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From a Tourist's Point of View



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Sari (Saree)

The sari is the most traditional of female garments in India.  It is a piece of cloth woven in lengths ranging from 4 metres to 9 metres and as such without any stitched joint.  A sari is considered formal wear in India.

Historians believe that the sari evolved from the dhoti (a traditional men's garment) but the earliest known depiction of the sari is the statue of an Indus valley priest wearing a sari-like drape.

In ancient Indian tradition, the navel of the Supreme Being is considered to be the source of life and creativity, hence the midriff is bare when wearing the sari.

The sari is draped over the body in a vast variety of styles peculiar to specific parts of India. The most common style used nowadays is for the sari to be wrapped around the waist, with the open end, folded fan like and draped over the shoulder baring the midriff. This style of  sari is worn over a petticoat.

The upper garment is a blouse known as a 'choli'.  The length of the sleeves varies from full to absolutely none and this depends on both tradition as well as the current rave.  The blouse (choli) generally has a low neck and may be almost backless, suspended by halter strings.  This upper garment matching the colour and pattern of the sari, may be plain or richly embroidered and covered with small mirrors. 

Another style of draping the sari is to pass one end folded in pleats between the legs and tucked in at the back into the waist, thus covering the legs but allowing easier movement.

A variation in the style is the 'Gujarati' style where the loose end is draped back to front over the right shoulder.

Appropriate Dress For Tourists in India

Indian National Dress:    Ghagra / Lehenga - Choli       Dhoti      Sari (Saree)    Salwar-Kameez       Pyjama-Kurta

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Sari, Indian Female Dress

Wedding Sari, Indian Female Dress

Sari, Indian Female Dress   Sari, Indian Female Dress

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