Traditional Dress of Himachal Pradesh

by Surojit Palmal
Traditional Dress of Himachal Pradesh

A beautiful and authentic way to know about the culture of a state is possible through their type of dressing. You can simply observe the traditional dress of a particular state and you would get to know so much about a particular land. The state of Himachal Pradesh is a beautiful state nestled in the Himalayas. Because of its location and somehow because of the culture the state remains a little away from the sparkle of the westernized culture. The people here prefer to stay close to the culture. And that is extremely evident from the traditional dress of Himachal Pradesh. This state houses various tribes and they choose to wear the traditional costumes of Himachal Pradesh a lot. In their regular day to day lives you will spot the people here wearing the beautiful traditional outfits.

Do you know the name of the traditional dress of Himachal Pradesh? Do you know what is the traditional dress of Himachal Pradesh? If you are interested in knowing all these then this article will be a helpful read for you. In this article I will talk about the beautiful traditional dress of Himachal Pradesh. So if you are visiting there anytime soon you will have a fairly good knowledge about the traditional dress of Himachal Pradesh after reading this article. So keep on reading to know everything about the Himachali traditional dresses.

Traditional Dress of Himachal Pradesh

Traditional Dress of Himachal Pradesh for Men

Traditional Dress of Himachal Pradesh for Men

The people in Himachal are majorly divided into two categories, the Rajputs and the Brahmins. The dress that they wear also depends on which category they belong from. Along with that there are tribal costumes here as well. The dresses are somehow similar here but with minor differences, you will be able to understand the difference if you give a lot of importance to it.



The Rajput men in Himachal wear long kurtas on top and in the bottom they pair it with Churidar Pajama. This traditional dress of Himachal Pradesh is one of the common outfits here. The bottom wear looks stylish with the ankles tight. As Yak leather is common in the area at times the material of this dress is Yak leather. Also they wear long overcoats which look beautiful with golden thread designs and embroidery on them.

Because of the harsh climatic conditions there, the people here prefer layering of outfits. Also on the head they use a turban with a long cloth that they tie over the head in a unique pattern. For the Rajput men wearing the turban is their sense of pride. They give a lot of importance to this. Also they grow their moustaches as long as they can and that is also another sign of pride for them.


The type of dress the Brahmin men wear are not much different from the Rajputs however there is definitely a slight difference. The Brahmin men prefer wearing kurtas with dhoti. On top of that they wear long waistcoats or overcoats. And to tie their heads they also use a turban. Mostly you will find Brahmin priests wearing white coloured outfits. This traditional dress of Himachal Pradesh looks very subtle. Also they carry a soft towel like cloth on their shoulder as well. For special occasions and festivals you will find them in Kurta Pajamas along with stiff caps which are quite popular there. Also turbans are popular during festivals as well. Another important piece they carry is the shawl which is like an intricate part of their dressing. Also because of the cold temperature shawls are also necessary there which they use as a style statement as well.

Traditional Dress of Himachal Pradesh for Women

Traditional Dress of Himachal Pradesh for Women

For women also obviously there are two categories, the Rajputs and the Brahmins. The dresses that the women of the state wear differ very slightly according to the two categories.



The Rajput women love wearing long dresses that cover their neck to feet. This traditional dress of Himachal Pradesh looks a lot like a kurta and they wear it over skirts or a loose salwar. Also Ghagris and Cholis are quite common for Rajput women in Himachal Pradesh. They also prefer wearing the traditional salwar kameez on a regular basis. Another important feature of Rajput women is the way they accessorize their outfits. They love wearing a variety of bangles which is like an intricate part of their dressing.

Here women also use long cloth to cover their head and knot it up in a style. This is also to deal with the weather there. The footwear they wear are mostly Yak leather or a specific type of grass materials. Both the material helps in keeping the feet warm and protects from the extreme cold.


The Brahmin women in Himachal Pradesh also wear the Ghagris and Cholis. These are nothing but skirts and blouses that you will find the women wearing there. They also wear the salwar kameez which is like the common traditional dress of Himachal Pradesh. For festivals and occasions however they wear a different fabric and the material of the clothes are a little different. Bangles, nose rings, toe rings and necklaces are jewelleries that the women in Himachal love pairing with their vibrant outfits.


Traditional Dress of Himachal Pradesh for Tribals

The state of Himachal Pradesh houses different tribes and the way they dress is also a little different. In regions like Manali, Lahaul, Spiti and Kinnaur you will find these tribes.

Tribal Women

One of the features of the dressing of the tribal women in Himachal Pradesh is the heavy junk silver jewellery. This is one of the most casual things for them to pair heavy jewelleries on top of their regular outfits also. For special functions you will find them wearing vibrant shiny dresses along with the jewelleries. To cover the head these women wear a big piece of cloth that is Thipu or Dhatu or Patoo.

Tribal Men

You will find the tribal men in Himachal Pradesh wearing Chola which is almost like a shirt. It is a traditional dress of Himachal Pradesh meant for the upper body. They pair it with trousers and then tie that up with a belt, Dora. These are not any random belts, but these are special belts. These are the belts that the people here made on their own and the hand woven belts are very popular across the country. So if you are visiting there you can surely check them out for yourself.

A lot of outfits that the tribal men in Himachal Pradesh wear are similar to Rajput men and Brahmin men as well. The notable tribes of the state are Gujjars, Pangawalas, Kinnaurs and Gaddis etc.

Important Traditional Dress of Himachal Pradesh

Pashmina Shawl
Pashmina Shawl

The discussion about the traditional dress of Himachal Pradesh will be incomplete if I don’t talk about the Pashmina shawls. In many areas of North India also you will find these shawls. It is specifically made using the goat hair of the Pashmina goat. In general, real Pashmina Shawls are really expensive. On special occasions you will find both men and women in Himachal Pradesh wearing these shawls to save them from the biting cold. What makes the shawl even more special is the beautiful intricate embroidery on it. The quality is very soft and the silk gives a beautiful smooth shiny finish that looks exquisite.

Caps/ Topis

The caps or topis are one of the most attractive parts of the traditional dress of Himachal Pradesh. These are authentic caps that you can find here and also these caps are a rage for the tourists as well. Basically there are circular caps which are stiff and thick. They are designed in such a way that the people use them both in summers and winters. Here the only difference is that of the material of the cap. As these caps are most popular in the Kullu region they are popular as the Kullu caps.

Traditional Jewellery of Himachal Pradesh

Jewellery is an intricate part of the dressing in Himachal Pradesh. The women here love accessorizing their outfits with heavy jewelleries. One of the most common is Jhumkas which is a form of earring, Chaak which is a silver headgear. Also they have Toke, that is a wristband that they wear all the time and don’t remove at all. They also wear Pari which is a foot accessory almost like a necklace. The Himachali women including Brahmins, Rajputs and Tribal women all prefer wearing jewelleries. And no wonder these jewelleries accentuate their looks and make them look even more gorgeous.

Wrapping Up!

The traditional dress of Himachal Pradesh gives an overview of the variety of castes and tribes that are there in the state. It also explains a lot about the state and its culture. So if you study and observe about the traditional dress of Himachal Pradesh you would definitely also get an insight about the present culture of the state. The youngsters in the state also wear modern outfits like jeans and tops and dresses as well. But mostly the people here prefer to stick to their traditional outfits. So tell me if this particular article on the traditional dress of Himachal Pradesh is helpful for you in understanding the state better. 

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