Bidriware is the pride of Bidar, near Hyderabad, and is an indigenous handicraft tradition that garners a lot of admiration and appreciation. Practised on zinc and copper, and inlaid with pure silver or thin sheets, it is a delicate art and remarkably intricate. Bidri items can be found in most arts and crafts shops of Hyderabad and regular tours are organised by local heritage tour companies to Bidar, where visitors can watch the artisans at work. 
The origin of this art form is believed to have been during the reign of the Bahmani sultans, who ruled Bidar in the 14th and 15th centuries. It is said to be an amalgamation of Persian, Arabic and Turkish designs. Though there are no historical records to prove it, many believe that it was brought to India by the followers of Khwaja Muinuddin Chisty, a preacher, in the 12th century.The process of making these beautiful articles is a complicated one and the elementary material used in an alloy of zinc and copper in the ratio 16:1. Then, artistic patterns are etched on this alloy. The process involves eight stages. First, moulding is done, which is followed by smoothing with a file. Chiselling and engraving are done thereafter. The most amazing step is the inlaying of silver, which is followed by smoothing, buffing and then oxidising the product by ammonium chloride and soil. The chemicals in this soil are believed to give a lustrous black colour to the products. The main articles that you can buy here include vases, goblets, candle holders, jewellery boxes, wine decanters and hookahs.

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