Punjab – The Land of Five Rivers (“Panj” means “Five” and “Ab” means “Water”) has a rich culture and tradition that defines the serenity of the land. Distinguished and popular across the globe, the state has a unique, colorful and extravagant culture to offer to the world. Apart from the food and hospitality of the people here, another aspect that attracts people around the globe are the colorful and fancy clothes of Punjabis. Like the culture of Punjab is exuberant, so are the dresses of the land and the colors depicted in it.
Punjab contains one of the oldest and the richest cultures in the world which is exhibited in its best possible way. Bright colors and high-spirited people can be best expressed through their traditional garbs. The color of their dresses signifies their glorious, lively and vibrant attitude towards different aspects of life. As the tourism industry is flourishing in Punjab, so is the fashion of the land is reaching out to many who aspires to be a part of it. There is some uniqueness in the way the Punjabi attires are. It fascinates people from across the seven rivers. Most of the tourist who comes to Punjab, want to shop for the amazing Fashion of the Land but Alas!, they might not aware of the particular places from where they can get one. But we at City On Pedals make sure that our guests would be made familiar to such traditional Fashion and the places that offer it in our Early Morning Heritage Tour.
Though the everyday dressing of men and women includes Kurta-Pajama for men and Salwar-Suit for girls, various variations can also be found for the same. Men can team up a Kurta with their regular Denim and Women can club a Kurta with a Churidaar at times. But talking about the Tradition, it remains basic. So let’s take a round trip to the city with you all.
We are listing some amazing Punjabi dresses which are patent to the city and easy to find in the local market.
Floral Heritage Of Punjab
Synonymous with Punjab and its culture, Phulkari literally means a floral work where the entire cloth is filled with flowery embroidery. These are basically the simple and sparsely used head scarfs – Odinis, dupatta, and shawls, made for everyday use. Intricately designed and beautifully embroidered at homes in multiple colors, these forms an integral part of a Punjabi girl’s trousseau. The first-ever reference of the word was cited in Punjabi Literature in the 18th century where Waris Shah – a renowned poet, has described the trousseau of Heer and lists various articles of clothing with Phulkari among them.
“Phulkari Tere Sirr Di Shaan Ni Punjabane” – (Phulkari is the Pride of a Punjabi Women), keeping the saying alive, it is believed that even today in Villages as soon as a girl was born the mothers and grandmothers would start embroidering Phulkaris, which were to be given away at the time of her marriage. Depending on the status of the family, the parents would give a dowry of 11 to 101 Baghs – (Another form of Phulkari which is heavily embroidered) and Phulkaris. Initially, this embroidery was done by the women for their own use and use of other family members and was not for sale in the market. Thus, it was purely a domestic art that not only satisfied their inner urge for creation but brought color into day-to-day life. But nowadays this is popular worldwide so much so that you will find Phulkari in a foreign land as well. If you visit on your tour to the inside city of Amritsar, you will find Phulkari everywhere. Every vendor of the old market place sells Phulkari these days. So the best place to shop is the inside area of Katra Jaimal Singh near the Heritage Walk from where you will get a variety of stuff like Dupattas, Shawls, Suits, Lehengas, etc.
An Embroidered Footwear of the Punjabis
An Urdu word for a shoe with a closed upper attached to a sole, Punjabi Jutti was a part of the royalty of the Kings for 400 years and is traditionally embroidered on leather in real gold or silver threads. One of the unique features of this handcrafted footwear is that it has no left or the right side distinction and can be worn on any foot of choice. There is a well-famous quote by Merilyn Monroe – “Give the girl the right shoes, and she can conquer the world”. Being worn by women of Punjab on any occasion, it is the most comfortable and stylish flat-soled footwear found by them. Its extensive embroidery contains the rich heritage of Punjab.
Hand-crafted with threads or beads, it also has slightly different variations particularly for men, which are known as Khussa or Mojri. People prefer wearing them on traditional occasions like weddings. Along with traditional dresses like sherwani or kurta Pajama, Juttis form the quintessential accessory. Available easily outside Hall Bazaar, one can shop for as many as they want.
Flurred Up Bottom
This puffy and pleated trouser has its roots in the city of Punjab called Patiala and was initially donned by men but later became a part of women’s attire as well. It is usually combined with a Kurti and a chunni for women with a draping pattern at the back. Involving various modern designs, it still keeps in touch with the tradition it was introduced with. It is one of the easiest and comfortable dresses worn by the Punjabi women united with grace and style.
The Extensively Flared Up Piece of Cloth
The Jama is a long piece was worn by the men in the Punjab region during the Mughal period. Tight from the torso flaring up like a skirt at the ankle or the knees, it is worn with a turban on the head reflecting royalty and the majestic nature of the kings. It was originally a dress for the men but was also worn by women with tight-fitting pajama. Characterized by the long sleeves and tied under the armpits, it allows freedom of movement, making it another comfortable traditional attire of Punjab. Easily available at any Mall or Katra Jaimal Singh, this is one more fashion that is peculiar to Punjabis. You can even find Punjabis across the World wearing the same on any function, wedding or event. Some variations of this Jama are also worn by women across India which are called Anarkalis. Even the designers nowadays are giving it much boost by bringing in different hues and textures.
The Official Skirt of Punjab
One of the few traditional dresses that has been modernized is the Punjabi ghagra which is a part of a four-piece outfit that originated in Punjab but is now worn in Haryana and parts of Himachal Pradesh also. This attire is mostly donned during ‘Giddha’ a famous folk dance of Punjab performed by women to twirl around in mesmeric colors while singing folk songs reminiscent of its culture.
The Braided Hair Accessory
Bedecked with jewelry and colorful threads, Parandi or Paranda is a hair accessory used by the women of Punjab. In addition to that, it also symbolizes love when a bride receives it from her husband as a form of affection. In older times, women wore Parandis to enhance their traditional beauty and make their hair look longer in the simplest way possible by intricately weaving threads together and tying it to their long and lush hair. Parandis come in different sizes and colors and can be adorned with ornaments like necklaces, tikka, bangles and golden shimmer added to the tip of it. It exhibits exuberance of the women of Punjab and is extensively used by women all across India. Available at most of the cosmetic shops this is a no tougher thing to find out.
The Pride of Sikhs
Turban is basically a man’s head covering consisting of a long length of material wound around a cap or the head, worn especially by Sikhs and Muslims. Sikh men don a headwear based on cloth winding known as Pagg or Pagri. It is a customary turban that is worn by men and is available in multiple colors. There is an official ceremony before a Sikh child worn it for the first time. The name of the ceremony is Dastar Bandi which is considered as very religious and sacred. There are certain Pagri Houses in the city who are selling these clothes to the people. Otherwise, during our Golden Temple tour, you can also shop for the same on your way.
“In a World full of trends, Punjab is Classic”. So be it Phulkari, Punjabi Jutti or any other traditional item, the true pleasure is found out in these intrinsic flavour of Punjab and the comfort is to shop them from the local market which is money-saving and best.
For an authentic Amritsar rural experience where you would get to see the locals wearing traditional clothing, we highly recommend joining one of our Amritsar Village Tour experiences.