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Culture of Karnataka - Costumes

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The array of costumes of Karnataka presents a harmony of tradition and modernity before the world. If you happen to walk down any road in the capital city of Bangalore or Mysore, chances are that you will find men and women wearing clothes which range from formal office wear, which are highly suitable for working environments of the Silicon Valley of India, to Mysore crepe sarees, salwars, and sarees of Karnataka's handloom cotton. At the same time, we can even find many girls dressed in jeans and trousers. The costumes of Karnataka reflect great diversity.

Due to the advent of computer technology and the wave of modernity that it

has brought about in Bangalore and Mysore and other parts of Karnataka, you now have more men and women adapting to wearing clothes like trousers, jeans and salwars. You will normally find men in Karnataka wearing formal shirts or T-shirts and trousers and jeans to work and to colleges. Trousers and jeans are mostly worn by men in the cities and in most towns of Karnataka. But you still have the older men wearing dhotis in the villages.

Though most men of Karnataka wear modern clothes as daily wear, on special occasions they dress themselves in traditional costumes like the panche. This is a dhoti-like costume which is worn along with a traditional headdress called Mysore peta. Though technology has caught up with Karnataka in a big way, most of the women of Karnataka still prefer the traditional costume which is the sari.

Especially the silk sarees, which are worn on special occasions like marriages and Diwali and the Hindu New Year or even other festive occasions like Ramzan and Christmas, is a wonderful fashion statement of Karnataka. These silk sarees come in abundant varieties and are very smooth and sleek. They also come in gorgeous brocades and chiffons. These exclusive creations, using gold threads interwoven to create exquisite designs, have become highly popular and are still the favourite costume of Karnataka, for the ladies. The state is famous for its Mysore silk sarees.

During weddings, the bride is decked up in Kanchipuram silk sari. These sarees are quite a craze in the weddings as they are rich in texture and come in mind-blowing colours, and are accompanied with the most exquisite designs. Kanchipuram silk sarees are very expensive and are normally reserved for the bride and for the very rich who can afford them.

The Mysore silk sari is the more affordable of the silk sarees. It is more reasonably priced and is also made from pure silk with silver zari. The Mysore silk sari is very soft and smooth, and quite light in weight unlike the heavier Kanchipuram sari. ..The Mysore silk sari looks more lustrous and gives the wearer an elegant look. Most of the women now wear cotton sarees which are more comfortable at workplace.

Yakshagana is a traditional dance of Karnataka where the dancers wear colourful costumes. The traditional costume for this dance comprises of dhoti, a pyjama, a jacket and a loose gown. Most of the costumes of the dancers who perform the traditional ritualistic dances of Karnataka, are eye catching, colourful and bright.

Costumes of Karnataka | Handicrafts of Karnataka | Dances of Karnataka | Languages of Karnataka


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