History – How it all started?
Who made the first hand-engraved knife? We are not sure. However, we have a story passed on from one generation to another, and that might give you a clue how this fantastic hand-engraved knife came into existence.
The year was 1836. The Maharaja of the state of Batala had a vision. He was ordained to stop hunting and devote more time to culinary arts, and so began the tradition of hand-carved knives that has continued to this day.
Batala was a princely state located in the valley of Kashmir, whose ruler loved hunting. Royals worldwide visited Batala, where Maharaja exhibited traditional hospitality with week-long hunting expeditions. Furthermore, the Maharaja presented the departing royalty with a hand-carved rifle as state memorabilia.
Consequently, the royal court of the Maharaja was always busy receiving or saying farewells to the dignitaries. Naturally, the Maharaja loved the international attention. Therefore, he welcomed every guest with the most memorable hunting experience and, of course, a hand-carved rifle!
And then it happened: Maharaja was instructed by the heavens to stop murdering innocent animals; instead, he was ordered to promote the Kashmiri cuisine to the world. As a result, there was no need for engraved rifles anymore. Due to that, the hand engravers of Kashmir lost their livelihood.
A delegation of the engravers requested a royal audience to present their misery to the Maharaja. It was then that the wise vizier of the court made his famous suggestion, “Why not engrave knives with motifs along with the name and the emblem of the state of the visiting royalty!” So began the tradition of hand engraving forged steel knives that have carried on to this generation of artisans.
Now something about the history of the decorative engraving on the knives. You will find three distinct designs on these knives. If you look closely, you will notice two distinctive features of these designs.
1. The designs are curvy. Hence, they are called scroll art.
2. They are botanical. In other words, they have a stem, and then the branch has a leaf or a flower.
The history of scroll art goes back to the Bronze Age (that’s more than 3000 years)! However, this decorative design was introduced in India around 2000 ago by the Buddhists, who used this art form to decorate their places of worship. Interestingly, the four decorative engravings used on the knives were personally selected by the Maharaja of Batala.
In conclusion, this is a unique Gift for chefs, the ones who cherish the tradition of culinary arts.