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Traditional Dress of Himachal Pradesh: Unique and Authentic Dressing Style

Traditional Dress of Himachal Pradesh

Himachal Pradesh is a state of India and is located in the northern part of the Asian subcontinent. It occupies a region in the western Himalayas & offers a display of majestic snow-covered mountains, thick forest valleys, terraced fields, large lakes & cascading streams. Himachal is also known as the “Land of Gods.” The natives and locals of the state are known as “Pahari.”

Himachal Pradesh culture is rich in diversity & tradition, and their culture is largely reflected in their diverse tribe, cuisine, occupations & traditional dressing styles. In Himachal, there are many communities with different castes and tribes; all live in peace and serenity. The traditional dress of the Himachal Pradesh people reflects their culture. The ethnic Himachal Pradesh dress the honour of their diversity.

In Himachal, each community like Hindu Brahmins, Rajputs, and other tribal people like Gaddis, Kinnauris, Lahulis, and Kullvi all have their beautiful vibrant and unique traditional dresses. Their unique traditional dressing style can easily identify these communities and most of the dresses are made of woven woollen because of the cold climate conditions. It includes headgear, trousers, footwear, and handwoven dresses. The handwoven vibrant and colorful fabric is now the cultural identity of Himachal Pradesh.

Himachal Pradesh Dress

The traditional Himachal Pradesh dress is called ‘Kulluvi’ or ‘Pahari’ dress but Himachal Pradesh consists of 12 districts, and in each district, there are different communities and tribes like Gaddis, Kinnauris, Lahulis, Spitians, and Kullvi, and each district’s traditional attire. Nowadays, the people of Himachal casually wear simple clothes women wear suits-salwar and men wear Kurta and Pajamas, pants and shirts. However, the culture of Himachal is deeply rooted in the natives and they still wear their traditional dresses during the fairs and festivals.

On an auspicious occasion and in the wedding ceremony even nowadays people wear their traditional attire. Even in schools and colleges, students wear traditional dresses for cultural programs as an honour to their vibrant culture. Himachali people still adhere to their old-age traditions as in villages and remote areas, people wear traditional attire.

Also Read: Tourist Places To Visit In Himachal Pradesh

7 Traditional Dresses of Himachal Pradesh As Per Its Rural Districts

1. Chamba Dress

Gaddi Traditional Dress
Image Courtesy: @InstaHimachal

Chamba district of Himachal Pradesh is the land of immense beauty with its age-old traditions, crafts, and cultural essence. The locals and the particular tribes of the remote regions living in the higher valley present a vibrant society that still takes pride in its local dress. Chamba is famous for its Gaddi tribe.

The Gaddi is a generic term used for all the population of the Bharmour area of Chamba District. The Gaddi tribe is considered the oldest cultural tribe of Himachal Pradesh. Gaddi tribe has the most beautiful traditional dress as the costumes of Gaddis are markedly different from other areas. Gaddis can be recognized because of their beautiful traditional attire, including Chou, Dora, Topi for men, Luanchari, Dora, and long dupatta for women. These Gaddis people dress makes it a famous traditional dress of Himachal Pradesh.

Dress for Men

Men of the Gaddi tribe wrap themselves in a long woollen coat called “Chola,” which reaches below the knees. The Chola is tightened around the waist using a black cord called “Dora” made of sheep’s wool and may run up to 60m in length. The legs are covered by woven woollen pyjamas called “Suthan.” The Head of men is covered by a cap called “topi” with a peak-like projection and flaps around the margin. The peak of the cap represents the Mountain Kailash peak. The flaps of the cap are used to cover the ear during chilled weather, and the front side of the cap is decorated with dried flowers, a tuft of feathers, or a string of beads. Shoes made of leather are called “Mocharu”.

Dress for Women

The female costume consists of Luanchari, Dora, and a long dupatta with a frill called Ghundu. Luanchari is like a frock with a contrasting colour and decorated with a lot of frills & pippins. To make luanchari, around 20m of fabric and required “Luanchari” is tied on the waist with a black coloured cord called Dora, which is 40-45m long woollen string and weighs around 1.5-2kg. The Head is covered by the long dupatta decorated with frills and sequins. The Gaddi women are very particular about their jewellery, and most of the jewellery is silver with a beautiful coloured pattern over it. This jewellery is very heavy, and dresses become more attractive with this traditional jewellery.

Gaddi Dress
Image Courtesy:

The silver jewellery worn by gaddi women are like:

  • Chiri: This is similar to mang tika and wears on the forehead and weighs around 140-150 gm.
  • Clips
  • Jhumkas (earings)
  • Pari ( as Payal).
  • Chanderhar: it is a big size long necklace and weighs around 300-6–gm.
  • Chack: It is put in the back portion of the Head and is conical in shape. It is considered an important symbol of a married lady.
  • Singi: It is a small-sized necklace that clings to the neck.
  • Gojru: These are bracelets worn on hands

This Gaddi dress is related to Lord Shiva, and it is considered that the Dora, a black colour cord worn around the waist on the dress, shows respect to Lord Shiva and thanks him for such a prosperous moment.

Also Read: Himachal Pradesh Fruits

2. Kinnaur Dress

Traditional Dress of Kinnaur
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Kinnaur is one of the most beautiful valleys of the Himachal. It is famous for its apples and charismatic view of landscape and mountains. Kinnaur is known as the “Land of fairytales” and remains covered with snow for six months. The style of living and attire of locals mainly depend upon the climate of Kinnaur. The cold weather of Kinnaur around the year makes the people wear woollen clothes. The woollen dress marks this valley as they have added artistic patterns to their woven woollen dress that make it very attractive and distinctive to the region. It includes Chamn, Chhuba, Topi for men and Dohru, Pattu, and Topi for women.

Dress for Men

Men wear woollen cloth shirts called “Chamn Kurti” with a long woollen coat called “Chhuba” accompanied by woollen churidar pyjama called “Suthan.” Then a sleeveless woollen jacket is worn outside the Chhuba, and the Head is covered by a traditional woollen round cap called “Kinnauri Topi.”

Dress for Women

Women wear a woollen garment called “Dohru” paired with a sort of full-sleeved blouse. Women wrap themselves with a woollen shawl called Dohru, and the first wrap of Dohru is on the back with an embroidered border displayed throughout its length up to the heels. The darker shades of colours are preferred for Dohru with vibrant, beautiful embroidery on it. Besides this, women wear beautiful coloured pattu( like a shawl thicker and heavier than a regular shawl) around their shoulders. Women wear gold and heavy silver jewellery to complement the whole dress and make it more beautiful.

Headgear for Men & Women

Headgear, known as “Kinnauri topi,” is the favourite part of their dress. It is around woollen caps worn by men and women called “Thepang” in their local language. It is generally light grey with a green or red velvet band on the outer fold. The cap is considered a mark of respect and a crown of the locals.

Also Read: Himachal Pradesh Beautiful Acres

3. Kullu Dress

Kullu Traditional Dress
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In Himachal, Kullu valley is one of the open valleys near the Beas River. It is famous for its beautiful majestic hills covered in pine and deodar forest. Kullu Valley is very famous among travellers and tourists for its treks, Manali Valley, and temples.

The dress of Kullu is one of the most famous traditional dresses of Himachal Pradesh and is also very famous among tourists as a “Himachali dress,” and every tourist gets their photoshoot done in this dress. Warm woollen clothes are used in Kullu Valley because of the cold climate conditions around the year. The traditional Kullu dress includes Chola, Dora, Topi, and Loi for Men and Patto, Dhatu, and shawl for women.

Dress for Men

Men wear a long woollen coat with pleats called “Chola,” and it is tightened with a cloth called “Dora” on the waist, which serves as a belt. This “Chola” is accompanied by tight pants called “Suthan.” Their shoulders are covered with a blanket called “Lachho” or “Loi,” a gent’s shawl mostly in grey, white, and brown in colours. The Head is covered by a cap made of woollen cloth and has a colourfully designed band around it, and this cap is famous as “Kulluvi Topi.”

Dress for Women

The dress for women is “Patto,” which is like a shawl but heavier and thicker than a shawl. Women wear “Patto” over their clothes and pin both ends with local silver brooches called” Boomini”. This patto covers the whole body and a piece of cloth tied around the waist, which acts as a belt called “Gachchi.” The women cover their heads with a square piece of cloth called “Dhatu or Thipu”. Women wear a long silver necklace called “Chandrahar” to complement the whole dress, making this dress more authentic and graceful.

4. Shimla Dress

Shimla Traditional Dress

Shimla is the capital of Himachal Pradesh. Shimla is popular for holiday retreats during the summer months and is famous for its Victorian architecture. It is also famous among couples as a Honeymoon destination. Shimla has a deep-rooted rich culture in all aspects of life, including living and dressing style. The dressing style of Shimla is very simple as the natives and locals use woollen clothes because of the cold climate. Usually, locals wear simple salwar suits and kurta pyjamas with a waistcoat. The traditional dress of Shimla includes woollen kurta and pyjama, Saluka for men and Suit, Reshta, Dhatu for women.

Dress for Men

Men wear a woollen kurta or shirt, which is knee-length paired with a pyjama called “Suthan” and with a waistcoat called “Saluka” or “Sadri.” The head is covered by a round woolen cap which has a colorfully designed band around it.

Dress for Women

The dress for women is known as “Reshta” It is a body-length gown with pleats at the waist that looks like a long skirt. It is combined with a waistcoat called “Saluka.” The head is covered by a square piece of cloth called “Dhatu.” Women also wear heavy gold jhumkas to complement the whole dress and make it more authentic and graceful.

5. Lahaul and Spiti Dress

Lahaul and Spiti is a high-altitude district of Himachal. This place is famous for its majestic view of snow-covered mountains, high-altitude treks, and famous Tibetian-rich culture. Lahaul and Spiti are the coldest regions of the Himalayas, and the area is covered with snow for six months or around the year. Lahaul and Spiti are rich in culture and have unique living and dressing styles. The natives used to wear woollen clothes around the year to keep them warm.

Dress for Men and Women in Lahaul

In Lahaul, Men wear woollen pants of dark colour and full-sleeved shirts called “Kurti.” A long loose gown called “Kattar,” usually in grey, black or white is worn over the dress and gives a complete look by wearing a woollen round cap called “Lahauli topi”. In Lahaul, Women wear a tight-fitting pyjama with a long full gown called “Dugpo,” which is tightened at the waist with a sash. Both men and women complete their traditional look by wearing “Lahauli topi,” which is uni-colored and has no designed pattern around the cap. The Lahauli dress is a famous traditional dress of Himachal Pradesh.

Lahaul Traditional Dress
Image Courtesy :

Dress for Men and Women in Spiti

The dress of Spiti Valley is different from Lahaul Valley. Spiti dress includes long loose frocks or coats known by other names that depend on which material is used for the dress. If the dress is made from wool called “Righoay” if made from the skin of sheep and goat called “Thakpa” and if made from the fur of goat and sheep called “Charlak.” To keep the back and abdomen warm, they tied a sash called “Kira.” A tight woollen Pyjama called “Suthan” worn under the coat, and even a cotton or silk cloth frock under the coat called “Tochay.”

Spiti Dress
Image Courtesy:

Women of Spiti wear a loose cotton frock called “Tochay” and a woollen long frock coat called “Righoy” with long full sleeves collarless and buttonless shirt called “Hoojuk” underneath. This dress is accompanied by red or black trousers and adds more colours to the whole attire; embroidered stoles called “Lingches” wrap the back, neck, and shoulders. Then a fur-lined cape called “Lokpa” is worn over the dress. To complement the dress, both men and women wear silver ornaments like Dikra, vltik, Gau and Perak, pichoon, Konta, and many other heavy silver ornaments that make their attire different and unique in other areas.

Both men and women covered their heads by wearing a round cap with a green-coloured band around it.

Also Read: Places To Visit In Himachal Pradesh In December

6. Sirmaur Dress

Sirmaur Dress
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Sirmaur is one of the districts of Himachal Pradesh which is located in the Shivalik range. The Shimla district bounds Sirmaur. Sirmaur is famous for its beautiful landscapes and temples. Sirmaur holds the deep-rooted aspects of the old traditional culture of the Himachal. The traditional attire of Sirmaur is similar to Shimla.

In Sirmaur, women wear simple salwar kameez and wear woollen woven sweaters and shawls during the winter season. The head is covered with a square piece of cloth called “Dhatu.”

Men wear a long woollen coat called “Lohiya” with pyjamas. The head is covered by a cap that is round, similar to “Kinnauri topi.”

7. Traditional Dress Of Mandi, Solan, Hamirpur, Bilaspur, Kangra, Una District Of H.P.

Kangra Dress

These are the districts of Himachal and are famous for their traditional culture, farming, and food. These all districts cover the lower part of Himachal.

Traditional dress of Himachal Pradesh for women in these districts is very famous, and women always wear this during any auspicious occasion or in a wedding ceremony. The traditional dress includes a long blouse-like shirt without a button with a long skirt full of plates called “Ghaghri” and red and carries a dupatta over their head. This dress becomes authentic when women wear their traditional jewellery of gold as mang tika and a large round nose ring called “Nath.”

Men’s traditional dress includes a frock like a kurta with pleats and pyjamas called “Suthan,” but nowadays men wear simple kurta and pyjama and women prefer wearing salwar suit with dupatta on their head as the veil in daily routine. In hilly areas of Mandi and Solan, women wear salwar suits with “Dhatu” to cover their heads.


1. What is famous in Himachal Pradesh for shopping?

Shopping in Himachal Pradesh is a heaven for everyone. But Himachal Pradesh’s famous dresses and handicrafts like Kullu shawls, Tibetan carpets, pickles, Himachali topi, waistcoats, hand-woven woollen sweaters, caps, and socks are famous for shopping.

2. What is the fabric of Himachal Pradesh?

Famous fabrics in Himachal Pradesh are like thapada, Chamba rumal and hand-woven woollen clothes made from wool and goat and sheep skin.

3. What is the common dress of the people of Himachal Pradesh?

People of Himachal Pradesh casually wear salwar suits for women and kurtas, pyjamas, pants and shirts for men which are usually accompanied by woollen waistcoats and headgear like Himachali topi and dhattu.

4. Which type of clothes to wear in Manali?

Manali has cold weather around the year so mostly warm clothes are used to wear like sweaters, jackets, caps and socks.

5. What is the famous traditional dress of Himachal Pradesh?

The famous traditional Himachal Pradesh dress is for women, a Kameez with Ghagra and Pati, and for men, a kurta with churidar, often accompanied by a turban and shawl.

2 Replies to “Traditional Dress of Himachal Pradesh: Unique and Authentic Dressing Style

  1. Kullu dress is my favourite one, and also others mentioned Himachal Pradesh dress are looking very nice, love to wear once in a time. Great to read this article.

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