What comes to your mind when you think about Jammu and Kashmir? Is it the diversity in landscapes or Dal Lake? Shikaras, Kashmiri food, or the paradisical places? There is so much that Jammu and Kashmir boast about and their cultural heritage is also rich. But do you have a clue that the state is also known for its infuriating attire design and traditional clothes?
The traditional attire of Jammu & Kashmir is elegant and some of the warmest that are offered in the country. That’s because Kashmir is one place where you get either a scorching cold or a mild cold. Both of them require warm clothes. Here are some popular costumes that people here are often seen wearing.
Here are 10 popular traditional costumes of Jammu and Kashmir that people here are often seen wearing.
Above any other attire- Pheran is a popular and liked Jammu and Kashmir traditional dress for men and women both. This is basically upper wear which is loose throughout in order to wear it over other clothes and allow movement. Pheran is loosely fitted on the sleeves as well because that’s what gives them a good look and comfort to the wearer. To be precise, Pheran is a traditional attire of Kashmiris because that’s the colder part of the state. But over time, people in Jammu too liked wearing this.
This outfit is made of either Jamewar or Wool. Jamewar is a mixture of wool and cotton. The attire is stitched perfectly in terms of offering comfort and warmth. There is a special kind of wool named loch that is used in making this attire. Though there are a lot of options nowadays, the traditional Pheran was long enough to touch the feet.
2. Pashmina Shawls
After Pheran, the next best thing about Jammu and Kashmir is their Pashmina Shawls. They are made of wool and are highly warm and popular in the Jammu and Kashmir territory. This traditional accessory of J&K is now famous across the country and people enjoy wearing it during mild to extreme winters. Pashmina shawls are believed to have originated from Kashmir’s traditional times. There are multiple varieties of shawls that one can get here. The embroidery work that’s popularly done on Pashmina shawls is known as Kasida. And it is so well-done that one can see the design or pattern on both sides.
There is another fashion that people in the mountains of Kashmir follow and that’s using a Kamar bandh to give it a different look.
Apart from the dresses of Jammu and Kashmir, you will get some wonderful and differently made or worn accessories as well. And one amongst them is Gurgabis. This is a shoe that is worn by Muslim men in Jammu and Kashmir. The different thing about this show is that it is lace-free. You will see a lot of old age people wearing this because the young Muslim men are more into fashionable products.
Taranga is the headdress of Kashmiri Women and it is worn by many of them all the time. It not only acts as a scarf that protects the head or adds to the colorful overall attire. A Taranga is stitched in a different way and not like an ordinary scarf that you see in many cities of India. It is like a suspended cap that narrows down on the back side and also on the heels.
Also, Taranga is an integral part of Hindu wedding attire in Jammu Kashmir. Which means if you get a chance to become a part of the Kashmiri Pandit wedding in Jammu and Kashmir- you will get to see a lot of people wearing the same headgear. And it looks phenomenal.
Abaya is another very colorful and vibrant attire that is worn by Kashmiri women. This accounts for one of the best traditional attire for females in Jammu and Kashmir. This attire is usually made of silk or cotton (at least that’s what people here tell about their ancestors.) But now a lot of things have changed and you will get immense versatility even in this attire.
Also, this attire is worn by not just the Hindu Kashmiris but even Muslim women. But for them there are a few variations to be followed. Where the Hindus prefer elaborate headgears, for Muslims, they are replaced by skull caps with gold color threads and gems.
There are times when you might spot a woman wearing Pheran with a red headgear. Yes, the color might change but most of the time it is of red color. This headgear is known as Kasaba here in Jammu and Kashmir and is amongst the traditional accessories of Jammu and Kashmir. This headgear is stitched in a form of a turban which is pinned together by silver brooches and ornaments.
Then there is a scarf that is suspended from the endpoint of Kasaba and it follows through the bottom. And is usually rested on the shoulder. Over time, the attire has seen a lot of changes and you will now notice one form of Kasaba worn by the Muslims as well as Hindus. Although this is an element of attire that women wear on a daily basis, still some of its forms are worn on special occasions.
7. Ladakhi Shawl
Although, Ladakh is not a part of J&K anymore Ladakhi Shawl is still an integral part of it. This shawl is distinct because of its wool which is Shahtoosh. This is a special kind of wool that keeps you extra warm. And it comes quite expensive. In the initial times, this wool was used only in the royal family’s attire. This wool comes from the Chiru Antelope which makes it so good, expensive, and a bit rare to find. But because the Antelope is a resident of such high altitude; its fur is very warm.
The Gagra, commonly worn in Jammu and Kashmir, is a traditional North Indian outfit characterized by a flared, ankle-length skirt paired with a shorter blouse known as the Kurti. This elegant ensemble often features intricate embroidery, mirror work, and vibrant colors, reflecting the rich cultural heritage of the region. The Gagra and Kurti are favored by Kashmiri and Dogra women, especially during festivals and celebratory events. This traditional dress beautifully captures the essence of femininity and regional aesthetics, showcasing the craftsmanship and artistic finesse that is an integral part of Jammu and Kashmir’s textile tradition and cultural identity.
In Jammu and Kashmir, the Kurti is a traditional women’s garment that plays a significant role in the local culture. This knee-length, straight-cut tunic is typically paired with other traditional clothing like the Gagra (flared skirt) or Salwar (loose-fitting trousers). The Kurti is known for its exquisite embroidery, intricate patterns, and vibrant colors, which reflect the rich artistic heritage of the region. It’s not only a symbol of cultural identity but also a versatile and comfortable choice for daily wear and festive occasions. The Kurti combines tradition and style, highlighting the timeless elegance and craftsmanship that characterizes clothing in Jammu and Kashmir.
The Khan dress is a traditional attire with cultural significance in Jammu and Kashmir. It is predominantly worn by men and is characterized by its loose, knee-length robe-like structure, often belted at the waist. The Khan dress is designed for both comfort and protection in the region’s varying climatic conditions. It is typically crafted from wool or other warm fabrics, reflecting the need for insulation against the cold in this northern Indian state. This traditional garment embodies the state’s rich cultural heritage and serves as a testament to the enduring traditions and practical clothing choices of the people of Jammu and Kashmir, particularly in the colder regions.
India is an immensely diverse country and you get to enjoy a lot of different things here. From religion, culture, traditions, landscapes, languages, flora, and fauna, to whatnot. Jammu Kashmir is also known as the heaven on earth owing to the phenomenal diversity it possesses. And the attire or accessories that we have mentioned above are surely worth trying- even if it is for a pose. If you want to get some versatility then you can simply try wearing any of this mentioned attire.