Potli Bags are partnering Indian people since Vedic civilization. They have increased their canvas from being a utility in olden age to a fashion accessory of the modern Indian Women. Their look and feel has changed from being a simple cloth bag to being a mesmerizing look along with the embellishment of embroidery from kutch or banaras, sequin, mirror, beadwork of bhopal, stones, pearls, diamonds, fringes, tassels on various cloths like silk, velvet, satin etc.
Potli bags in Ramayana and Mahabharata period:
Potli was used as a travel bag when Lord Rama went in forest on his exile for fourteen years, his brother Lakshman accompanied him along with a potli bag containing clothes, medicinal leaves, fruits, water and mud of Ayodhya.
In Mahabharata, Arjuna used potli bag to hide his weapons on a tree, while he was staying in Virata Kingdom.Pandavas carried their personal belongings in potli bags during exile. Sudama carried a potli of rice when he went to meet Lord Krishna.
Vedic Period Potli Bags:
Potli Massages were famous in vedic period. A potli bag filled with various herbs was used in Ayurveda in form of cataplasm for carrying out potali massage. Mentions of Potli are also found in ayurvedic medicine names such as Hemgarbh Potli Ras, Ratangarbh Potli Ras, Shastikshali Potli (Rice Potli) etc.
For long period of times Potli mentions are found in paintings and other literature as,
Small potli bags with strings were used for carrying money like gold coins. While, Large potli bags were used for carrying personal belongings and trading purposes on horse backs. There are also paintings showing saints carrying potli bags under their arms.
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