Friday, 25 October 2013

Dressing Styles of India

                               India has amazing styles in all aspects, among them a style which attracts the whole world towards it is the dressing style. Might be some Indians in today's world are fascinated to western culture of dressing still our style lives in the hearts of many more people and is still loved. Across India each and every state has a different kind of dressing style. Each had its different significance in the history of India. I never forget the truth that we are the first people who know how to make clothes, how to wear them.

Andhra Pradesh

Dresses for men in Andhra Pradesh include Dhoti and Kurta and for women Saree and Blouse.
Women of all religions and communities including Muslim women wear sari and blouse. There are some Muslims who wear Salwar Kameez as well. Christian and Hindu men usually wear Dhoti and Kurta. Muslim men put up pajamas in place of dhoti and kurta with a Fez Cap.

Costumes of Women in Andhra Pradesh

Sarees made of handlooms are absolute with richness of texture and ethnicity. Dharmavaram, Anantapur of Andhra Pradesh is widely known for production and distribution of beautiful silk sarees. Dharmavaram sarees beautify ornate dresses for ceremonies like festivals, parties and wedding. They are brocaded and decorated with gold plating. Another popular saree is Gadwal saree which is made in Gadwal region of Andhra Pradesh.

The Ikkat saree was one of the first woven costumes of Nalgonda District. However, now its main manufacturing sites are Chautuppal, Pochampalli and Puttapaka villages. A complete knowledge is important for their designing purpose. It needs a weaving-pattern in which the yarn is randomly dyed in geometric or zigzag manners. Last but not the least category of sari is Mangalgiri sari made of fine cotton. All these types of sarees are not only popular in Andhra Pradesh and India, but all across the world as well.


            Assamese women dressing style is a mixture of both traditional and modern dresses. The traditional costume worn by Assamese women are “riha-makhela-sadar”. Mekhela is the long skirt and the upper apparel is known as riha. The graceful red colored designs at the end of riha, makes it very charming. Assamese women wear their traditional dress made of muga silk, which is also called the golden silk.

                                   BIHU GIRLS

Arunachal Pradesh

The traditional attires of Arunachal Pradesh are also very spectacular. Different tribes of this state wear different types of costumes. In their dresses, one can see the reflection of their myriad patterns, vibrant colors and features of their tribal culture. It shows their aesthetic style and enthusiasm for embellishment. The outfits are exceptional and even attract people from other parts of India.

Monpas put on a skullcap. The fames of Monpas wear a long jacket over the sleeveless chemise. There is a strip of cloth to bind the chemise properly.

Accessories are compulsory for girls and women in most of the tribes in Arunachal Pradesh. The Monpa women beautify themselves with earrings, silver rings, bamboo-bits, red beads and attractive turquoises. There is another famous dress accessory is cap, adorned with a stunning peacock-feather. The outfit looks really astonishing and attracts others. The Hill Miris live in the Kamla valley and they wear dazzling costumes. Women also put on ‘crinoline of cane rings’ that looks really very beautiful.


            Clothing of Rajasthan is really outstanding and lively, showing the spirit of the inhabitants, their religion and culture. Both men and women put on colorful and beautifully designed costumes to show the great ambiance of this northwestern state of India. Women of Rajasthan wear a long skirt called Ghaghra, Choli or Kurti (blouses and tops) with an Odhini. The Ghaghra reaches above the ankle that has a narrow waist increasing the flared and width tothe base. Ghaghra is commonly unfolded from the lower end such as usual skirts. The pleats and width are the symbol of health of females. Ghaghras can be found in diverse styles and colors. They are very famous among women in Rajasthan, mostly made of cotton, colored and designed with Laharia, Chunari and Mothra prints.

The one corner of Odhni is properly tucked inside the skirt and the other end is worn over the right shoulder or the head. The motifs and colors which are available on this dress are especially to caste, kind of dress and worn occasionally. Both Muslim and Hindu women wear this clothing. Odhni can be found in different colors and styles and it is commonly selected as per the color of the particular skirt that is worn with it.

The turban called Pagri, Pyjamas, Angarkha, Dhoti, Waistband (Patka) and Kamarbandh are integralclothing of men in Rajasthan. Pagri (turban) is an important part of men’s costume in Rajasthan. The way turban is worn comprises a unique significance to Rajasthani men as it is a symbol of the region and caste from where the individualbelongs. Pyjamas or Dhotis are used for covering the lower part of the men’s body. It is a piece of cloth that needs a little practice to wear it in an appropriate way. Dhoti is worn as regular dress which commonly has white color. During some special events, men wear Zari border and Silk Dhotis. During festivals in this part of the world, people wear designer Angarkhas. There are 2 main types of Angarkhas i.e. long Angarkha and Kamari Angarkha. Patka is another beautiful garment commonly worn by royal families or higher classes, which is made of cotton. In medieval times, the clothing was worn all around the waist but now it can be seen less among youngsters. However Brahmins also use to wear Patka with traditional dupattas. 

Jammu Kashmir


         Kashmiri dress for Men and Women is Pheran & Poots. Hindu men usually wear churidars while the muslim men are dressed in salwars beneath the formidable Pherans. Pheran is a loosely fitted woolen garment which makes use of the Kangri.
The pathani suit, also referred to as Khan-dress is popular among men especially in Srinagar. Turbans are common among muslim men. Skull caps are prevalent, especially among the peasants, karakuli and fur skull caps with the pashmina shawls worn by men often symbolize royal lineage.

            Pheran is the prominent attire of women as well in Kashmir. Traditionally there are poots and pherans, comprising two robes that are placed atop the other. Pheran worn by women have zari embroidery on the hem line, around pockets and collar. Pherans worn by muslim women have broad sleeves and reach up to the knees. Hindus wear the pherans with long, stretching up to their feet with narrowed down sleeves.

          The culture of Kashmir refers to the culture and traditions of Kashmir, a region in northern India (consisting of Jammu and Kashmir), northeast Pakistan (consisting of Azad Kashmir and Gilgit–Baltistan) and the Chinese territory of Aksai Chin. The culture of Kashmiri is a diverse blend and highly influenced by northern South Asian as well as Central Asian culture. Along with its scenic beauty, Kashmir is famous for its cultural heritage; it amalgamates Muslim, Hindu, Sikh and Buddhist philosophies and has involved composite culture based on the values of humanism and tolerance.


          The Traditional dress for Punjabi men is the Punjabi kurta and Tehmat which is being replaced by the kurtha and pajama. Women, is Punjabi salwar suit which is replaced by Punjabi Ghagra. The women can also be seen wearing shawls adorned with the beautiful phulkari embroidery. The shawl is completely covered in thick silk embroidery and folk motifs done in jewel-tones on an ochre background.


        Traditional dress for women is Salwar suits and sarees, Men is Shirt and Lungi .The unique but traditional costume style is one of the most essential uniqueness of India. Karnataka state contains uniqueness and culture in each and every aspect whether it is food or costumes. The traditional costume of this state is so unique that you can identify it very easily. This state's costumes comprise of saris; silk which are customary in this land. 

        This state is renowned as the country's silk hub. The state of Karnataka has a huge range of Silk; it comprises wide varieties of smooth silks, gorgeous brocades and sleek chiffons. All these types of Sarees not just adorn a woman but it also enhances the beauty of  a woman and creates its own identity within the different parts of the country.


      Traditional clothing of Kerala reflects the simplicity and inherent lifestyle of Malayalis. Most of the people of both genders commonly wear white attires. The main dresses which individuals wear are highly traditional.

 The form of costume worn by the people like Neriyathu and Mundu has a white cloth piece having golden zari borders representing royalty for men and women. Mundum Neriyathum is a traditional dress worn by women in Kerala. The mainclothing is Mundu for men, which is a long garment. It needs to be tucked around the waist and reaches to the ankle. There are many men who also prefer to wear it above their waist, but higher caste people drape a cloth which looks-like a towel over their shoulders. This is worn by men of all religions in Kerala.


           Clothing of Maharashtra is influenced by the traditional Maharashtrian culture. It reflects the uniqueculture and tradition of Maharashtra. The costumes of this state of India compose a 9 yard saree for women, and shirt and dhoti for men. They also put on bandi over their shirt and there is a turban known as ‘pagadi’ and ‘pheta’. During the festive seasons, men wear Ackan, Suvar, Churidar and Pyjama.

          The 9 yard sari for women is known as Nauvari. It has a resemblance like trousers. There is no need to wear a slip or petticoat under this type of saree because of its specific pattern of draping. The Nauvari saree has its own history. During the rule of Maratha, females were delegated this sari. Its fabric is commonly cotton, for special events, silk tops the main list. There are Paithani sarees as well popular for their special style and look. The Brahmain women of Maharashtra put on sarees in a specific style in which the plates. They make use of choli along with the sari and blouses and polkas. There are some other exclusive outfits of Nasik, Malegaon and Pune in Maharashtra.

 Women adorn stunning jewelleries and flaunt them in a style. Popular jewelleries include nath (nose ring) and haar (necklace) with colorful stones and decorated pearl. Some of the stunning necklaces they put on are patlya, saaj, bangdya, tode and kolhapuri.


Clothing of Delhi has an exclusive pattern and style. The traditional costumes of the capital of India aresalwar kameez dupatta for females and kurta pyjama for males. Delhi does not have any specificculture or tradition because people live here from all over India and other parts of the world. The mixed folks also follow their particular tradition to select costumes. Salwar-Kameez is mostly admired by women with dupatta. This dress is very popular among girls in India. The Turko-Mongol or Turko-Persian pattern was brought to Indian subcontinent. Since then this dress has got a big fame and become a part of daily clothing. 

Kurta Pyjama and Sherwani are traditional costumes for men in Delhi. However, these days you can see most of the boys and men in shirt, trousers, jeans and t-shirt. The influence of modern culture is adopted of youth and they love to put on exceptional clothing. 


               Clothing of Uttarakhand depicts the lifestyle, tradition and religion of the ethnic communities (Kumaoni and Garhwalis) of the northern state of India. women wear a long skirt known as Ghagri which is worn with a choli and Orni. Both Kumaoni and Garhwali. The customary bridal dress of the locals is Ghaghra Lehenga and choli, and Pichora Ghaghra. Pichora or Rangwali is designed with silver and gold tatting. Married women put on a black necklace i.e. Chareu. Hansuli is a beautiful ornament, a type of necklace, designed in pure gold or silver. Ethnic people cover themselves from Sarong, a mantle-type dress, tightened with a blouse. 

Dhoti or Lungi is worn by many men, which is a lower-garment. The upper-garment is Kurta. Men love to wear turban or headgear which is a part of their traditional costume. There is another alternative dress i.e. Kurta-Pajamas for men that is widespread in this part of India.


Costumes of Himachal Pradesh reflect an awesome diversity owing to the plethora of culture and religion. By heritage, the Dhoti-clad Brahmin priests roam around in kurta,coat,waist coat, turban i.e., Pagri and with a hand towel. Rajputs who are the descendants of royal family wear sherwani-churidar pyjamas. Women normally dress in kurtas, Ghagra Lehenga choli and rahide. The women folk decorate themselves with head scarves.


The dress of the people is generally simple. It consists of a dhoti, shirt, turban and a pair of shoes. A blanket or chaddar serves as wrapper. The turban has a different style for a Jat, an Ahir, a Rajput, a Bania or a Brahman. There  is also difference in the dress of various communities particularly among women.

 A Jat woman's full dress, thel, consist of ghaggri, shirt and a printed orhni (a length of cloth draped over the front and shoulders) the ghaggri seldom falling below the calves. The Ahir woman can always be recognized by  her lehenga or peticoat, angia (a tight blouse) and orhni. Her orhni is broader than that of a Jat women. She employs it also to cover her abdomen. It is usually red or yellow, decorated with bosses and fringes, with a fall. The Rajput woman's dress is similar to that of an Ahir woman. Their orhni may be plain white with silver fringe but without a fall. The dhotis and saris are the favourite items of dress among Brahmans and Aggarwal women.


 Men and women in Bengal are very religious and wear cloths according to festivals as well. Costumes of Bengal represent the rich traditional culture of the region. Colorful dresses can be found in different cities, town and villages throughout Bengal. Exciting dresses make the place really astonishing. These traditional and cultural dresses are exported throughout India and other parts of the world. 

Dhotis are commonly worn by Hindus. The dress is a long loincloth made of silk or cotton. Dhoti forms a traditional dress for men in West Bengal. The typical Bengali fashion for women can be seen in Saree (Sari). This is one of the topmost traditional and widespread dresses for ladies. Generally, the West Bengal sarees are designed by silk or cotton. Salwar Kameez has also become a common dress among girls.


Weavers, the Garos are catering to various types of costumes. In rural areas, Garo villages, women cover eking, a cloth around their waist which is a short cloth. But when women have to go to the crowded areas, they wait longer attire. Garo women put on a blouse and a Lungi similar mantle known as Dakmanda. Dakmanda is a type of hand-woven cotton fabric. Traditional clothing is also very popular amongst Khasi women.
Muga silk of Assam is also well-known among women who love to wear this clothing. 

Men’s, Traditional clothing for Garo men is a loin outfit. Most Khasi men unstitched Dhoti which can be seen normally in all across Meghalaya. They also wear a turban, headgear and jacket. But nowadays men wear traditional clothing commonly during festivals and essential events to stay in touch with their culture. The traditional costume of Jaintia tribe is silaimar to Khasi. 


Women usually wear white and blue cloth with magnificent black marginal bands of breadth. Females commonly put on the garments of men. Angami is a casual dress for women comprising a sleeveless top known as vatchi, a petticoat known as neikhro and a white skirt known as pfemhou. There is another tribe in which people wear costumes just like Angami called as Ze-liangs-rong, which is a group of mixed tribes like Rongmei, Liangmais and Zemis. The commonest clothing is white cloth, designed with 6 black bands having measurements on both of the corners. The Zemei women are restricted to only white clothing and skirts bordering with red and black color.

There is a famous black shawl worn my men in Nagaland known as Ratapfe. The shawl isembroidered in 3 or 4 lines and looks simply attractive. The villages of weatern Angami have exclusive style of clothing design. Lothas’ shawls are put on in festivals and special occasions. Phichu-pfe is also a unique and stylish costume for men.


          Women wear different types of saris to show their special look. Famous saris include Kataki Sari, Bomkai Sari and Sambalpuri Sari. These are adorned by females in Orissa during festivals, marriage, and other special events. Shalwar Kameez is also worn by the girls and women. Men, attire themselves in Dhoti, kurta with a Gamucha. The main member of the family is the eldest man who follows their religious costume strictly so that others also stay in touch with their culture and wear their traditional costumes.


       Madhya Pradesh is also called as “Heart of India” where costumes differ among people, tribes, cultures, religions and so on. The clothing of this state of India displays the multiplicity in diverse aspects. Textiles and handicrafts are designed beautifully with rich ornaments. Most of the men in Madhya Pradesh wear Dhoti as it is a traditional dress. Safa is a type of turban, which is commonly worn by males. There is a black or white jacket called as Mirzai or Bandi, which is attractive attire, particularly in Malwa and Bundelkhand. The myriad colors of the costume give a dignified and radiant appearance. Tribal people wear short Dhotis, mostly in remote areas of Madhya Pradesh, which is known as langot.

Most of the women in Madhya Pradesh wear Lehenga and Choli. There is another clothing i.e. Lugra or Orni covered over the shoulder and head. Black and red are the most prominent colors which you can see in women’s dresses. Saree can also be seen on females in this part of India.

Bandhani dresses are produced in bulk in Ujjain, Indore and Maundsar. To pain the fabric, modern wax is used and it is dyed using cold dyes. Hence the clothing is widely worn all acrossMadhya Pradesh. Maheshwari Sarees and Chanderi Sarees have fame not only in the state but other parts of India and world as well. They are produced with hand-woven and famous for their delicate styles. 


Bihar is a beautiful land in India where people give more value to their traditional and culture. The placeis known for hand woven textiles in costume designing. Elderly males of Bihar prefer their family members specially girls to wear traditional costumes. They themselves also wear traditional clothing like Kurta, pyjama, dhoti or lungi. Upper garment for men is kurta, shirt and t-shirt. During special occasions men put on beautiful apparels. Churidar, kurta, sherwani and pyjamas are the common costumes during festivals, marriage and other events.

Christian, Sikh and Muslim men in Bihar also wear traditional attires. They adorn themselves with bali or bala (bangles) in Kanausi, Shahabads in Gaya and Patana. Gowalas flaunt their uniqueness and style in special earnings known as Kundals. 


             Clothing of Tamil Nadu represents the traditional and cultural essence of this south Indian state. Men of this state put on traditional outfits such as Dhoti or Lungi with a shirt and Angavastra. Females beautify themselves in Sari and blouse. The costumes of Tamil Nadu have got fame globally for their grace and beauty. Kanchipuram sari is known for its exceptional style and famous all over the world. This is a formaldress for women which they wear in offices, temples, and even parties and marriages.

Men wear a lungi with an Angavastra or shirt. The tremendously and traditional lungi invented the south India only. The lungi is a long cloth usually manufactured from pure cotton, worn around the men’s waist. The Angavastra is an extended cloth draped around the shoulders.


                 The traditional clothing of Mizoram looks like the outfits of other hill states of the North-Eastern India. With a full fledge of outfits and colorful designs, costumes of Mizoram are stimulating enough to attractso many people. They comprise ethnic heritage of the habitants. Mizo women love to beautify themselves in Puran, which is the most favorite dress in Mizoram. The lively color and the exceptional designs and fittings made this outfit superb. Puanchei is the beautiful costume of girls, mostly worn during festivals like Pawl Kut and Chapchar Kut.

 Its shades are white and black. The black area of the attire is created from the synthetic fur. Kawrchei is a magnificent blouse. It is made of cotton material and hand woven. The blouse is commonly worn with Paunchei while dancing. Previously, these cloths were made by hands, but now they are manufactured by the high-quality machines. The cloths are designed from the cotton and hues are designed by “Ting’. The tradition outfit of the females of the Lusei tribe is blue skirt made of cotton. This skirt is put on with a white jacket and a wrapped cloth. Lusei girls wear a headgear. It comprises a coronal, constructed from colored bass and cane. Zakuolaisen is a beautiful piece of blouse with crimson stripes worn by unmarried females. And after marriage girls wear Puon Pie.

Men in Mizoram like to like a simple life. This also reflects in their traditional clothing. They dress up in a long piece of cloth. During the winter season, additional clothing is draped like a coat. Red and whitecolored coats are mostly preferred by the Mizo males.

During the summer months, they wear outfits around their waist. Additionally, to prevent from the scorching sun, a Pagri or Turban is put on. The males of Lusei tribe consider only cotton madeclothing. 


 The costumes used during traditional events are called the Parhan or the Panchi .
The clothing of Jharkhand draws its inspiration from the tribes that belong to the state and have been living there for ages and generations. Some of the most prominent tribes of this region are Santhal Pargana, which dominates the way, the women dress in this region.

The basic traditional costume realms go back to a similar sari and blouse just like any other state in the country. These sarees have the traditional imprints of the tribes and are made of basic cotton fabric.
The traditional costumes of the tribal women are the Panchi, a rectangular piece of cloth about 3 metres in length, which is tucked at the waist, and the Parhan, the lower garment topped off by the upper parhan. The prints in these costumes depict the stories of various tribal stories, culture and art.

 The major tribes that influence the dressing and the dress code of these people are Santhal Pargana also known as the Paharis and Santhals, who follow a unique dress code which is only one of its kind in the way it looks. The cloth its textured, fabrics and imprints are greatly influenced by the tribes and their heroic stories, as well as art and history.
The most prominent clothing used by the men is called Bhagwan. This is a one piece cloth that is draped in such a way that it becomes the entire dress in one go.


         The costumes of Manipur carry their own unique characteristics. Stressed on its functionality, the traditional Manipuri costumes are simple and easy to wear. 
A traditional Manipuri costume for women includes a shawl called Innaphi, a Phanek and a wrap around skirt called sarong. 

A Manipuri man wears a dhoti, a jacket and a white Pagri or turban. The Potlois and Kumins are the traditional costumes for the Rasa Leela festivals. Other traditional dresses worn during the festivals and festival related dances are the Koks, Phurits etc. Some other dress forms used by different tribes in Manipur are Lmaphie, Saijounba, Ningthoupee and Phiranji. 


         The traditional costume of Goanese women is 9-yard saree known as “Nav-Vari”, worn with attractive jewelleries. Another traditional dress worn by women is “Pano Bhaju”. As accessories women  wear a string of beads, leafy loincloths known as “Valkal”. The traditional attire worn by Gauda, Kunbi, Dhangar, Velip and Zalmi tribes are mainly loincloth known as “Kashti” with a blanket on the shoulders, “Kunbi Palloo” along with a tied knot and sari. 


          Thecostumes of Uttar Pradesh are simple yet elegant. Cotton is preferred by People as it is not only comfortable but also suits the climatic conditions of the state. Costumes worn by men consist of Kurta Pajamas; these graceful dresses are ethnic to this state. A majority of men also wear dhoti-kurta, traditional attire that is common since ancient times. Dhoti is apiece of cloth cut in rectangular shape and is wrapped from waist to legs. Its length is mostly about 7 yards. It is wear with a kurta on the top. It is the formal wear of men that is preferred for almost all occasions including family functions and special occasions. Dhoti is usually white or cream in color. 

Women wear a variety of attires like saris, lehengas, salwar kameej, and gararas. Among these, most prevalent is sari which is considered most graceful among all the costumes. Banarasi saris are famous through out world; they are, in fact, considered finest saris in India. They are known for ornamental brocades and opulent embroideries. One of the distinguishing features of this exclusive attire is the use of floral motifs and bel or string of leaves, the characteristics of Mughal designs. Extensive gold and mina work, intricate designs and use of net are the other features that make these saris popular among women.

Lehengas are also worn by women and girls on special occasions. 


          Attires of Male are Chorno and Kediyu , Female are Chaniyo and choli. The most common type of Gujarti costume worn by men is called Chorno. This dress is a cotton drawer which is mainly worn by rural men of this state. A short kediyu or angrakhu is pout over the Chorno to cover the upper part of the body. People of Gujarat who are engaged in agriculture are seen to wear a typical head dress or turban. This turban is named phento and is a thickly folded piece of cloth.

Generally, Gujarati men prefer to wear dhotis with long or short coat and a turban. But like most of the states in India these traditional costumes of Gujarat are gradually being replaced by western casuals.

The females in rural part of Gujarat commonly wear chaniyo, which is colored petticoat embroidered with glass pieces. They wear a blouse, named choli, which is embroidered in a similar fashion with glass pieces that give a glittering effect to it. Along with this blouse and petticoat women also take a chunri, which is a colored coarse cloth long enough to drape around the upper part of the body.

Ras and Garba are the popular Gujarati festivals when people come to a mood to celebrate. Different clothes are put on during these occasions of celebration.

The Ras festival is regarded as the dance Lord Krishna performed in Ras Leela when he led a life of cowboy in Gokul and Vrindaban. The typical male costume for this folk dance is a small coat named Keviya. Keviya is a tight long sleeved coat with frilled pleats at its wait. The borders and shoulders of Keviya are embroidered heavily.  A tight churidar and a colorful turban are put on along with the Keviya. A colored waist band making a contrast with white keviya and churidar is worn to make the overall appearance bright.

The Gujarati females are seen in lehenga choli or Ghagra choli during this festival. The cholis are barebacked and are embroidered heavily with colorful threads are glass pieces. To complete the attire females use a veli cloth or dupatta, which is a long piece of cloth, worn across the neck. Unlike the daily wear of Gujarati women, the costume for this festival is extremely colorful.



        Chattisgarh is known for its tribal weaving. Women are fond of ‘Kachhora’  a typical manner of wearing saree. Women wearing ‘Lugda’(saree) and ‘Polkha’ ( blowse) with set of attractive ornaments are symbolic of tradition and heritage of chattisgarh. Men put head dresses with stringed “cowries” and plumes of peacock feathers and make their way on the dancing ground.


        The dress of the people is generally simple. It consists of a dhoti, shirt, turban and a pair of shoes. A blanket or chaddar serves as wrapper. The turban has a different style for a Jat, an Ahir, a Rajput, a Bania or a Brahman. There  is also difference in the dress of various communities particularly among women. A Jat woman's full dress, thel, consist of ghaggri, shirt and a printed orhni (a length of cloth draped over the front and shoulders) the ghaggri seldom falling below the calves. The Ahir woman can always be recognized by  her lehenga or peticoat, angia (a tight blouse) and orhni. Her orhni is broader than that of a Jat women. She employs it also to cover her abdomen. It is usually red or yellow, decorated with bosses and fringes, with a fall. The Rajput woman's dress is similar to that of an Ahir woman. Their orhni may be plain white with silver fringe but without a fall. The dhotis and saris are the favourite items of dress among Brahmans and Aggarwal women.

A women would need at least three different sets of clothes, one for working at the grindstone, another for the field, another for drawing water from the well. Clothes indicate family status.

Coloured clothes are worn by the Hindus at weddings. The marriage party colour their duppatas only and the bridegroom his turban. A duppata or overcloth, kamiz or skirt, pajamas, salwar or ghagra with differences in make and colour is generally the female dress. Among the educated classes in the villages women are taking to saris of different colours. The dresses worn by women display more variety than male attires. The dress also proclaims the caste or community of the woman. A Gujjar woman can be known at once from the blue clothes and a Chamar from her red clothes. Round bits of glass are adorned by the clothes of a Gujjar women. Unmarried girls abstain from gaudy dress to avoid undue attention.


          Traditionally men wear Thokro-Dum which involves a white pajama, stretching only to the calves, Yenthatse, a lepcha shirt and shambo,the cap. Dress is suitable for the hardy toil in the field and forest. Bhutia male comprises Kho, also known as Bakhu.It is a loose mantle which is tied at neck on one side and waist region with a silk or cotton belt. Adding to that Jya Jya, a waist coat, the shirt called Yenthatse, shirt, Kera , a cloth belt and Shambo. Nepalese men dress in shurval, a churidar pajama topped off by shirt known as Daura. It is associated with Patuki.

Lepcha women wear Dumvum or Dumdyam. It is a kind of smooth and cosy-ankle long dress,draped like a saree. Bhutia women wear Kho, a silky full-sleeve loose blouse, kushen, a jacket, a different pattern of cap, Shambo, Shabchu and the shoe.


            Male counter part used to wear 'rituku' for the loin and 'kamchwlwi borok' for the upper part of the body. But in the modern age very few people are wearing these dress except in the rural Tripura and working class. The male have adopted the modern dress of international style.

The dress women for the lower half of the body is called Ringai in Tripuri and for the upper half of the body cloth has two parts Risa and Rikutu.

Risa covers the chest part and the rikutu covers whole of upper half of the body. In the yesteryears these garments were used to be woven by the ladies by home spun thread made from the cotton, but nowadays the threads are bought from the market and the risa is not worn, instead blouse is worn by most of Tripuri women because of convenience. In present day young girls are wearing rignai with tops also.

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Vijaya Dashami-Dasara

Goddess Durga is the most popular incarnation of Devi and one of the main forms of goddess Shakthi. Durga as Consort of Lord Shiva represents two forms of female energy - one mild & protective and the other fierce & destructive.Dasara is celebrated on the victory of Goddess Durga over the demon Mahishasur. It is also known as Vijayadashami. It is celebrated on the tenth day of month Ashwin, according to Hindu Lunisolar calendar. This is one of the important festivals in India and also celebrated in eastern countries like Japan. This is the national festival of Nepal. Dasara is celebrated in different ways across India:

Northern India :- Usually people here celebrate by burning the effigy of Ravana, Kumbakarna and Meghnath. A Charoit carrying Ram, Sita and Lakshaman passes through crowd and the person enacting Ram aims an arrow to burn the effigies one by one.

Gujarat:- Men and women gather and dance every night of the Navaratri and  even lot of competitions and shows are organised on this occasion. The songs are usually devotionally ones and the dance form is called Garba.Women in their best of attires surround beautifully decorated earthen pots and dance till late night. In many places Garba starts late at night and continue till dawn.  

In Bengal:- Dasara is celebrated as Durga Puja. Idols of the goddess Durga are worshipped for nine days, and on the tenth day immersed in a river or pond.  In Bengal, Assam & Orissa, Durga is also worshipped as Kali Mata as a symbol of Shakti (Power). 

In Mysore: - Karanataka, decorated elephants lead a colorful procession through the streets of the city.
South India: - In South India, the days of Navratri are equally divided to worship three Goddesses, Lakhmi, Goddess of wealth and prosperity, Saraswati, Goddess of knowledge and learning and Durga, goddess of power and strength. They decorate their houses and steps with lamps and flowers in the evenings. Dussehra festival of Mysore is well known and is celebrated in its own style with pomp and pageantry.  

There are many other stories associated with the festival of Dussehra. No matter what the stories are, festivals in India convey the message of benevolence, peace and love. If the people kept in mind the beautiful and meaningful messages throughout the year, it would have been peace and harmony all around.  

Myths Behind:-

Victory of Goddess Durga over Mahisasura

The demon Mahishasura did penance, and in return Shiva blessed him so that no man or god could kill him, only a woman. This emboldened Mahishasura, who became troublesome throughout the world, even conquering the gods in the heavens. 

The trinity of gods Brahma, Shiva and Vishnu decided to create a woman to defeat him, and together, they contributed their individual energy to form “Shakti” a single mass of incandescent energy to fight & kill Mahishasur. A very powerful band of lightening dazzled from the mouths of Brahma, Vishnu & Mahesh (Shiva) and a beautiful, magnificent, radiant young virgin with ten hands appeared.

They gave her their weapons, too: Shiva gave her the trident, Vishnu a disc, Varuna a conch and noose, Agni a spear, Vayu arrows, Indra the thunderbolt, Yama a sword and shield, Vishvakarma an axe and armour, Himavat a lion, and the other gods many other beautiful gifts.

 Durga went to battle with Mahishasura, easily destroying his armies. Taking the form of a buffalo, he charged Durga's soldiers. Durga's lion fought the buffalo, and Durga slipped her noose over its neck. Mahishasura changed into the form of a lion; Durga cut its head off; Mahishasura changed into the form of a man; Durga showered him with arrows; Mahishasura changed into an elephant; Durga cut its tusk with her sword. Finally, Mahishasura turned back into a buffalo. Using her ten arms, Durga pinned him to the ground, impaled him with her trident, and beheaded him with her sword. He died, and his army scattered.

Hence Dasara is also known as Navaratra or Durgotsava and is a celebration of victory of Goddess Durga.  

Victory of Lord Shri Ramachandra over Ravana 

            On this day in the Treta Yug, Shri Ram (7th incarnation of Vishnu), killed the great demon Ravan who had abducted Ram's wife Sita to his kingdom of Lanka. Ram, along, with his brother Lakshman follower Hanuman, and an army of monkeys fought a great battle to rescue his wife Sita. The war against Ravan lasted for ten days.

             Rama had performed "Chandi Hom” and invoked the blessings of Durga to kill Ravana.  Durga blessed Rama with the secret to kill Ravana.  Ravana was defeated in his own kingdom of Lanka by Rama & the vanarsena.  Rama with Sita & Laxman returned victorious to his kingdom of Ayodhya on the Ashwin Shukla dashami.  This victory of Rama is since then celebrated as “Vijaya Dashami”. 

             So also prior to the defeat of Ravana, when Rambhakt Shri Hanuman went to Lanka to search Sita, he found her on the day of Ashvin shukla dashami.
The purpose of performing these homas is also to kill & sacrifice the 10 bad qualities, which are represented by ten heads of Ravana as follows: 
(1) Kama vasana (Lust), (2) Krodha (Anger), (3) Moha (delusoion), (4) Lobha (Greed), (5) Mada (Over Pride), (6) Matsara (Jealousy), (7) Manas (Mind), (8) Buddhi (Intellect), (9) Chitta (will) & (10) Ahankara (Ego). 

Rain of Gold Coins

             According to a story, Kautsa, the young son of Devdatta (a Brahmin), was residing in the city of Paithan. After pursuing his education under the guidance of Rishi Varatantu, he wanted to offer a dakshina to his Guru. Although the guru refused initially, he later asked for 140 million gold coins. The student approached King Raghu for the coins, because he was renowned for his generosity. Within three days of the student's request, King Raghu asked the God of Wealth - Kuber - to create a rain of gold coins near the apati and shanu trees. After presenting the promised gold coins to his guru, Kautsa distributed the rest of the coins to the needy, on the day of Dussehra. Since then, people loot the leaves of apati trees and present to each other as a symbol of gold, on Dussehra.

Shami Tree
            Another legend connected to the origin of Dusshera finds place in the greatest Hindu epic - Mahabharata. According to a story, Pandavas where banished by Kauravas for 12 years and 1 year of disguise, because the former were defeated in gambling (chausar) by the latter. Subsequently, Pandavas decided to spend their first 12 years of exile in the woods and the last year in disguise. Since they were asked to remain incognito during that period, Pandavas did not want to be exposed to others. Therefore, they lay aside their divine and powerful weapons during the exile. They concealed their weapons under the shami tree, situated close to the place of their residence. At the end of every year of the exile, Pandavas came to the shami tree to check whether their weapons were there.

           Whenever Pandavas approached the tree, they worshipped it and Goddess Durga, the presiding deity. In the mean time, Kauravas were making every attempt to trace Pandavas, so that they could extend the exile time, because it was said that if they were found, they would have to spend another 12 years in the woods. However, the Kauravas could find the Pandavas only past the stipulated time. Subsequently, the Pandavas went to the shami tree, fetched their concealed weapons and went straight to the battle field to fight the Kauravas. Pandavas emerged victorious. The event took place in dasami and since good had achieved victory over the evil, it came to be known as Vijayadashmi. Since then, people hug each other under the shami tree and exchange its leaves.

Science behind:-

During these 10 days of Dasara, huge idols of Ravana, Kumbhakarna (brother of Ravana) & Meghanad (son of Ravana) are erected and are set on fire by the enthusiastic youth at the sun set. After Dasara, the hot weather of the summer ends, especially in North India and as the winter starts, the cold weather becomes breeding ground for many kinds of infections.  Hence burning huge Ravana statues filled with the crackers containing phosphorous purifies the atmosphere. At the same time the temples perform Chandi Homa or Durga Homa which also helps in purifying the atmosphere. 

Many houses also perform Aditya Homa as a Shanti Yagna and recite Sundara Kanda of Srimad Ramayana for 9 days. All these Yagna Performances are to create powerful agents into the atmosphere surrounding the house so as to keep the household environment clean & healthy. Some houses perform Yagnas 3 times daily along with sandhya vandana, called as Aahavaneeya Agni, Grahapatya Agni, Dakshina Agni. In addition to this, the Aditya Homa is performed with the Maha Surya Mantras and the Aruna Prapathaka of the Yajurveda. The effect of these mantras is to keep the heart, brain and digestive functions of the body in balance. The imbalances in these occur in the absence of adequate sunlight in the winter months.

Significance of Navaratri

As per Indian Vedic Astrology nine planets are (1) Ravi (Sun), (2) Chandra (Moon), (3) Mangal/Bhaum (Mars), (4) Budha (Mercury), (5) Guru/Bruhaspati (Jupiter), (6) Shukra (Venus), (7) Shani (Saturn), (8) Rahu (North Node) & (9) Ketu (South Node).
Human body has nine openings (1) 2 for seeing - Chakshu (Eyes), (2) 2 for hearing - Karna (Ears), (3) 2 for breathing - Nasika (Nostrils), (4) 1 for speech & eating – Mouth, (5) 1 for Malotsarjan - Anus & (6) 1 for Mutrotsarjan – urinary opening. 

If the planets favor & all the openings of the human body are kept under proper control, the human life is bound to be a great success.

Navaratri means "nine nights", which we must use to seek blessings from the nine planets and control our openings.  In the worship of the goddesses during Navaratri, one of the planets should be worshipped & one of the openings should be cleaned each day, not externally but with heart, mind and soul focused. Bodily actions are ephemeral. The body derives its value from the spirit within. Hence it should be regarded as a sacred temple.

Navaratri festival is observed ten days, out of which nine for cleansing one's self of all impurities, in order to experience the divinity within & the last day is dedicated to "worship of weapons (Aayudha Pooja). The weapons to be worshipped are the divine powers & virtues within. When the divine is worshipped in this way, one is bound to progress spiritually.