The cotton people
Photo: K. Gopinathan
Well stocked with traditional weaves.
FOR ITS loyal customers, the name Rangachari is synonymous with exclusive cotton saris. Its show room - Rangachari Textiles - on Sampige Road, Malleswaram, is where one should go to check out its famed saris. "Mosa Iralla (there is no cheating)", says Uma, who often shops here. And 68-year-old Munithaiamma, another customer, agrees with her. Quality is one reason that draws them back here.
The store is also known for cotton. Rangachari special cotton saris, woven at Madurai are priced between Rs.160 and Rs.1,600. K. Reghupathi, who manages the store, is so sure of the quality of the cotton that he vouches guarantee for every sari he sells, and even promises to replace it in case there is a problem.
Among the Rangachari special cotton saris, there are the popular Madurai Sungudi saris. These saris, with their lovely batik prints also appeal to the college going crowd. There are also some exquisite pieces with intricate zari borders and pallu, which one can wear to a wedding instead of the conventional South Indian silk.
Prashema is another brand that Rangachari is proud of. Made of mercidised cotton, these saris have the look and feel of cotton, but without the maintenance problems, claims Mr. Reghupathi. Established by R. Rangachari 50 years ago, the chain set up its Bangalore branch in April 1999 to cater to that section of Bangaloreans, who often shopped at Rangachari stores in Dindugul, Coimbatore, Madurai, Kumbakonam, and Chennai, during their visit to Tamil Nadu. According to Mr. Reghupathi, Bangaloreans prefer pastel shades, and to cater to this demand, the store has a range of trendy designs along with the traditional ones. One can also find every conceivable variety of cotton - from Venkatgiri, Managalgiri, Bengal, Andhra and so on. The store also has a range of salwar kameez, which is mainly patronised by the young.
Besides cottons, Rangachari also offers Kanjeevarams. These are priced between Rs. 3,000 and Rs. 8,000. The Gadhwals are priced from Rs.1,200 to Rs. 3,000. Saris apart, the store also has an interesting range of towels, shirts, handloom dhotis for men, and short tops for girls. The store has no plans to open more branches here, as "exclusivity and quality are to be maintained".
Rangachari Textiles can be contacted on 3310402 or 3345868. The store offers a year round chit scheme and special discounts during Gowri-Ganesha and Ugadi festivals. For Diwali, it is offering a 10 per cent discount on silk saris.
SHILPA PAI M.
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