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From turbans to dhotis
From sarees to chaniya cholis

A visit to India has a unique flavour of variance in it that one could witness in no other place in the world. Known as the country of snake charmers, India is like a colourful patchwork quilt, beautifully harmonized to form a composite whole.
India is a country who has a multi facet combination of costumes , culture and tradition. From the northern dhotis to the southern lungis ,from the eastern sarees to the western cholis. Each of them blended with colors, designs and prints.
Most Indians wear traditional attire. In the recent years the youngsters in metropolitan cities have taken to western clothing. Still by and large, in the rest of the country and among the older generation, Indian clothing is very much the daily attire.
The best known Indian clothing is the 'sari' worn by women all over the country in it's various adaptations in different regions of the country. The 'salwar kameez' is a dress of the north as is the 'churidar kurta'. The latter is also worn by men. In Gujarat and Rajasthan women wear brightly mirrored skirts called 'ghagras'. Here also, you will find the colourful tie-dye materials. In the north-east, the women wear superbly picturesque Tibetan costumes. The sarong-like 'lungi' is worn by both men as well as women in the south. The traditional Muslim women can still be seen wearing the all-enveloping tent-like 'burkha'. Unlike their women, the Indian men wear quite conventional western clothing especially in the cities. Here one will find men clad in the regular pant and shirt. In the north, the most popular dress for men is the 'kurta pyjama'. The 'pathan suit', very similar to the salwar kameez is worn by men in the north. In the south apart from the lungi mentioned earlier, one sees the 'dhoti'. The dhoti is like a longer lungi but with a length of material pulled up between the legs. The 'achkan' which is long collarless jacket is used for occasional wear all over the country though seen more in the north. The 'safa' is a turban made from a single, colourful strip of cloth and is originally from Rajasthan.
The 'Gandhi Topi' is worn mostly by Maharashtrian men. The most prominent headgear you will see is probably the 'turban' of the 'sardars' or the Sikh men. Traditional Indian women keep their head covered at all times. In the north they use a 'dupatta' usually made from a flimsy fabric. Others use the end of their sari. In the north-east, they wear high top hats. The conventional footwear of the Indians also varies. The typical 'juttis' and 'mojris' are very comfortable. Also very popular are the 'Kolhapuri chappals', a type of slippers originally made in a small town in Maharashtra.
Craftsmanship in general has not developed beyond the production of everyday items for domestic use. Pattu, the rough, warm, woollen material used for clothing is made from locally produced wool, spun by women on drop-spindles, and woven by traditional weavers on portable looms that are set up in the winter sunshine or under the shade of a tree in summer.
Let us now parade ourself with the mystic of Indian costumes around the map.

North India

Region: Kashmir
Dresses For Men & Women: Pheran & Poots
Accessories: Pashmina Belt, Mughal Type Turbans & Brightly Coloured Scarfs

What makes Jammu and Kashmir's costumes and attires different from the rest of India is because of the blend of three distinct cultural backgrounds. Filled with greener pastures the dressing in the region of Kashmir becomes more colourful with exquisite embroidered work that accompanies their clothes, especially the shawls and Pherans, which are embroidered with intricate patterns of multihued threadwork. Up above in Ladakh, the dressing sense is having a trans-Himalayan influence in it. One can check the true colours of this barren cold desert in the festive seasons when the ceremonial attires just astound the spectators.





Himachal Pradesh

Himachal Pradesh is wrapped in snow most of the time. Many parts of the state have a distinctly Austrian look with conifer-clad mountains, chalet-like huts with overhanging balconies and serene blue valleys watered by snow-fed streams. Shimla, the capital of Himachal Pradesh, is still very much a Raj township in appearance and atmosphere.
Himachal Pradesh stores numerous wonderful hill stations, which are particularly cool in summers. The People: Himachalis lead a simple and quiet life, tending their orchards, fields and flocks. The population is composed of a variety of distinctive hill tribes: Gadis, Gujaris, Kinnauris, Lahulis, Pangwalis, and Rajputs. Hindi (the official state language) and Pahari are the principal languages.


The vibrancy of the people of Haryana finds expression in their lifestyle too. Their simplicity and spirited enthusiasm for life is evident in their way of dressing up. The women of the region have a special attraction towards colours.

Women love to wear colourful dresses. Their basic trousseau includes 'Damaan', 'Kurti' & 'Chunder'. 'Chunder' is the long, coloured piece of cloth, decorated with shiny laces, meant to cover the head and is drawn in the front like the 'pallav' of the saree. Kurti is a shirt like blouse, usually white in colour. The 'Daaman' is the flairy ankle-long skirt, in striking colours.

The men generally wear 'Dhoti', the wrap around cloth, tucked in between the legs with a white-coloured kurta worn atop it. 'Pagri' is the traditional headgear for men, which is now worn mainly by the old villagers. All-white attire is a status symbol for men.

Uttar Pradesh

Costumes of Uttar Pradesh
Men's Attire: Kurta-Payjamas and Dhoti-Kurta
Women's Attire: Sari, Salwar Suit, Lehangas,Shararas And Gararas
Influence On Costumes: Geographical, Climatic And Religious

Uttar Pradesh is a huge state with immense diversity in its culture, people and region. The costumes worn by the people are basically guided by geographical considerations.
For the women, sari is the basic and the most graceful form of dress. The saree is draped in different styles in the cities and in the villages of the hills.
Salwar suit, lehangas, shararas, and gararas, the flairy parallel trouser-like dress, worn over long kurtas are also popular in the state, especially among the Muslim women.
Western dress is also gaining popularity among young people and the working class. The men of the region wear kurta-payjamas and dhoti-kurta while the most common dress now is the trouser and shirt.

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