The Indian carpet makers Hands have set a world record by undertaking the task of covering an area of 12,000 m² with a unified handmade carpet. The project was commissioned for the Grand Mosque of Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan, the largest mosque in Central Asia. To imagine the scale of the carpet size, just the medallion at the center of the carpet measures 70 meters in diameter.
The logistics that went into the making of this hand-crafted mega wool carpet are mindboggling. The manufacturing took place at Hands’ manufacturing facility in Bhadohi near Varanasi. More than one thousand carpet weavers worked relentlessly for six months, using 80 tons of 100% New Zealand wool that was spun and dyed to perfection. The installation itself at the Grand Mosque in Astana in Kazakhstan took 50 days. To add to the difficulties, all this happened at the peak of the pandemic in 2021. The design of the carpet is an extension of two things: one, the circle with 8 axes that forms the centerpiece of the main courtyard; and two, the mosque gardens that draw design inspiration from Jannat-ul-Firdaus. Every detail of the mosque architecture is considered: the principal chandelier, the corners, the flooring, the converging walls, the pillars and much more. To enable the perfect execution of this mammoth project, a highly flexible model of collaboration was adopted – both at the development stage and even after production. Even one small structural deficiency could manifest at the time of installation of the carpet.
The Grand Mosque of Nur-Sultana in Astana, Kazakhstan has other features too that set a world record. For instance, the chandelier is supposedly the world’s largest. The land plot of the mosque is 10 hectares. Nearly 235,000 worshippers can be accommodated all together within its 68,000 sqm built up mosque. The minarets measure 130 meters in height, nearly twice that of the Qutub Minar. The dome is 90 meters in height.
The carpet company Hands was founded in 1881, in Bhadohi near Varanasi, by Mr A. Tellery. The business passed on to the Patodia family some decades later. Now, it is run by the second generation of Patodias. While the label caters to clients across the world, Hands has presence in Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Dubai and Singapore.