India is a land of diversity but also an embodiment of unity in just the most inclusive of ways. The diverse styles of clothing have attracted the attention of people all around the world. These cloths are vibrant, beautiful, and comfortable.
Festivals are one of the best ways to get into the depth of Indian culture. With different cultures prevalent in the different states of India, it is only evident that each region will have its own separate identity- food, language, dress, etc.
Here are each of the 29 states of India and their dresses names which are simply stunning:
Punjab is one of the most colorful states of the country and the Punjabis are well known for their energy and fun-loving spirit. The traditional dress of the Punjabis reflects this enthusiasm and free-spirited nature. The women of the state wear colorful ghagras which are now mostly replaced by the more functional, but equally traditional salwar suits. Patiala salwars and churidaars are very common dress styles of the state, which now are staple ensembles pan India. The Punjabi men generally wear kurta and muktsari pajamas, which has replaced the more traditional tehmats. However, clothes apart, Punjab is also known for its headgear sported by the men, known as Pagri. Another specialty fashion accessory from the state is the bright and sleek jutis that are a rage all over the country.
Among all the states of India, the northeastern state of Assam boasts of a traditional attire that is uniquely beautiful. The Assamese women take pride in their graceful attire of mekhela sador that which makes them look ethereally beautiful. Made from lustrous silk variants paat or muga and eri, this two-piece ensemble endows a certain grace that is very fresh and enticing in the very look of it. Equivalently, Assamese men keep their look toned down with the simple but elegant pairing of dhoti and kurta, complete with a traditional handwoven scarf called the gamusa.
As a state that is highly steeped in tradition while offering a generous dose of modernity, Kerala’s ethnic wear still rules the culture and customs of the state. Keralian women wear the traditional off white sari with a golden border called the mundum neriyathum. A two-piece wonder, the Mundum neriyathum consists of the lower part of the garment called mundu that is worn waist downwards and the upper part of it called the neriyathu which is either tucked into the blouse or worn over the left shoulder. The mundu, however, is also a garment for the male folks in Kerala and can be interpreted as the state’s version of a Lungi. The mundus for females are generally more elaborate, with embellishment and embroideries done on them. Women of the state also wear embellished benarasi or Kanchipuram silk sarees. Interestingly, the mundu, also known as Kaili, works as a traditional as well as casual wear. The angle length mundus are generally accompanied by a cloth draped over the shoulders to denote a higher social standing.
Andhra Pradesh much like other south Indian states has traditional wear that can be considered a staple for the region, though with variations. Andhra women wear original handloom sarees, mostly silk that lends a rich texture and color to them. With its famous weaving and dying industry, Andhra Pradesh churns out a variety of fabrics that has a rich legacy to hem. The younger women generally wear a two-piece traditional sari called the Langa Voni. Andhra Pradesh is also particularly famous for its Kalamkari sarees with depictions of mythological figures and epic stories painted on them. For marriage ceremonies, the bride wears silk sarees which are red and decorated with gold plating, while the bridegroom wears kurta and full-length dhoti. The males of the state wear either dhoti or lungi with a kurta. However, Muslim men generally wear pajamas along with their kurtas. Even bridegrooms wear the dhoti kurta combo while brides go for red saree with gold borders on their wedding day.
Like its neighbor Punjab, the state of Haryana also features traditional dresses that are a riot of colors. A special type of ghagra choli is the traditional dress for women, that which includes a long ankle-length skirt called the daaman, a kurti and a chunder as odhni. The chunder splashed in color and shiny laces are the most dramatic part of the ensemble while the daaman is equally vibrant and flashy. Men in Haryana generally sport an all-white Dhoti- kurta ensemble, accompanied by the traditional headgear called Pagri and equally traditional footwear called jutis. Tradition dictates the whiteness of the attire as a status symbol for men while women make multiple pleats in their ghagra as their own show of opulence.
As a state that is a conglomeration of a variety of tribes, Meghalaya has a number of traditional attires as well. Khasi females dress up in the Jainsen or Dhara, an unstitched garment that goes around the body lending it a cylindrical shape. The males of the Khasi tribe also wear an unstitched piece of dhoti like cloth around their waist, which is topped by a longish sleeveless coat without collar, fastened by thongs in front. The male Khasi attire is known by the name Jymphong.
Garo men, on the other hand, wear a loincloth as their traditional dress. While the traditional attire of the Garo women comprises of a blouse along with the unstitched cloth fastened around the waist known as ‘Ganna’, worn in two distinctive designs called ‘Dakmanda’ and ‘Daksari’
Women of the Jaintia tribe pairs their velvet blouse with a sarong called ‘Thoh Khyrwang’ which is also wrapped around the waist.
Gujarat is another Indian state that embraces colors in its culture, as also in its traditional attires. Womenfolk of Gujarat wear the traditional dress called the Chaniyo Choli that is a three-piece attire with a ghagra, choli and a head veil. Chaniyo is the lower part of the dress and is a petticoat like ghagra embedded with glass pieces that complement the ornaments that adorn their upper part of the body. The choli or blouse accompanies the ghagra and the look is completed by the odhni called polku. Gujarati men wear dhotis or churidar pajamas and kurtas or bandis, traditionally called Chorno and Kediyu that are paired with rich colored headgear as the turbans.
Arunachal Pradesh is another state of the Northeastern region of India that is known for its striking hued, tribal motif embedded traditional dress. The females wear full sleeves weaved coat like a jacket over a sleeveless chemise. The chemise is kept in place with a belt tied over it and is worn with a slip or waistcloth called the Mushaik. The attire for the males is equally remarkable, green lungis interwoven with red, yellow and white stripes and paired with a sleeveless silk shirt, the edges of which are pinned to the shoulder area. The knee-long traditional attire is majestically decorated by a skull cap smeared with yak hair called the Gurdam and is as important to the tradition as the dress.
Culturally vibrant and traditionally resplendent in all its glory, Maharashtra’s clothing culture is iconic and known all across the country. Even as the saree is the traditional attire for women of the state, the fact that it happens to be a nine-yard wonder makes it all the more classic. Known as Nauwari saadi or Lugda, the sarees are worn up to knee-length with cholis are remarkable for their characteristic style. These bright colored lengths of wonder exhibit a border and pallu in the same colors, but one that is most commonly in contrast with the color of the saree. Equally exceptional is the wearing style of the saree that resembles tying a dhoti and therefore does not need a petticoat to be worn underneath. The cholis also carry a style of their own, as they are fastened with knots. Maharashtrian men traditionally wear dhotis known as Dhotar, which they pair with a tight fit short-sleeved shirt called Pheta and accompanied by headdresses called Pagadi.
Women from the Indian state of Chhattisgarh wear sarees in the typical Kachmora style native to the region. Traditionally, the saree is known as Lugda and is worn with a blouse called Polkha.
The beach state of Goa isn’t much different from the other Indian states as far as their traditional dress is concerned. While the women wear lengthy, stone studded nine-yard sarees called Nav Vari, the men keep it casual with half pants and beach shirts, along with hats. Goan women also wear the traditional costume called Pano Bhaju that has a sarong or lungi worn under a blouse and is the perfect dress to soak in the sun on those picturesque Goan beaches.
As another tribal-dominated northeastern state, Nagaland’s dress culture is also heavily inspired by tribal elements and motifs. The traditional dress for Naga women is the Angami, that which comprises a sleeveless top vatchi worn over the petticoat neikhro and a white skirt pfemhou. The skirt of the women generally happens to be a piece of cloth wrapped around the waist and extending to cover the legs. Thus the cultural attire of the Naga womenfolk is very much a casual dress which they pair with traditional ornaments. Naga men’s angami costume has a kilt and a wrapper, enhanced by a traditional shawl called the Ratapfe. The kilt loops down to the men’s knee and is generally blue in color while the shawl is a remarkable shade of red embroidered with a couple of lines.
The chilly climate of the hilly state of Himachal Pradesh necessitates woolen clothes to be their choice of attire. The men are party to coarse kurtas paired with dhotis or churidar pyjamas and the typical Himachali cap called the pagri. Himachali women on the other hand kurtas, rahide, and Ghagra Lehenga Choli, along with scarves and shawls. Rahides are headscarves decked with a golden periphery that serve to protect against the cold. Pashmina shawls from the region are one variety of woolen clothing popular all over for the warmth and quality it endows.
Much like the southern state of Kerala, Karnataka has silk sarees as the conventional traditional wear for the womenfolk of the state. However, the style of draping the saree varies, along with variations in regions across the state. Davani is also one of the ethnic dresses of the state. The traditional dress for Kannada men is a type of dhoti known as Panche, worn under the waist below a shirt and topped off with the conventional headdress Mysore Para.
The forest land of India, Jharkhand is a state that is home to a large number of tribal and non-tribal people co-existing in harmony. While the non-tribal men go for common clothing like kurtas and shirts paired with pyjamas and salwars, the tribal men dress in a unique garment. The one-piece wonder called the Bhagwan is the traditional dress of the tribal males of Jharkhand. Equivalently, the tribal women have the upper garment Parthan and the lower part Panchi as their traditional attire. Non-tribal women dress up in blouse and saree, specifically the uniquely elegant Tussar silk saree.
The people of Madhya Pradesh has a relatively simple traditional attire when it comes to their dress code. The men stick to wearing dhoti and kurta or shirts with a specific type of jacket called the Bandi or Mirzai and an equally unique headgear, a turban called the Safa. Madhya Pradesh is famous for its Bandhani cloth or Bandhej sarees but the women folk of the state stick to wearing lehenga with choli and a special type of orhni called the Lugra.
Like the other northeastern states of India, Manipur too has its distinctive traditional attire. The women of the state wear a sarong wrapped around the chest as a skirt that is called the Phanek. A horizontally and woven shawl or dupatta called the Innaphi goes around the upper body to complete the traditional female attire. The menfolk of the state of Manipur wears a dhoti and jacket as their traditional dress. The jackets or bundis complements the knotted dhotis that are four to five meters in length quite well and the look is completed by a white pagri or turban as the headgear.
Uttar Pradesh also has a style of traditional attire that is very much in sync with most of the Indian mainland. Women in Uttar Pradesh wear either ghagra choli, salwar kameez or sarees. The men generally are clad in lungi or pajamas and kurta along with headgear such as Topis or Pagris. Sherwanis are worn during festive occasions.
Rajasthan is yet another Indian state that is resplendent in colors with a rustic vibe running through their attires in essence. The men of the state wear dhotis or churidar pyjama, kurta, angarkha, patka or kamarband and white paggar or safa which is a kind of turban. However, the length and manner of wearing the dhoti varies across the state as does the length of women’s dress as well.
Rajasthani women dress up in long skirts called ghagras with blouses called kanchli or kurtis and cover their heads with odhnis.
Sarees with beautiful border called Dhardia rules prime as the traditional dress for females in Odisha where Katak and Sambalpuri sarees are mostly women by the women. The sarees are worn with the pallu covering the bosom and then the free end going over the other shoulder. Salwar suits are also worn in tandem as the traditional dress of the state. The Oriya men too have simple preferences sticking to dhoti or dhooti, kurta, and gamucha as their traditional wear. However, the dhotis are worn in a distinctive style with pleats, the pleats in front are called the Konchas and those in the back are called the Malkonchas.
Tripura’s ethnic dress code encompasses two-piece dresses for both men and womenfolk of the state. Women dress up their upper body in Risa which covers the chest and Rikutu which covers the entire torso. While the dress for the lower half of the body for Tripuri women is called the Rigwnai.
The Rikutu is also worn by the men of Tripura to cover the loin. The upper male body is covered in a shirt ‘kamchwlwi borok’ along with a gamucha known as Kubai.
Telangana has sarees, langa vonis, salwar kameez as the traditional attires for women in the state while the males wear the traditional dhoti called the Pancha.
Women of the state of Uttarakhand wear long skirts known as ghagri along with a choli and odhni. While the men wear dhoti, churidar or lungi along with a shirt or kurta, and topped off with a gol topi or Jawahar topi. Bhotu and Dhoti are unisex traditional attires of the state.
Like the attires of the other northeastern states of India, Mizoram‘s traditional dresses are gorgeous and distinct in their pattern and design. Mizo men wear 7 feet by 5 feet cloth over their body, which is paired with a white-colored coat with red bands that covers from the throat to the thighs.
The traditional dress of the Mizo women is a delightful black and white shaded attire known as the ‘Puan’. Generally paired with ‘Puanchei’ or a blouse called the Kawrechi, the Puan is one of the most beautiful ethnic attires among all the Indian states.
Sikkim has a traditional attire that is fashionable and visually similar to both males and females. The men wear a dress called Bakhu or Kho with a pair of loosely fitted trousers teamed up with a leather belt and embroidered leather boots. While the women wear the outfit over a full-sleeved silk blouse known as honju and fastened with a silk or cotton. However, the womenfolk has a host of other ethnic dresses as well. An ankle-length costume worn like a sari called the Dumvum and another attire by the name Nyamrek also counts among the traditional attires of the state.
West Bengal is another Indian state known for its rich culture and boisterous festivities. The traditional attire of the state is sarees for women. The sarees are generally Sanatpuri style and are white or off white in color with bright red borders. The Bengali men wear dhoti or Panjabi and kurta as their traditional dress.
Jammu and Kashmir
The cold terrains that dominate the Paradise on Earth make the traditional dress code of Jammu and Kashmir to essentially winter clothes. Like its bright red apples for which the state is so famous, the dress of Jammu and Kashmir is equally steeped in a delightful fusion of bright colors. Pheran is the traditional wear of the state, common to men and women, both Hindus and Muslims with some variations. Just a reminder of the unity in diversity that India so beautifully encompasses. While Hindu women wear pherans with narrow sleeves teamed with a headdress called Taranga, the Muslim women of the state have flared and lengthy sleeves on their dresses. The broad sleeved pherans are generally accompanied by the headdress Abaya, which is worn by tying it around the head and then pinning it. As for men, the pherans are complemented by turbans (Hindus) or skull caps (Muslims) and pathani suits. Women generally wear salwar or churidar along with their pheran dress, which is adorned by intricate Zari embroidery and traditional jewelry.
Bihar’s ethnic attire has dhoti and kurta or mirjai as the traditional wear for men and Tussar silk sarees worn in Seedha Aanchal style as the traditional dress for women.
Tamil Nadu is famous for its Kanchipuram or Kanjivaram sarees, which are the traditional wear for the womenfolk of the state. Additionally, the traditional half sarees also comprise the ethnic wear of Tamil Nadu. These rich culture sarees called Pavada comprise of a full-length short blouse called Ravaikai and a shawl, which are mostly worn by the younger girls. The grown-up girls wear a saree style called the Dhavani. While the men in Tamil Nadu dress up in Lungis along with a shirt and Angavastra. The traditional Lungi of the Tamils is known as the Veshti and can be tucked in a number of ways.
Which state dress do you represent?