TRADITIONAL DRESSES OF INDIAN STATES
The traditional dresses of the Indian states are going to be among the most popular forms of clothing throughout India. The reason is simple—clothing is more than just something that one wears. It is a symbol of cultural identity, religious affiliation, and social status.
The traditional attire any Indian region or community has been passed on from one generation to the next, and is referenced as markers of tradition and legacy.
Let’s learn in details about the traditional dresses of different Indian states.
Assam is a state in the northeast region of India. It is surrounded by states like Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram and Tripura. The state has a rich cultural heritage with its traditional dress being the most important part of it.
The traditional dress of Assam is called 'Mekhela Sador' (Assamese: মেকেলা সাদৰ). It is a wrapped garment that covers the lower part of the body with a cloth around the waist and two shoulder pieces hanging down on both sides. It is worn over bare skin without any additional clothing underneath it. The cloth used in making this Mekhela Sador is known as Riya Sador (Assamese: ঋইয়ে সাদৰ).
The ‘Mekhela-Chador’ or ‘Riha-Mekhela’ is wonderful traditional clothing for Assamese women. Especially during occasions like weddings or festivities, women take pride to adorn themselves in this attire. This handloom product is woven from durable Muga silk. The men were dhoti and kurta or kameez, often draping the long cloth ‘chador’ from the Seleng region.
Bihar is one of the most diverse states in India. From the Ganges to the Himalayas and from the plains to the plateaus, it has a lot to offer. The state has a rich history and tradition. It is home to some of the most popular festivals like Chhath Puja, Durga Puja etc.
The traditional dress for women from Bihar has two parts, upper and lower and both are usually made of handloom cotton fabric. The upper part consists of an ankle-length skirt called Choli that fits tightly to the body with a drawstring around the waist. It also has a matching blouse that goes up to the neckline but leaves some space between it and the chin where a piece of cloth or scarf is tied loosely around it with colorful thread or beads.
The lower part comprises two layers - one layer covers her legs while another one covers her upper body until just below her chest level which exposes only her face, neckline and hands. This garment is called Ghagra-Choli!
Traditional dress of men from Bihar is the dhoti-Mirjam and kurta.
Arunachal Pradesh is the land of the Apatanis, who are the oldest known inhabitants of India. Their culture is a blend of Buddhist, Monpa, and Ao Naga traditions. The people of Arunachal Pradesh wear traditional clothes that are colorful in design and also comfortable to wear during any season.
Arunachal Pradesh is a state in the far northeast of India. It borders the states of Assam and Nagaland to the south and shares international borders with Bhutan in the west, Myanmar in the east and China in the north. The majority of the territory is claimed by the People's Republic of China as part of South Tibet.
The traditional dresses of Arunachal Pradesh have been influenced by the tribal communities that inhabit this state. The state is divided into 12 districts, each having its own unique culture and traditions. The main tribes in Arunachal Pradesh are Apatanis, Sherdukpens, Noctes and Monpas.
The traditional dresses of Arunachal Pradesh are designed according to the climate of the region and the customs of the people living there. The women wear a full-sleeved coat over a loose chemise, which is called ‘Konchhu’ in Arunachal Pradesh. They also wear traditional jewelry like bamboo and silver earrings. The men wear silk shirts with pinstripe edges around their shoulder area.
The Sherdukpen men’s wear is famous for their skull-caps called ‘Gundam’ made out of yak hair.
The traditional attire of Chhattisgarh is known as Kuchhora. It is a unique style of wearing sarees and known as Lugda. It is worn with a pullover called Polkha, which is made from cotton or silk.
The people of Chhattisgarh are known for their simple yet elegant traditional attire that reflects the culture and heritage of this land. The men wear dhotis (dhoti-kurta) with headgears like turbans or caps made from cotton or silk fabrics adorned with beads and sequins.
Women wear sarees called lugda that are knee-length, single-piece garments worn over a blouse or choli (blouse). A pullover called Polkha is worn over this saree and sometimes a shawl called paro is also used to cover their shoulders.
The Chhattisgarhi people are fond of painting their bodies with various colors with different patterns on different parts of their body such as forehead (chandan), arms (jhadu), chest (kachcha), back (sehra) etc.
Gujarat is known as the land of Mahatma Gandhi who was born here in 1869. His teachings and philosophy are still followed by many people across the world. Gujarat is also known for its rich heritage, culture, textile industry and food delicacies.
The traditional dress of Gujarat is an expression of patriotism, pride, respect and reverence towards nature that reflects diverse cultural influences from various regions in India where Gujarati people have migrated over past centuries; especially from Saurashtra region from where they were forced out due to floods in 1785 AD due to heavy rainfall during monsoon season which caused destruction all over Saurashtra region; specially in Junagadh district which was then ruled by Gaekwar dynasty.
The traditional Kedia dress is worn by both men and women in Gujarat during festive occasions and celebrations. Women also wear vibrant Chaniya Choli. This gorgeous dress is worn with a long skirt called ‘Ghagra’ as the lower garment and is embedded with little pieces of glass. In general, men wear dhoti and kurta.
Gujarati women have a lot of jewelry that they wear during festivals or special occasions. Some important pieces include:
Dhokra - The most common type of earring worn by Gujarati women. It is made by melting copper coins or gold coins into a round shape. The metal is then hammered into an open work design with holes pierced through it to allow string to be threaded through them so they can be worn on the ears.
Mangalsutra - This is a symbol of marriage among Hindus and it consists of two intertwined threads — one made from beads, pearls or diamonds and the other made from gold or silver wire. It indicates that the woman wearing it has been married at least once before (and therefore may have had children). The mangalsutra may also include religious symbols carved into it such as swastikas for good luck or Lord Ganesh for prosperity.
Goa is famous for its beach and as a tourist spot. The people of Goa mostly wear Western clothing, but there are some traditional dresses that are still worn by the people of Goa.
The traditional attire for women in Goa is the Nav-Vari saree which comes nine-yard long. The expensive Pano Bhaju saree is studded with precious stones and gems. Men wear basic shirts and trousers, often teaming them up with caps.
In Goa, the traditional dresses are always colorful and have a lot of local flavor to them. There are many festivals celebrated here, where people dress up in their colorful best clothes to celebrate them.
The traditional Goan attire consists of a jacket known as 'chaddar', pajama or lungi and a cap called 'topi'. The men also wear a long strip of cloth around their waist called 'lungi'.
The women wear blouses with full sleeves, which are usually white in color, and use a white sari that comes down till the ankles. They also wear dupattas over their heads that are tied into knots at the back of their necks.
The people of Andhra Pradesh are known for their rich cultural heritage and traditions. The traditional clothing of the state reflects this culture and is a tribute to its rich history. Here are some of the most common traditional dresses worn by men and women:
Women’s Traditional Dresses in Andhra Pradesh
The women of Andhra Pradesh dress in handloom sarees. Most of these are made of silk, with a rich texture due to their intricate weaving. The younger women wear the two-piece conventional sarees called the Langa Voni. Andhra’s Kalamkari sarees have mythological motifs, and figures from epics etched on them.
Men’s Traditional Dresses in Andhra Pradesh
The men wear two forms of traditional dress – one being the lungi (a piece of cloth worn around the waist) and dhoti (a long piece of cloth that is wrapped around the waist). The other form is called mundu (a traditional skirt worn by men). In addition, they also sport a white towel called an angavastram.
In the state of Haryana, the traditional clothing of women is known as ‘Daman’. It is a long skirt that reaches down to the ankles and is worn over a salwar. The Kurti is a shirt-like blouse with short sleeves and comes in a variety of colors and designs. The Dhoti is the traditional attire for men and consists of a piece of cloth wrapped around the waist and knotted at one end.
The women wear their hair loose or in plaits with flowers or jasmine buds in them while men wear turbans on their heads, which are mostly red, blue or yellow in color.
The dhoti is the traditional wear for men. They also adorn their attire with the headgear Pagri, mainly in the villages.
The embroidered garments of Haryana are popular all over India and abroad because of their fine quality workmanship and intricate designs, which make them stand out from other traditional Indian clothing
The traditional dresses are usually made of cotton or silk fabric with bright colors like red or green etc. Some parts of Haryana have their own unique type of dress which makes them different from other regions in India like Jind, Rohtak etc.
Himachal Pradesh is also known as Dev Bhoomi (the Land of Gods). The state is famous for its traditional culture, Himalayan panoramas, Gurdwaras and temples. The people from Himachal Pradesh are known for their hospitality, honesty, simplicity and hard work.
Traditional Clothing of Himachal Pradesh-
Himachal Pradesh is a state in Northern India. It is bordered by Jammu and Kashmir on the north, Punjab on the west, Haryana on the south-west, Chandigarh on the south-east and Uttar Pradesh on the east. Himachal Pradesh has many different traditional dresses which are unique to each region of the state.
The people from Himachal Pradesh prefer kurtas and the lower garment called Churidaar. The women, on the other hand, deck themselves in ethnic Kurti, Salwar-Kameez, a long skirt called Ghagri, and the fringed headscarves called Rawhide. Due to the climate, woolen clothing is indispensable for the people. The famous Pashmina shawls are unique to the region.
Jharkhand is a state in eastern India. It's known for its tribal culture, wildlife and spectacular waterfalls. The name Jharkhand means "forest land", and derives from its geographical location as a historically rich mineral-bearing region. It is also known as the Coal Capital of India.
Jharkhand is a land of many ethnic groups and cultures. Every tribe has its own clothing, which is unique and characteristic to that tribe.
The Pathan and Panchi costumes of the tribes of Jharkhand are extremely popular. Sarees made from Tussar silk and Anjana silks are worn traditionally by women. The men were a single piece of cloth called the Bhagwan.
The costumes called Santhal and Pahari of the Santhal Pagara tribes are believed to bring good luck to the wearer. In general, men wear dhoti and kurta.
The Santal costume consists of white or black dhoti, kurta with short sleeves or long sleeves, red turban and belt around waist with beautiful embroidery on it. Women wear saree with blouse having embroidery on it as well as dupatta with colorful designs on it which hangs over their shoulders like a sari pallu.
Karnataka is known for its traditional dresses and jewelry. The women wear a nine-yard sari called "nanchari" which is generally worn over a blouse called "kashti" made up of silk or cotton and an unstitched cloth called "paithani".
The upper garments are usually made up of chiffon, georgette or crepe de chine with a border work done in zari or gold thread embroidery. The jewelry includes a nose ring, earrings, necklaces and bracelets made up of gold, silver or brass with stones like pearls, diamonds etc.
The men prefer to wear kurta and the lower garment called lungi/panche, or mundu, a type of lower garment made from cotton or silk cloth.
Madhya Pradesh is a state in central India. It is known for its rich cultural heritage and crafts, especially in the fields of music, dance and clothing.
The traditional dress for women of this state is quite similar to those of Rajasthan. The ladies wear colorful lehenga with cholis in various colors. For example, white and red are very common colors for bridal lehengas in Madhya Pradesh. The bridal lehenga is always adorned with zari work but it depends on your budget what kind of zari work you would like to have on your lehenga.
Their jewelry is not very different from other states as they have their own style of jewelry which is worn by most women during festivals or functions.
Maharashtra has a diverse range of folk dances like Lavani, Koli dance and Kolhapuri dance etc. The Marathi stage drama known as Tamasha is an integral part of Maharashtrian culture and tradition.
A unique feature of the traditional dress of Maharashtra is the long nine-yard saree called ‘Nauvari’. It has a special pattern of draping and comes in different colors like red, pink and blue. The women wear their hair in two plaits which are tied up with a ribbon behind their heads. They also wear heavy silver toe rings and jhumkas (earrings).
The men wear a cotton kurta paired with the dhoti. Their cotton caps are called ‘pheta’ or ‘pagadi’. A sleeveless jacket called ‘bandi’ is often worn by them in case of festivals like Ganeshotsav or Navaratri.
The traditional dress of Mizoram has been influenced by its geographical proximity to Myanmar and China where there were many Buddhist influences on them. Here, traditional dresses are made from cotton or silk fabrics and adorned with beautiful embroidery work or beaded jewelry.
Meghalaya has a rich cultural heritage with unique traditional dresses that distinguish it from other states in India. The traditional dresses vary from one region to another, depending on their lifestyle, climate and geographical conditions.
The traditional dresses of Meghalaya are known as Gympie Saree and Tap Moh Turban which are generally worn during festivals like Christmas and New Year’s Day celebrations or other social gatherings like parties and weddings.
The Jainem, mainly worn outdoors, is a modification of the typical Indian saree. Beaded jewelry is used to adorn this saree which is made from cotton or silk. The Tap Moh headgear is also worn.
The Khatriyem is similar to the Jainem but has different colors and designs.
The Chadoriem is worn by married women over a long skirt and blouse with a sash tied at the waist. Young girls wear it over a wraparound skirt and blouse with beaded jewelry around their necks.
The men wear dangpong and umdangs during festivals and other occasions. Dangpong is a long length of cloth tied around the waist with a knot at one end and the remaining end hanging loose. Umdangs are short lengths of cloth tied around the waist in the same fashion as dangpong but have no knot at one end.
The Riang male dress consists of a lungi or dhoti which covers from waist to ankles; sometimes they may be wrapped around their torso like an outer garment called ‘kyrie’ (which needs no description). Men also wear headgear called ‘mohar’ made up of black velvet cloth with silver buttons on it which covers their ears completely and comes down to below their nose level.
The traditional dresses of Manipur belong to two categories: one for men and another for women. The common features are a pleated blouse with buttons down the front, paired with a long skirt or pants. Men wear a simple white turban or ‘pagri’ on their head and kurta-dhoti combination. Women wear an undergarment called Inaphi, which they drape around themselves like a shawl, while wearing a Phanek skirt over it.
In addition to these traditional costumes, there are other special clothes worn during festivals and celebrations like Lai-Phi (a traditional Manipuri dress worn only by women) or Chin-Phi (another special Manipuri dress worn only by men).
Kerala has various traditional costumes that are worn by both men and women during special occasions. These include the mundu, which is worn by men during all occasions except some religious festivals when they wear a dhoti instead. Women wear saris, which are worn like skirts with blouses underneath them.
There are several types of saris in Kerala:
The Kanchipuram Saree – This saree comes from Kanchipuram in Tamil Nadu and is made from pure silk with gold or silver borders around it; it is considered one of the most luxurious types of sari because it’s so delicate and expensive! The Kanchipuram Saree has been worn by royalty since ancient times and is still used by many queens today because it looks so beautiful!
The Kasavu Saree was commonly worn by women in Kerala during weddings and other important functions. It was made using silk or cotton fabric that had been colored using natural dyes like indigo blue or madder red dye. This saree was heavily embroidered with gold zari thread work on its borders and pallav (end portion).
Also, men wear a shirt or kurta as the upper garment and the Veshti, a type of sarong.
Mizoram, a state in the north-east of India, is a land of traditional dresses. The traditional attire of Mizos is known as ‘Puan’ or ‘Lungta’. The Puan is an attire consisting of a blouse and leggings and is worn by Mizo women all over the state. The two-piece clothing called Puanchei, consisting of a long skirt and a shirt, is worn on occasions and at weddings.
The Puanchei is also known as ‘Lungta’ or ‘Chakma Lungta’ in other parts of Mizoram. The Lungta is usually made from cotton and has elaborate designs on it. It is usually worn with a long skirt with matching blouse.
Mizo men wear Lungi, Khuvaan (a knee length skirt) along with Nehru jacket while women wear Lungi with blouse or sleeveless top during festivals like Christmas, New Year etc.
The traditional dresses of Orissa are vibrant and colorful. They are also unique and have a history behind them. The Oriya people have a rich heritage and culture. They celebrate festivals like Durga Puja, Rath Yatra and Pana Sankranti with great enthusiasm.
Oriya clothes are one of the most beautiful and colorful traditional wear in India. The people of Odisha wear traditional dresses for their daily life and for special occasions such as festivals and celebrations.
The Oriya saree is a traditional dress of Odisha. The Oriya sarees are worn by both men and women. The handlooms of Odisha produce distinctive and popular sarees like Bomkai and Sambalpuri. Men prefer to wear shirts and pants. During occasions or traditional festivities, they wear kurta, dhoti, and Gamucha.
Women drape the Oriya saree with a five-yard cotton ikat cloth. These sarees have deep primary colors like blue and red along with special ikat patterns.
The Oriya traditional dress is rich in embroidery work done with gold threads on it. It has beautiful designs on it that are inspired by nature and wildlife such as elephants, peacocks, flowers etc..
The traditional dresses of Indian states are very famous all over the world. The traditional dresses of Punjab are famous for their bright colors, intricate embroideries and rich designs.
The Punjabi women have a special liking for Salwar Kameez and Patiala pants which are made of fine cotton or silk fabrics. A dress with a combination of red, green, yellow and blue colors is called Phulkari Saree. It is made by interlacing threads in various patterns on hand looms.
Usually, a woman’s traditional dress in Punjab consists of five pieces: a pair of loose fitting trousers called “churidar”; a long shirt known as “kameez”; a dupatta with embroidered borders which is worn across one shoulder; a dupatta that covers the head known as “turban” or “ghalarai”; and finally, a pair of shoes called “jooti” or “chappal” made out of leather or cloth.
The men wear Kurta-Pajama and Churidar-Pajama along with pagri (turban) on their head as a sign of respect for their religion Sikhism. Jooti is the traditional footwear worn by both men and women in Punjab.
Nagaland is one of the 29 states of India and shares its borders with Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Mizoram and Myanmar. The state has a rich tribal culture and traditions.
The traditional dress of Nagaland is usually made up of cotton cloths and silk fabrics. The attire goes by different names like 'Hosa' or 'Hosea'. The women wear an ankle-length dress called 'Khong Kholong' while the men wear a knee-length shirt with no sleeves.
The traditional dress of Nagaland honors its ancestral heritage and its warrior history. The design of the shawl that the people wear depicts the social status of the wearer. The attire of the men is topped with a red headgear decked with black and white feathers of the Hornbill and the canine teeth of a wild boar. The bangles, necklaces, and tattoos depict the history of war and the sacrifices that the people went through.
The traditional dress of Sikkim is similar to those of other Himalayan regions. Women wear a knee-length dress called Hanju which has full sleeves with embroidery at the edges. The lower part of the dress is made of georgette fabric while the upper part is made of silk. Women also wear long skirts called Bhu Tamu (Bhutia) which are made of woolen cloth or velvet material with embroidery on them.
Bhutia skirts have pleats at their bottom which give them a flared appearance. They are usually worn with a pair of black or brown boots that reach up to their knees along with woolen socks that cover their ankles completely up to their calf muscles. Women also wear churis (scarves) around their heads which can be tied in different ways according to regional customs.
Men wear waistcoats called Jyajya over short shirts known as Yenthat.
There are many traditional dresses in Indian states, but Tamil Nadu is the state that has a unique culture. The people here have a distinct style of dressing up as well as their own traditional clothes.
The traditional attire worn by men in Tamil Nadu consists of dhoti or lungi and shirt along with angavastram. The angavastram is worn around the neck while dhoti or lungi is worn around the waist. Men also wear a long scarf called ettu ponnu which hangs down from their shoulders over their chest area. Some men wear a white shirt with an ettu ponnu while others prefer wearing a colorful one instead.
For women, sarees are considered as traditional attire in Tamil Nadu. Sarees are not just considered as clothing but also as part of tradition in Tamil Nadu. There are various types of sarees like silk sarees, cotton sarees, etc., available in shops all over Chennai city which you can try out at reasonable prices too!
Rajasthan is one of the most colorful states in India. The people of this state are known for their love for colors and the traditional dresses they wear. The traditional dresses of Rajasthan vary from region to region.
Generally, the women of Rajasthan wear the long skirt called Ghagra along with the Kanchli blouse.
The women of Rajasthan love wearing bright colors such as reds, yellows and blues in their attire. They also like to wear jewelry such as necklaces made out of glass beads or silver chains around their necks that jingle when they walk down stairs or move around quickly!
While there are many different styles of draping clothes in Rajasthan, there are two main kinds: Lehenga Choli and Gharara Choli. Lehenga Choli is more popular among women because it allows them more freedom during dances!
The men, on the other hand, wear a kurta, Churidar, dhoti, Angarkha, and Paggar. Their turban-like headdress is called the Safa. Throughout the state, the conventional dressing style varies according to the regional preferences.
The Pochampally saree is a traditional Telangana saree woven by the Singaras of Pochampally village. It has been recognized as a Geographical indication (GI) product by the government of India.
The Gadwal saree is another popular variety of handloom weaving in Telangana. The Gadwal Saree is made from cotton and silk fabrics with a small portion of gold thread work on it. Gadwal Sarees are popular for their use of gold work, which is an exclusive feature of this saree. Gold thread work or zari is used to embellish these sarees which makes it an expensive item for any woman to own.
Traditional wear for men consists of dhoti, pagdi (turban), angarkha or angadi (coat).
The people of Uttarakhand have their own style of wearing clothes, which depicts their rich culture and tradition. The major traditional dress includes Kurta Pajama and Lungi for men and Ghagra Choli for women.
The traditional dresses of Uttarakhand are also influenced by other states like Uttar Pradesh, Bihar etc., who share geographical borders with them.
The traditional dress for men in Uttarakhand consists of Kurta (shirt), Dhoti (longer version of Patiala Salwar), Pajama (similar to pajamas), Lungi (wraparound) or Uppada (loose fitting pants). The turban is also part of their attire that completes their look.
The traditional attire for women in Uttarakhand consists of Ghagra Choli (skirt with blouse) and Orni (head scarf). Orni is worn by both Hindu and Muslim women in Uttarakhand state to cover their heads and shoulders when they go out in public places or during special occasions like weddings and festivals.
The traditional dresses of Tripura have been enriched by different forms of textile weaving like handloom weaving, block printing and embroidery.
The traditional dress of Tripura consists mainly of two types:
1)Rignai-It is a long piece of cloth worn around the waist like a sari covering the chest area up to the knees. It has an opening on one side where one can see the inner dress called Risa embroidered with different designs and colors. This type of dress is worn by married women on festive occasions such as Bihu dance celebration or other religious functions etc.,
2)Risa-It is a short piece of cloth which covers only half of the body from waist till knee level but not above it like Rignai does; it shows embroidery work done on it with beautiful designs and colors. This type of dress is worn by married women during Bihu dance celebrations or other religious functions etc.
The men mostly wear Kubai which is a long shirt with a round neckline that falls down to their knees. The shirt has loose fitting sleeves with buttons on them along with short pants called kacha pajamas that come up to their knees as well.
JAMMU AND KASHMIR
India's northernmost region, Jammu and Kashmir boasts a rich cultural heritage that cannot be missed on any tour to India.
The local attire here is called Phiran, which is basically a long gown that extends below the knees. The women's Phiran is embroidered at the hems and collars with golden threads. Muslim women also wear kameez-suit and Burkha.
The men wear turbans with Churidaar and Pyjama, or skull caps along with the Phiran or 'Salwar' suits.
The traditional dresses of West Bengal vary according to different regions. The traditional wears of West Bengal can be broadly classified into two categories:
Traditional garments of West Bengal
Traditional garments include saree, dhuti, kurta, etc. These are the formal wear of the people and worn in most occasions like marriage and festivals.
Casual garments of West Bengal
Casual garments include lungi, panjabi, etc. These are the informal wear worn everyday by the people for their comfort.
Uttar Pradesh is one of the most traditional states in India. The people of this state are known for their rich culture and traditions.