Indian Furniture: What is a Charpoy?

Published: 21st May 2010
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One of the better known members of the Indian furniture family, the charpoy has been around for quite some years. Read on to know more about this traditional Indian bed.

The Indian culture is vast and diverse, and almost every aspect connected to India has some part of the Indian customs and traditions that are so famous. In the same manner, Indian furniture has a special place in the vast and vibrant cultures and traditions of the world. There are several pieces of Indian furniture that are iconic and well known all over the world. Here is a brief description and introduction of the charpoy, the poor man's king-size bed in rural India.

The Charpoy, also spelt at the charpai, and pronounced as 'ch- aar - paa - iee' is basically a square or rectangular structure that rests on four legs. The rectangular structure acts as a frame that is strung together with coir ropes. The coir ropes are tied to the frame quite tightly, so that the base becomes strong and comfortable enough for a person to sleep or sit on. The charpoy is still a very common site in India. Many people who visit rural India will remember the stringed bed which they wondered would hold their strength or not.

The history of the Charpoy or when it was first built is not known, but what is certain is that it is one of the most comfortable beds that you would ever get at a reasonable price. People can either sleep on the coir stringed base, or put a large cushion on it. The charpoy has a lot of resistance and will not break at the seams unless it is used in an unnatural manner.

While the old, traditional charpoy in itself is a great way to add the Indian touch to your house, the modern charpoys are a picture of comfort and elegance. The modern day charpoys have bases that are strung together using different materials - like cotton strings, or plastic strings, etc. also, they have a better finishing and look and feel to them, which make them usable with any kind of furniture of themed house that you might be thinking of.

The charpoy is just one of the several types of Indian furniture that you will come across. While buying the charpoy, make sure that the quality of the wood that is used, or the string that is used to tie the base together is of good quality. If you are not comfortable with the wooden material, you may also opt for a charpoy that has an iron or steel base and uses plastic or cotton string to tie up the base.

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