A peek into the world’s biggest hand-woven carpet

Nur Sultan Grand Mosque in Astana houses a 12,000-square-metre rug, which is pending approval from Guinness World Records


Joydeep Sengupta

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Published: Thu 24 Nov 2022, 10:19 PM

Last updated: Sun 27 Nov 2022, 2:34 PM

The Central Asian country of Kazakhstan is in the running for a new record, as its government has applied for the record of the world’s largest carpet for its 12,000-square-metre rug to Guinness World Records.

If the adjacent areas are combined, then the carpet sprawls over 17,086 square metres, which is two and half times of an international football pitch.The carpet was installed at Nur Sultan Grand Mosque in Astana — the capital of Kazakhstan — in August and can accommodate up to 30,000 worshippers.

The project was commissioned to an Indian carpet maker, Hands, which traces its origin to 1881 in Bhadohi near Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh, the South Asian country’s most populous state.

Hands was started by A. Tellery, who was a pioneer of Indian handmade carpets, and the ownership changed hands to the Patodia family in the last millennium and now its second generation have added sustainability and ethical practices to the Patodia Exports brand, which still relies on its trusted team of skilled craftspeople using time-honoured techniques that have been passed down for generations.

The colossal project, which is named after Kazakhstan’s first president Nursultan Abishuly Nazarbayev, who held the office between 1991 and 2019, was commissioned to Hands in 2020 amid the raging Covid-19 pandemic.

Pranay Patodia, the scion of Patodia Exports, which is the parent company of Hands, says, “We lived up to the challenge and it’s a great honour for us. The carpet is a combination of masterful craftsmanship and an exquisite manufacturing structure. The design process involved imagination of endless possibilities. It took into consideration the shape and size of the space that it is being crafted for, accounting for the pillars within the mosque that interrupt the flow of the pattern, as well as the angles at which light gleams onto it.”

Patodia adds that a main medallion, which is 70-metre in diametre, sits beneath the majestic central chandelier to perfectly complement and accentuate the glory of its 1.5 million crystals. “We’ve been trying to elevate carpet-making to an intricate art form. The installation process brought together 1,000 craftspeople to complete the piece within only 50 days. We used 80 tonnes of New Zealand wool spun and dyed to perfection for the project,” he says.

Patodia Exports has struck a chord in the UAE and Dubai, where it has an office apart from New Delhi, Mumbai, and Hyderabad in Patodia’s native India, and Singapore.

The carpet has several virtues, according to Patodia. “However, its blissful harmony and contemplation is an out-of-the-world experience, which opens up a brave new world of infinite expansion. Besides, Central Asia’s biggest mosque is as tall as The Great Pyramid of Giza , and a prayer area that can accommodate 30,000 people. The structure is already a flagship for worshippers, and innovators in design.

Hands presented a behind-the-scenes lowdown of the making of the world’s largest handmade carpet by the brand at the prestigious Downtown Design 2022, which took place at Dubai Design District from November 9-12.


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