The costumes represent the culture of any region. The costumes of Rajasthan shows a wonderful cultural legacy of weather-proof designing, and also exhibit the colourful exuberance of its animated people. The Rajasthan costumes are loose and flowing; comfortable and conservative. They prevent the sunburns that result from the direct exposure to the harsh sun-rays. The textile used for these cloths is mainly soft cotton. It provides comfort during the scorching summer months. The winters in Rajasthan are extremely cold. Hence, the men and women cover themselves with the woolen shawls, cloaks and scarves to protect them from the low temperature. Overall, in Rajasthan, people like to adorn themselves in brightly coloured cloths, perhaps to compensate for the dry barrenness of the environment in general.
The sari and the ghaghra choli are the most common women's costumes in Rajasthan. The sarees are made from cotton or silk, and are full of embroidery. The coloured stones, silken threads and tinsels are used to develop the charming floral patterns and traditional themes, and to promote the rich look of the sari. Depending upon the economic condition of the family, the zari work or embroidery is done by using the silver or golden threads, and the semi-precious gems or coloured stones. Tie & dye Bandhani and the block printed textiles are commonly preferred.
In the rural corners of the state, the women prefer to wear the short or long frilly and flowing skirts. Generally, their daily wear is the ghaghra, and lehengas are being worn for the formal occasions. They wear the matching blouses like choli, kunchuki or kancholi, depending on the length of the blouse. The women's Rajasthan costume like ghagras and lehengas are tightly tied around the waist and have increasing width at the base. The ghaghras are generally short; extended up to the calf. The lehengas are longer; reaching up to the ankles. In Rajasthan, the ghaghras and lehengas are also decorated just like the sari. The odhni is a very important part of the costumes in Rajasthan. It is a long piece of cloth teamed up with the lehenga or ghaghra choli. It can also be worn with the sari on the special occasion. The odhani is a mark of respect and conformity among women. The bridal odhani is an exquisite piece of hand-embroidered attire. The Mulsim women in the state wear the burkhas or the traditional black veil, in place of odhni.
The traditional men's costumes in Rajasthan comprises of as the upper garment, dhoti or pyjamas as lower garments, and a majestic turban, which lends gravity to the personality. The Pagri is the most popular and commonly used headgear among menfolk of Rajasthan. Achkans and kurtas also comprise Rajasthan's traditional male attire. Sometimes in the winter, dhabla or a shawl is being worn.
The royals of the state of Rajasthan have their own style of dressing. They wear large turbans, having attached jewels or feathers. The Rajputs, because of their close association with the Mughal courts, adopted the Mughal style of costumes. They preferred the silk from Benares and richly embroidered brocades. The local dhabla replaced the Kashmiri shawls and pashminas.
However, now-a-days, the girls and women in the urban areas prefer to wear the salwar suit and western-style clothes. The men also choose the casual wears such as T-shirts, shirts, jeans and trousers. They may be comfortable and trendy, but they do not have the elegance and class of traditional costumes in Rajasthan.
Last Updated On: 2011/07/08