These beautifully refined hand-lathed bowls called 'Bhiksha Patra' is prepared from wood that is known for its dense grain and strength. The Kharadi Muslim community from Rajasthan make these paper-thin bowls. From a single section of wood, a total of 3-10 bowls can be scooped out, one from right under the other. This unique recipe requires precise technique, which the craftsmen have mastered through their involvement in this woodcraft from generations.
For a long time, the Patras have been used as alms bowl by Shwetamber Jain monks who are easily distinguishable by their white garb. The Jain ascetics renounce their worldly possessions and neither cook their own food or get it prepared by others. Instead, they travel bare foot from house to house receiving little food from each, so as to not burden a single household.
This fragile bowl can be used for dry edible items. It comes finished with olive oil but it is recommended to oil it with any cooking oil before and after each use. This exceptionally handcrafted bowl not only endows the user to experience the humility of Jain monks but also entails a sense of harmony and goodwill that these different religious communities have easily assembled.