Orchid Books

Orchid Books is a collection of well illustrated books, appealing to both the layman and the scholar, and written by specialists.

Central & North-East Asia Burma South Asia
Thailand & South-East Asia Himalaya & Tibet China

South Asia

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Sindh jo Ajrak
Cloth from the Banks of the River Indus
by Noorjehan Bilgrami
1990. Revised edition 1998. 196 pp., fully illustrated in colour, 25 x 25 cm., hardbound in raw cotton and authentic ajrak cloth.

ISBN-10: 974-8299-10-4 $60.00
ISBN-13: 978-974-8299-10-5


This is the only major work on Ajrak, the famous double-printed cotton cloth of Sindh, Pakistan. Since the earliest trading contacts between Europe and Asia, this cloth has been appreciated and much sought after. The Venetian Niccolao Manucci wrote in 1659 that it “lasts beyond all cloths that I have used”, and the Englishman William Fremlin noted that “… of all sorts of Indian goods, none are in such request as those of Synda…” Years of painstaking research by the author lies behind this book, which minutely describes the twenty-odd laborious stages of producing ajrak. The book is unusual in that it also includes a detailed directory of the craftsmen she found who still practice the traditional craft correctly. With this book, the humble Sindhi craftsmen who have struggled to maintain a long and culturally significant tradition have received their monument. The craft has revived in recent years, and beautiful photographs well document this remarkable textile-making process.
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Shiva
by Paula Fouche and Denise Tomecko
1990. 1995. vi, 134 pp., 108 col. photos, 18 watercolour plates. 26 x 19 cm., softbound.

ISBN-10: 974-8304-24-8 $25.00
ISBN-13: 978-974-8304-24-3


The earliest evidence of worship of Lord Shiva came from the excavations of two ancient Indus valley civilizations which flourished between 3000 and 2000 BC at Mohenjodaro and Harappa, in present-day Pakistan. Shiva is here presented in 18 short but poignant chapters, dramatically illustrated with rare photographs, by authors who spent long periods with yogis, at festivals, and in sacred places throughout India and Nepal.