Traditional Dress of Maharashtra

by Surojit Palmal
Traditional Dress of Maharashtra

Maharashtra is typically known for its rich culture and historical past. And if not anything else then the royalty is very much visible in the dressing style of Maharashtra. It is true that you can get a better idea about a place from observing what they wear. Similarly the traditional dress of Maharashtra tells a lot about its history and heritage. If you are visiting Maharashtra then I think you need to read this article. With the kind of dress that they wear you will be able to form an idea about their culture too.

Furthermore the traditional dress of Maharashtra men-women are elegant. So as a tourist when you visit there you must check out these outfits for yourself as well. You will surely find them intriguing. And if you are wondering what is the traditional dress of Maharashtra, read the whole article. Here I will mention everything about the traditional dress of Maharashtra. By the end of this article you will have a fair idea on this topic. It would be a helpful article for you if you are planning a trip to Maharashtra soon. Read the article and form a better idea of the state and their traditional dresses too.

Traditional Dress of Maharashtra

Traditional Dress of Maharashtra for women

Dress of Maharashtra
Image Source : Wikimedia Commons
Nauvari Sari

This is the most famous traditional dress of Maharashtra, the Nauvari Sari. The term nauvari literally means 9 yards and that is how long this saree is. This style of wearing saree is popular in many other states too. However Maharashtrian women are synonymous with their love for the nauvari saree. As elegant as it may look, this style of draping is also related to the rich history of the state. Furthermore the unique way of draping this saree makes it comfortable for a woman to move around. Basically here the saree passes in between the legs almost looking like a pant. This style also highlights the strength and resilience of the woman in Maharashtra.

Also because of this unique style of draping the fabric of this saree is more visible and looks more elegant. A woman wears nauvari saree during any kind of festivals, occasions and weddings. Even for brides this is an outfit chosen by a lot of women. Furthermore the style, material and vibrant colours of this saree make it even more beautiful. If you have ever been to Maharashtra you can see this popular style of draping a lot of times. This style is a representation of the rich cultural heritage of Maharashtra.


Karvati Saree

Another popular saree in Maharashtra is the Karvati saree. In the regions of Mohadi, Palandur and Andhalgaon in the Vidarbha region of Maharashtra these sarees were woven previously. In Marathi Karvat means saw. The design of these sarees looks like a saw tooth. From there these sarees came to be known as the Karvari or Karvatki sarees. Furthermore the district of Bhandara was a leading tasar cocoon producing region. That tasar is used for the production of these sarees. The fabric is not flat and is a little coarse. You can spot the Maharashtrian women wearing these sarees on a regular day to day basis.

Paithani saree

Originating from the Paithan town in Aurangabad district of Maharashtra the Paithani saree is a popular traditional dress of Maharashtra. At present the Yeola town in Nashik is the highest producer of these sarees in Maharashtra. From the previous times Paithani sarees evolved from a cotton base to a silk base. Furthermore nowadays the Paithani saree doesn’t have a trace of cotton in it. One of the most distinct features of these sarees is the border. Also with a beautiful zari border on it the sarees look exquisite.

Modern day women in Maharashtra love wearing this traditional dress of Maharashtra. The techniques of weaving the saree are classy. And that makes this fabric one of the richest fabrics for saree. Furthermore for an elegant look you can also try this traditional dress of Maharashtra. If you are ever visiting Maharashtra make sure you are checking the Paithani sarees there. A good authentic paithani saree can be recognised with the borders. Motifs of peacock, lotus and parrot are seen in these sarees. And the design of the border is sometimes embroidered in zari as well. That further gives a more royal look to the saree.


Peshwai Saree

As royal and regal the name sounds this traditional outfit of Maharashtra speaks for itself. This is one of the traditional dress of Maharashtra that is deep rooted with the heritage and culture of the land. Dating back to the Peshwa era, this saree had been there since the rule of the Marathas. During the 18th century these sarees were worn by the Marathi women. Furthermore there is a sense of pride, grandeur and opulence in this outfit. What makes it even more special is the opulent and intricate craftsmanship which is appreciable.

The fabrics of these sarees are mostly rich and adorned with intricate work. Golden or silver zari work is intricately woven along with motifs of lotus, peacock and flowers. The focal point of this saree is the pallu which is the most exquisite. Undoubtedly the pallu attracts all the attention with its elaborate detailed work. Mostly worn during special occasions these sarees are a first choice of a lot of women in Maharashtra. If you are interested in delving into the rich Maharashtrian culture make sure you grab one piece for yourself. The gorgeousness and exquisiteness of the saree would win over your heart.

Lugade Saree

This is almost like the Nauvari saree that is worn in a dhoti style. Also known as the Kashta saree in other states the highlight of this saree is the draping style. Worn without a petticoat, these sarees are also known as Akanda Vastra. This means that wearing this saree doesn’t necessarily need any other supporting attire with it. During the Peshwai reign this draping style became famous. Women with power used to wear a saree like this. Furthermore, a woman wearing a saree like this was looked upon with a lot of respect. You can even find older women in Maharashtra wearing saree like this.

However with modernity and displays in Bollywood this style is much popular at present. Especially after 2015 hit film Bajirao Mastani where Deepika Padukoone and Priyanka Chopra wore these sarees in a dance sequence. Furthermore these sarees are also available in multiple fabrics. Some of them are Belgaum Silk, Bangalore Silk, Orissa Silk, Pure Silk and more. You can surely check them out if you want.



A discussion on traditional dress of Maharashtra would be incomplete if we don’t mention the nath or nathni. The Maharashtrian Nath or Nathni is one of the most intricate parts of women’s attire in Maharashtra. During every traditional occasion including wedding a nath is necessary to complete the whole look. Naths are nose pins which are usually bigger in size. Furthermore they are available in various kinds of designs with intricate detailing. It is an important part of the look of a Maharashtrian woman when they are wearing a traditional outfit.

Traditional Dress of Maharashtra for Men


One of the common attire in Maharashtra for men is the dhoti. It is however also one of the common dresses for men in various other states. Furthermore in modern days even women are wearing dhotis. Dhoti is basically a bottom wear which is a piece of cloth. It is tucked in the waist and passed in between the legs. Mostly white coloured dhotis are popular. But for special occasions coloured dhotis are also worn by men.


Again this is one of the popular dresses of Maharashtra for men. Mostly made of cotton, kurtas are comfortable to wear. However, shirts have nowadays replaced the kurtas to a lot of extent. Still during traditional ceremonies like weddings or cultural events men are seen wearing kurta.

Leather sandals

This is one of the most popular footwear for men to pair with traditional dress of Maharashtra. These are also less expensive pieces of footwear. Because of the low cost they are widely popular. A lot of men prefer wearing these sandals on a day to day basis as well.

Kolhapuri Chappals

Now this one doesn’t really need an introduction. These are basically a little gorgeous and embellished footwear that goes really well with traditional outfits. Furthermore the kolhapuri chappals are an example of the rich traditions of Maharashtra. If you are someone who has a fetish for footwear you may check these sandals out. The unique design and vibrant colours will surely win over your heart.

Wrapping Up!

So that was all about the traditional dress of Maharashtra. If you are visiting Maharashtra next I am sure you will be able to understand the backdrop of the state better. And if you are a shopping enthusiast then do not forget to grab a piece or two for yourself as well. The royal and regal history of Maharashtra reflects on the kind of outfits the people wear there. Obviously with modernity and modern day outfits these are less worn. But during any religious gathering or wedding occasion you can see the Maharashtrian people taking out their traditional bests. And how gorgeous these dresses are anyway, right? Do let me know if there was any particular dress that attracted you the most? And are you planning to buy any of the outfits mentioned here? I would love to know that. 

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