unveiled its first store in Karnataka after enticing Tamil Nadu. Spread across 6500 square feet, this exclusive store for wedding & gifting sarees is positioned at Jayanagar in Bangalore. The brand offers original quality at wholesale price for retail purchase, and bulk purchases at very attractive pricing, making it value for money around the year wherein sarees are available right from Rs.799 to Rs. 2 lakh. It's an abode for the rare and eternal pure Kancheepuram Sarees, Aarani Sarees, Banaraas Sarees, Dharmavaram Sarees, Uppada Sarees, Handloom Sarees, Real Jari Kota Sarees and Designer Sarees.

Designed by Shilpalaya Associates, the store flaunts the Chettinad mode amalgamated with the authentic Kancheepuram customs highlighting a statue of Goddess Varamahalakshmi placed at the centre of the ground floor which is being garlanded every day followed by prayer on a daily basis. "The brief given to the store design agency was that the look & the feel of the store should speak traditional as similar in the lines of Chettinad old houses while matching the Kancheepuram traditions,” shares Kalyan Annam, Director at Varamahalakshmi.

Speaking on the design note, P.Jayakiran, Principal Architect, Shilpalaya Associates explains, "The brands concept of bringing statue of Varamahalakshmi in the centre gives us the design interpretation to bring the concept of ethnicity through arthamandapa from temple architecture.”

Spread over two levels, the store façade harmonizing with the design strategy generates a conventional aura which is being created out of old materials blended with new techniques. An amalgamation of bright artworks, long posts, Mangalore tile (kiln) on MS frame with pedestal crafted out of fibre shores up the store front. "The Store front is more of art inspired by traditional architecture of old Chettinad house with wooden pillar and glass.  A combination of eight different varieties of silk sarees draped in South Indian style with additional illuminated props enhances the over all look and feel of store front,” says Akhil KV, Manager, Advertising and Visual Merchandising, Varamahalakshmi.

The store interior as well is a fusion of both new and old concepts of materials and graphics. A lot of bright colored art works with combination of mirrors designed by a Kancheepuram based artist heightens the look of the space. This store which gives the feel of an old temple besides the statue of the goddess also has incorporated various other authentic elements to complete the look. The space shows off a double height ceiling with rough stone flooring along with huge wooden pillars brought from Pondicherry, antic mirrors and designer chandeliers transported from Hyderabad while the texture form of paint behind the display racks bestows a mud finish feel. In order to provide the customers with a relaxed shopping experience mats are placed on the floor near the saree sections.

"The walls of the store are decorated with 3D painting of Thanjavur while the ceiling also follows the same concept of Thanjavur exemplifying the traditional classical aesthetic art form that uses a unique style and technique. Various tinted gems are placed on the paintings such as arches, thrones and dresses but the final finish is given using paints. The divine figures embossed with unique art work using hues and glass pieces embedded on them have round bodies,” further adds Akhil.

The store is broadly divided into two zones, where the general and the VIP has been incorporated in the store with the use of glass, highlighting the walls with wallpapers, wood and lighting.  A VIP lounge has also been created at the first floor of the store. But the most tantalizing feature about the store is after the customer purchases a saree, it is blessed by performing prayer by the priest at the store. After being showered with huge accolade, the brand has plans to augment its reach across the other parts of South India.

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