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Costumes of Himachal Pradesh

The costumes of Himachal Pradesh are colourful and diverse and they differ from region to region, community to community, as well as from tribes to tribes. Each community in the state has its own costumes that are based on its customs and traditions.

The priests of Himachal Pradesh mostly wear dhoti, kurta, a turban, a coat or a waist coat, and a small towel that is placed on the shoulders. The Brahmin priests also carry an Indian astrological yearbook, which is known as the Panchang. Based on these books the priest makes his astrological speculations.

The Rajputs, mostly descendants of royal families, generally adorn themselves with a long and body fit churidar payjama, a starched turban, a long coat and unique shoes with pointed edges. The turban is stiffened with the help of starch and is worn with a unique shape. The turban is thought of as a matter of honour for the Rajputs. During the olden days the Rajputs used to stick to the traditional veil for their women. All the women of the Rajput community had to venture outside in palanquins, which were heavily curtained.

The women of both the Rajputs and the Brahmins have a very similar outfit. The women of Himachal Pradesh traditionally wear long kurtas, ghaghri, salwars and cholis i.e. the blouse. The farmers and the workers who have to work in fields go for the loin cloth or kurta, and a cap. They switch to long pyjamas, for attending occasions and festivals, and also for attending marriages.

However, there has been a visible change among the younger generation with more and more of them opting for westernised clothes. The most unique identity of the people in Himachal Pradesh is the hand-woven costumes, which are crafted with excellent finesse. The scarves that the women wear on their heads are very popular and make significant style statements. The specially made shoes, which are made from dried grass, are the best to keep their feet warm during the cold climate. Costumes of Himachal Pradesh are mostly woven by hand and the handlooms are very popular throughout the state.

Due to the cold, and at times harshly cold climatic conditions, shawls are also very popular among the local people as well as the tourists. The people from Himachal Pradesh are renowned for their shawls. The shawls from Himachal Pradesh are very popular for their smooth texture, quality and finesse, and are the most stylist expressions of the costumes of Himachal Pradesh.

The Himachal crafts persons are extremely skilled in handicrafts and hence create masterpieces of art. These people, with their excellent skills, make for some of the best weavers in the world. The Himachali people are excellent at creating many beautiful art works and patterns, which is a must buy for any costume lover tourist. The beauty and smoothness of the Pashmina shawls and the soothing experience that comes from wearing it can only be felt. Manufactured from the hair of a type of goat also called Pashmina, these shawls are renowned across the globe.

Last Updated On: 2011/07/06