India is known for its culture and diversity. The diversity is seen in many ways be it language, music or folk culture. One of the easiest ways to gauge the vast culture of this sub-continent is to have a look at the traditional attires of the Indian women. From the tip to toe of the nation,tradition is woven into every being, both literally and figuratively. Adapting to new culture does not mean giving up the roots altogether. The smiles and beauty is felt when you step into the one outfit which is part of your linage. Even if for the sake of a photo, dive headlong into this experience for it will get you closer to yourself. Sounds a little too much? Well how about we take a trip through the country and see the treasures hidden in plain sight. .
This is the traditional outfit of the women of Meghalaya. The hilly ambiance has women drape a small piece of cloth around their waist called the eking. Some tribes opt for longer cloth. They have a blouse and the final piece of the outfit is called the dhakmada which is woven around the body like a lungi and fastened at the waist as seen in the picture. There is tap-moh khlieh which is a shawl and is draped at the shoulder. During festivals an Assam-mugh silk scarf is added to make the ladies feel more radiant and delighted. This style is defining of the lands culture and resonates with nature.
9. Innaphi and Phanek, (Sarong)
This is from the seven sister state again .Belonging to the state of Meghalaya, Meghalaya literally means jeweled state, and this attire keeps up with the title. It consists of an Innaphi, a phanek, skirt called as the sarong. The Phanek is hand woven, colorful and striped bottoms which are like a skirt. The Innaphi covers the upper body and is woven from cotton. Sometimes the Innaphi is teamed with a sari-blouse.
This is the traditional garment of the state of Mizoram. The natives weave this magnificent colorful dress and believe that there is a story behind every Puan. The painstaking work of the weaver and the smile of the one who wears it make it picture perfect. This is considered as a hand me down knowledge and blessing of ancestors of Mizoram and the pride is alive till date.
7. Rignai, Risa Rikutu
This is a dress from one of the seven sister states, Tripura. The traditional dress comprises of three sections. The lower half of the attire is called the Rignai and is a woven length of cloths and is wrapped around the waist. The upper half is called Risa and Rikutu. The Risa covers the chest whereas the Rikutu is used to cover the rest of the upper body. In earlier times this was hand woven by the ladies using cotton fibers. Now-a-days it’s a readymade trend. Many a times it is seen that the upper pieces are totally replaced by tee-shirts or tops to avoid the inconvenience.
6. Mekhla Chadar
The Mekhela chador is the Assamese traditional outfit. It is mostly hand woven. It has two pieces, the bottom half is draped around the waist. It is a wide and spacey style which resembles a sarong in a sense. The cloth is wrapped and tucked in at the waist. The upper body has a tight blouse. The last piece of ensemble is called Chador which has one end tucked in with the Mekhela and is wrapped around the body. The picture shows Assamese ladies in their traditional wear.
It is a mix of a coat and a blazer. The temperature of this heaven drops at a moment’s notice and to keep up with these fluctuations the traditional peheran is the best option. It is a long garment which is loose baggy and is made of wool, tweed and is comfortable as can be. The free sleeves allow the hand to slide in whenever need strikes. The outfit has design at hems and around the pockets. When tourists visit Kashmir, they don’t fail to get all cozy in this outfit and save the memento as pictures. The velvet ones with designed, embroidered and adored by ladies.
4. Pattu Pavadai
This a traditional wears in the southern regions of India. It is a skirt made of silk and a blouse. There is usually a golden border at the hem of the skirt. The girls and teens wear this attire and is a favorite during weddings and festivals. Similar outfits are worn in Rajasthan by girls before their weddings. In some cases dupatta is accompanied this outfit.
3. Ghagra Choli ( lehenga Choli)
A traditional wear of Rajasthan and Gujarat, this outfit is usually seen in weddings and festivals. The style and vibrant colors make this a gorgeous ensemble. It consists of a long flared pleated skirt called a ghagra, accompanied by a blouse. Both these are heavily decorated with borders on the hems, shells, glasses, thread work and other designs associated with the local areas. The final piece of this style is odhani which is long length of cloth and covers the blouse and can be tucked at the waist and goes over the head. It is a favorite dance attire and heavy accessories complete the look.
2. Salwar Kameez
This is a native of Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, and Kashmir and has been widely adopted into the country. The salwar is basically a loose lower garment made of cloth. It is like a Sindhi suthan or Kashmiri Pajama If the salwar is tight and forms rings like fall near the ankle, it’s called a churidar When the salwar is pleated and spreads out it is a Patiala salwar. The top garment is a kurta which is resembles a tunic and the odhani (also called dupatta completes the attire. The cloth used is cotton, silk, chiffon etc. and is a favorite at weddings and parties. It is accepted formal wear in India.
The pride of Indian ladies, the sari is perceived as one outfit which brings out the Indian beauty in its true sense. The Nine yards is found all across the country, in numerous forms and styles. The Kanchipuram, Benarasi. Paithani, Nav-vari, and sambalpuri are few of the popular ones. Sari can be described as an unstitched length of cloth with one end wrapped around the waist and the second end goes over the shoulder. The midriff remains uncovered. The blouse is designed in many ways with traditional to halters to backless ones. Petticoat is worn below the sari. It is the definition crowning beauty and a coming of age symbol in the society.
The richness of the country is evident from the pictures. When we chase after the western attires we sometimes forget where we come from. Women and beauty go hand in hand and they way to portray this beauty is unique in each region. Here we took a look at different styles adopted by Indian Ladies over the century and be honest, it did make you smile right?