The serene valley of Jammu and Kashmir where divine comes down to earth as defined by the Mughal emperor Jahangir quoting, “Kashmir is paradise (Jannat) on earth which priests had prophesied and poets sung”, is a vision to behold in all its form. Be it a season of perennial streams running through the lush green meadows or snow capped mountains kissing the skies with a cold breeze cooling off the lives of inhabitants. However, the one thing that remains the same amidst the changing weather of the Union Territory is the dress of Jammu and Kashmir.
The dress of Jammu and Kashmir preserves the very essence of the Pahadi culture and region. Not only this but it also seemingly narrates the tale of community division during 1990’s where Kashmiri Pandits and Kashmiri Muslims faced conflict of opinions and interest. So, let’s discover how the traditional dress of Jammu Kashmir is different from the rest of India.
Checkout the dress of Jammu Kashmir – the timeless traditional attires
The staple in the wardrobes of Kashmiri pandit women, for centuries — this lovely, exquisite attire — Pheran, has thick Kashmiri embroidery and long sleeves. A fusion of Indian and Iranian style, the elegant garment is carefully chosen by the native inhabitants keeping in mind the cold weather that graces India’s snow state. Its loose fit not only allows for ease of movement but also provides an additional layer of warmth, making it a sartorial choice that seamlessly combines comfort with style.
Typically, a Hindu woman from Kashmir wears her Pheran down to her feet, with a Lihung (folded cloth) knotted around her waist. The flowing knee-length tunic is entirely embroidered, and brocade is used, including the Taranga, or headdress. In addition to their Churidar pajamas, men from Kashmir also wear skull caps, which they can wear with or without shawls based on the weather.
An ode to the cultural diversity of the city Pathani suit or often known as Khan Dress, is donned by Muslim Kashmiri men along with the skull caps. Peasants and Karakuli people are reported to be dressed in full ruffled skull caps and pashmina shawls, which is a sign of royalty. From deep maroons to royal blues and earthy greens, each shade is carefully chosen to evoke a sense of timeless royalty that the state has been a part of.
Adorned with delicate Zari work, stunning Kashmiri Aari embroidery, or the iconic Tilla work, each Pathani Suit embodies the essence of traditional Kashmiri attire.
The pride of Himalayan villages – Pashmina shawls, are versatile companions that gracefully adorn the shoulders during chilly winter. Made from the fine variant of wool — cashmere wools they ensure the warmth and fashion along with the very essence of luxury. The hand made shawls are coloured from natural dyes with a spectrum of colours that are extracted from plants, minerals, and insects.
Hailing from the picturesque valleys of Kashmir, the Taranga Headdress is a celebration of craftsmanship and heritage. Kashmiri women wear a headpiece known as a Taranga, which is a multicoloured scarf. It has a hanging cap construction and narrows down to the heels at the back. It is reported to play a significant role at Kashmiri weddings, whether they are Hindu or Muslim. Apart from being a mark of cultural pride, it fits nicely with any kind of celebration, from the solemn formality of private parties to the opulence of formal soirées.
This dress of jammu and kashmir is worn by women of Muslim community in the valley. The elaborate skill caps are then used to replace the headgear, and gold threads, gems, and talismans are embossed on it as well. While steeped in tradition, the Kashmiri Abaya is not confined to a singular style. It gracefully adapts to diverse occasions, be it a formal event or a quiet moment of reflection.