Kanakavalli's Motif Spotlight series is a celebration of the classic forms that embellish the kanjivaram. In this curation we delve into the beauty and symbolism of the Iruthalai Pakshi, a two-headed bird that adorns the drape.
The motif of the double-headed eagle, also called gandabherunda, was used in the royal insignia and on coins of powerful kingdoms and empires. A symbol of victory, the Iruthalai Pakshi is also rooted in mythology and spirituality in South Indian tradition. The motif is intricate on the kanjivaram silk, woven in rich zari or coloured silken yarn. The mighty two-headed bird is seen soaring across the sari's body, or woven in exquisite detail on the borders and pallu, lending regal splendour to the weave.