Costumes of Nepal – All About Dresses Of Nepalese Male & Female


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Costumes of Nepal: Dresses of Nepal: Nepalese Costumes

This post is about the costumes of Nepal. We give you some information about the dresses of Nepal or Nepalese costumes. What people wear in Nepal? What are Nepali dresses? What do the people in Nepal wear? What is regarded as the national dresses of Nepal? Some names are enlisted from Traditional Nepali clothes.

Costumes of Nepal Dresses Nepali Childrens in USA cultural program Image
Costumes (Dresses) of Nepal – Nepali Children in the USA are preparing for cultural program

National costumes of Nepal are really good and attractive different from other countries. Costumes of Nepal are most beautiful and meaningful than others. The custom, family, food and clothing and other traditional rites and rituals of Nepalese people are associated with the economic condition, cultural environment and geographical diversity of the country.

The lifestyles are different in different places due to geographical diversity, religion, and language. Cultural diversity can be observed in the birth, death, and marriage among different communities. Join the family system is very popular in Nepal. There are many examples where three or four generations live in a large family. It is also found that the nuclear family has been getting popularity in urban areas since long.

The clothes are used according to their geographical belt in Nepal. People of the mountain belt wear thick and long woolen clothes called Bakku and Docha. The people of the hilly region wear Kachhar, Bhoto, and cap.

The Terai people wear Dhoti and long shirt called Kurta. The Mayalposh Suruwal, coat and cap are the national dress of Nepalese people. Fariya (sari) and Cholo (Blouse) are popular among the Terai females.

Women wear dresses also Patuka and Shawl called Panchhyyaura. Besides our national attire, people use western dresses and clothes, too in Nepal.


Name List of Nepalese Girl’s Costume

Actually, most of the peoples don’t know the proper ‘dress code for girl’. So, in Google and in other search engines the question pops up from time to time. That question and myself as a student of cultural made me a bit more aware to the question.

So here I go with what I see every day in Nepal. Personally, I am from Nepal, decoding the dress code in Nepal is not much of an issue because most of the girls wear same costumes as my mom and sisters wears. But the dress code sometimes differs according to culture.

Personally I think that Nepali girl are better dressed but then for me a jeans and a well worn T-shirt is unique styling as well as better fashion design.

Girl in Nepal wear a sari-like garment called a guniu cholo. The guniu can be weaved from cottons as well as silk fabrics. In Nepal, the sari is commonly draped around the waist and worn with a separate shawl like garment on the upper body. This style of draping is called Haku patasi.

Historical Sherpa costumes include of a knee-length dressing gown weaved of yak wool. This piece of clothing is almost same for both men even girl and it is worn along with pants made up of.

The Boots which are mainly made up of yak skin and stuffed along with dried grass for warmness were historical. In the present day most of the Sherpa’s have opted for Western dress, including cowboy hats and boots.

Above mentioned are the cultural and historical dresses of people according to the caste, culture, race etc. Now, let’s start the name list of Nepalese girl’s costumes other than above mentioned cultural dresses:-

Name List of Famous Nepalese Dresses For Girls

  1. Scarves

I’m quite sure I write this on every single “what Costumes Does Nepalese girls wear”. The cause for doing so is actually simple: a scarf is mainly handy as well as it is also a helpful item in your travel wardrobe.

Even my sister has changed scarves as well as sarongs into different wearable clothes such as head coverings, wraps, dresses, shirts, and skirts. In the country like Nepal, mainly in the winter seasons, it’s necessary to have warmer garments that you can use to cover your body.

As soon as winter arrived in Nepal, my sister purchased numerous scarves made up of wools of yak; they were very cheap, and very warm.

  1. Trousers or Long Skirts

I always find mix of attire on girl in Nepal; some wear more traditional clothing, while others wear t-shirts and jeans. In these situations, girls tend to dress pretty conservatively. My sister prefers to abide by cultural norms when she travels.

As mentioned, my sister hate trousers because she can just never find ones that fits on her correctly but she was able to purchase some really comfortable and practical pants around shops of new road in Kathmandu Nepal. While they may not be the most flattering trousers, she loves them, especially the more colorful ones.

Long skirts are also very useful in Nepal, and she would sometimes layer leggings under them for extra coverage as well as for warmth.

  1. Jumpers or sweaters;-

Either a warm jumper or a bulky sweater is necessary if you’ll be in Nepal, mainly in the winter seasons. Another time, what I recommend doing is going shopping as soon as you arrive; trust me, the wool sweaters you’ll find in the markets of Nepal are much cooler (as well as will mean so much valuable to you) rather than one you purchase from a department store.

As we all know, almost every tourist will reach to Nepal by way of Kathmandu, and as far as I know as a former travel agency worker, they will use up at least a day in the city to do some shopping before moving on anywhere else.

  1. T-shirts

Girls in this in modern like to wear t-shirts. They have huge collection of cotton t-shirts (both short as well as long-sleeved) to cover. This is an item girls usually wear when staying at home, but girls can easily buy t-shirts and cotton blouses as well as can wear without any difficulty in markets of Nepal.

  1. Jacket

Depending on season, I’d definitely recommend buying a warm jacket, whether or not you’ll be hiking.

If you’re not hiking, a regular winter coat that you might wear in your home will do; if you are planning on spending some time in the hills and mountains, or going for some long or short hiking, I will recommend somewhat catered more for that kind of activity.

Girls actually take a jacket as they will be spending time in the Himalayan country i.e. Nepal.

  1. Hats/Mittens/Warm socks

Beside of your reliable scarf, in the colder months it is necessary to have other warm accessories.

Again, I will like to recommend you to buy all those locally produced products; many shops sell hand-knitted accessories that are very warm.

  1. Jewellery

This article was not going to the conclusion without me explaining about the jewellery as a costume for many girls. My sister was like a kid in the candy store at Nepali market.

There is a mass of wonderful, well-designed jewellery for trade in Nepal, and unless you’re purchasing real silver, you can find a lot of it for quite cheap. I loaded up on beaded necklaces – I even found girl making them in the street while you waited, so you can choose all the colors you’d like – and tons of pewter rings and bracelets.

So, while in the traditional countries like Nepal, Bangladesh, India, Srilanka people still dress traditionally, it is not that it is the only way to dress. You can find people in a sari and western attire in the same frame.

And I hope reading this article would help you decide how the local girl and tourists dress in these places at Nepal. Hope it will help you decide what to wear and what Nepalese girls wear in Nepal.


Different dresses worn in the different ecological belts. Nepali dresses of different parts of Nepal. Traditional Nepali clothes

Nepali dresses according to the geographically
Costumes (Males)Costumes (Female)
TeraiDhoti, Kamij, Kurta, Bhangua and Jhuluwa, GhamchhaGunyu, Cholo, Blouse
HillDaura, Suruwal, Patuka, Bhoto, Topi, Coat, PhetaGhalek (Gurung), Patasi (Newar), Pasmina, Dhoti Cholo, Majestro, Kurta and Salawar
MountainBakkhu, Docha, Shyamhu, LukaniBakkhu, Dochha, Pangen.

All about Daura Surwal

Daura Suruwal is the name of the traditional Nepalese male dress. Daura Suruwal consists of a shirt with sleeves that reaches the knees that close at the sides, pants, and shoes called Docha. Politicians and government officials still use Daura Suruwal daily.  Various aspects of clothing have a religious significance for Buddhist and Hindu practitioners in Nepal.

These include the five folds of the shirt that represent Pancha Buddha or Pancha Ratna, the closed collar that represents the snake around Shiva’s neck and the eight loops used to tie the shirt, which is a fortunate number in Buddhism and Hinduism.

Daura Suruwal has been a national dress for Nepal for many years. It is also known as “Labeda Suruwal”. The dress has been worn by Nepalese men for centuries. The coat was added to the top by Jang Bahadur Rana, Nepal’s prime minister in the 19th century.

It was presented as a warm gift by the Queen of England. The tradition of wearing a coat in the Daura Suruwal began. From then on, the tradition of dressing Daura with Suruwal became Daura Suruwal and Coat. The men dress Daura Suruwal in the Easta coat (waistcoat) too. This combination is a kind of informal wear. Daura is the top wear and Suruwal is the trouser. Daura Suruwal has several religious beliefs that identify its designs and remained the same for centuries.

The Daura (the upper part) has eight strings called Astamatrika-Singini in the following ways.

  • Chamunda
  • Kaumari
  • Barahi
  • Brahmhi
  • Indrayani
  • Maheshowri
  • Byasnabi
  • Mahalaxmi

Those eight links are used to tie around the body and eight is a number of fortune according to Eastern mythology. The Daura has five folds or Kallis, which means Pancha Buddha or Pancha Ratna. And the closed neck of the Daura means the serpent around the neck of Lord Shiva.

The Dhaka topi, which is worn with Daura’s surwal, a jacket and a sleeveless vest (vest) complete the set that forms the Nepali national dress. The Daura also called the labeda more conservatively, is worn on the upper half of the body like a shirt, but without buttons or a zipper.

Instead, there are four ties across; two slightly above the chest near the shoulders, and two near the waist. Suruwal, on the other hand, means “pajamas” in Nepali, except that when it is together with the Daura it is stitched very loose above the thighs and its huge waist is pulled tightly and bunched on top.

Daura suruwal Nepali nationa Dress custume for men male
A boy at Daura Suruwal dress

The Suruwal decreases considerably as it flows downward to fit firmly on the ankles. Given its design, putting on Suruwal dauara is, for an inexperienced user, a punishing trial (although not as complicated as a woman’s sari). Even for those who have been using it for a long time, donning the Suruwal can put your patience to the test.

That difficulty, among other reasons, forced the people of various city, as in most of the others, to embrace the modern pants and shirt and renounce the Suruwal Daura. However, many older Nepalis who prefer pants and a western-style shirt, who do not throw the tantrums put forth by Daura surwal still wear the colorful Dhaka topi or a Bhadgaunle black topi (a Bhadgaun hat,).

This topis is not fashionable, nor are they fashionable. And with their similar patterns, almost all topi look the same, so they were not very unique either. Why, then, is Dhaka topi so popular among Nepalese? The topi, apparently, is the last shelter of something that defines the Nepalese nationality and identity.

History

It is quite difficult to trace the exact origins of Daura Suruwal, a garment that seems to be very derived from the clothing culture of Central Asia and the Middle East. Its origins can be traced back to the Hindukush mountain of Tajikistan in regard to its design and development.

A coat and Bhadgaule topi or Dhaka topi are essential to complete the Nepalese look. Daura Suruwal and its journey go back to Peshawar, Kashmir to Nepal through Afghanistan.

The most notable clue to this is the Karakul hat worn by former Afghan President Hamid Karzai, which has a strange resemblance to the Nepalese topi. The Daura-Suruwal-Topi was carried by Khash migrations from the Caucasians of Central Asia, through the Hindu Kush, and finally to the Himalayas of northwestern Nepal.

Settling in the high hills and valleys such as the districts of Jumla, Humla, Bajura, and Bajhang in northwestern Nepal, they adopted overlapping, overlapping tunics to keep their bodies warm in the cold weather conditions of the Himalayas.

It is not so difficult to notice the influence of Central Asia. It is known that the Mongolian, Chinese and Tibetan cultures wear overlapping garments of various lengths and thicknesses. The Kiratis have put on top overlapping garments of various thickness and lengths.

The mandatory Patuki, before the arrival of the coat and the waistcoat, helped to turn the upper part into a large pocket, which makes it especially easy to transport and hide the Nepalese weapon of choice, Khukuri.

On the other hand, Suruwal is simple to sew, the volume at the waist provides a simple solution for various waist sizes. Several additional centimeters are cut when deciding the length of the Suruwal.

The Malla kings of Nepal were religious and practitioners of the Tantric sect of Hinduism and Buddhism. It is during the reign of the Malla dynasty that the Daura Suruwal attained religious attributions.

Daura has eight strings since eight is considered an auspicious number, which is known as Astamatrika-Singini. It serves to tie Daura around the body. Daura has five folds or Kallis, which means Pancha Buddha or Pancha Ratna.

Daura Suruwal of this time was similar to the angrakha of India in terms of length and volume, with a waist seam for added fullness. Patuki, a piece of cloth approximately five meters long that is worn around the waist, was a necessity. When we compare the Daura Suruwal used by the monarchs of Nepal, we can observe the maximum fullness in which Prithvi Narayan Shah worn.

The length, however, seems to be shorter compared to that worn by the Malla Kings. The seam of the waist and additional fullness gradually diminishes and disappears completely at the time of Surendra Bikram Shah. Several paintings of this time show soldiers dressed in the classic Daura Suruwal, which later was called Labeda Suruwal.

The Ranas is credited with the modern version of Daura Suruwal. It is believed that Jang Bahadur Rana received the English jacket as a gift from the Queen of England during his visit. After returning from the trip abroad, he ordered all his “Praja” to put on a jacket over Daura Suruwal for all formal occasions.

Although the national dress was not declared at that time, it was widely accepted as the formal dress code not written among the aristocrats.

Prime Minister Bir Shamsher Rana declared Daura Suruwal as the national dress and ordered all ordinary Nepalese to wear it at all formal occasions. Until that time, it is said, commoners were restricted from wearing Daura Suruwal to maintain the class distinction.

After the fall of the Rana regime, King Tribhuvan continued the tradition of using the combination of Daura Suruwal, topi and coat for all formal occasions.

In 2017, King Mahendra, under his movement of nationalism, made Daura Suruwal mandatory for all officials. This consolidated the place of the Nepali topi as part of the national costume. The shape, length, and volume of the garment remain unchanged.

How Daura Suruwal become National dress

According to legend, when Prime Minister Jung Bahadur Rana, the architect of Rana’s supremacy in Nepal, arrived in London on his trips to Europe in the late 1840s, he felt cold. He and the other Nepalese officers who were with him wore the official dress of that time (not a national dress), which included Daura Suruwal and a black topi.

The official outfit did not include a jacket or a sleeveless vest, not even the now popular Dhaka topi. The sleeveless vest (vest) in the common language is called ista coat, a term probably distorted from the word East, in comparison with the term waist (cape), which was more like the West, with which people did not want to associate during those times.

On the ship to England, when Junga Bahadur saw Bengalis wearing a vest and a sleeveless jacket over their dhotis, he was encouraged to try them on the Suruwal Daura. He borrowed a vest and a jacket from the ship’s crew and when he saw in a mirror how well it looked on him, he was convinced and wore the combination of Daura surwal, vest, and jacket throughout his visit to Europe.

After he returned to Nepal in 1849, Junga Bahadur ordered all his relatives to do the same and had them wear a jacket over Daura Suruwal on all formal occasions. Much later, in 1885 AD, when Bir Shamsher Rana became Prime Minister, the Daura suruwal was declared a national attire and the ordinary Nepalese were ordered to use it on all formal occasions.

  • Daura Suruwal was announced as a national dress for men in government services and other national programs in 2017 B.S. Daura Suruwal had a great rhythm of development in those years. Very few Nepalese now use Daura Suruwal.
  • After 2046 B, none of the elected or interim governments can define and announce any national dress. Now, there is no such dress or uniform that we can officially designate as Nepalese. We still consider Daura Suruwal as a national dress of Nepal.
  • Now Daura Suruwal is now confined only to the list of national signs and the groom’s wedding dress.
  • None of the members of the constitutional assembly or of any leader hardly wear a uniform, as we can say nationally. The new generation can hardly own a pair of Daura-Suruwal.

We are slowly forgetting our traditional values ​​and nationalities. We love Daura Suruwal and all the traditional Nepalese dresses from Mountain, Hill, and Terai. At least we can announce something like our national dress representing Nepal. There must be something we should use and say that this is “Nepalese”.

  • Once the national dress, young men now only wear it sometimes at weddings. But, Daura Suruwal is still an ethnic fashion statement.
  • King Mahendra, undoubtedly the most patriotic of the Nepali kings, made the Daura Suruwal mandatory for all public officials on and off the land in the mid-twentieth century.
  • These days, there is a revival of pride in the many cultures that make up Nepalese society, which means that more men are inclined to wear dresses according to their own cultures. But, the Daura Suruwal still has its place. For example, in the recent visit of the Prime Minister to India, he was proudly dressed in a Daura Suruwal. One could say that the Daura Suruwal is the uniform of Nepalese political figures.
  • The Daura Suruwal looks elegant on anyone. Actually, it is a simple outfit, according to the simple nature of the Nepalese.

National Dress of Nepal For Female

Nepal currently has no national dress. Nepal’s national dress was Daura Suruwal with Dhaka Topi Men’s and Ladies Gunyu Cholo before it was withdrawn by the government in 2011 Daura Baburam Bhattarai Gunyu Suruwal and Cholo are the traditional costumes of Khas-Arya (Brahmin, Chhetri, Damai, Kami). Etc).

Newari males also use a different version of Daura Suruwal. Despite the abolition of national dress, formal dress facto, Daura Suruwal remains for men and saree/sari women (Gunyu Cholo was never used as a formal dress). But in many cultural shows, these dresses are recognized as a formal national dress.

Nepali female national dress has an interesting fact according to Nepalese tradition. In Nepal, when girls are given 7 or 8 years (usually 7) a “Gunyo CHOLO”, which is a traditional dress like the picture above, including a cholo (top/blouse) and a sari (like a skirt) and many jewelers.

The Gunyo Cholo ceremony is a traditional Nepalese ritual to celebrate a girl’s adulthood. The girl is gifted with the traditional “Gunyo Cholo” outfit and sometimes with a sari (Nepalese wedding dress), which means she “enters” a woman’s status. This celebration is the transition from a child to a woman. On this special occasion, in order to bless the young woman, friends and family gather together, and the night is full of food and dancing.

This culture is meant to symbolize that it is slowing down by becoming a woman soon. It is a very typical tradition for all Nepalese girls, no matter where you are born or raised when you reach this age, this ceremony will take place.

मलामल चौबन्चौबन चोलीले रार्म री,

र र नभन संगी हो जोभन्जोभन … ..

This girl explained here in these songs has officially reached the age of 7 years and the “Gunyo Cholo” has been given to symbolize the “next age of a child”, but still wants to be like a child. Usually, they use different jewelry sets that contain a typical Nepalese culture base.

These sets include Tilahari (necklace of small pearl colored glasses), typical culture jewelry limbu calls as Sirbandi (in Nepal), a front part with a moon coral “Yarling (in Limbu). bullaki (in Nepalese) is the piece of the nose, kantha necklace with golden beads and red felt.

Finally, your “GUNYO CHOLO”, which completes the look of this ceremony. The Nepalese girls are already beautiful in the world and she looks perfectly gorgeous with the Cholo Gunyo and the flower in her hand makes her even more beautiful with her innocent look.

Guniyo Choli has another interesting fact. Nepal’s official film history begins with the highly patriotic film Aama (Mutter, 1965). [Aama] was issued by the Ministry of Information under the patronage of the then King Mahendra and was a clear tool for building the nation.

In this movie, all female characters were dressed up with Guniyo Choli. Another movie is “Desh suhaudo panchayati bewastha”. This film shows that the love of Panchayat, which adapts to our nation, has been conveyed to a diverse national audience, divided into regional and ethnic lines.

The image of the mother, a universal signifier of national unity, was used appropriately to convey the issues of nationalization. Those supporting the multiparty system were portrayed as evil villains on the screen, while supporters of the Panchayat system emerged as unbeaten heroes.

In this movie also the characters in the movie were attracted to the unmistakable garb of the nation’s men in Daura suruwal and Dhaka topi, wrapped in sari and cholo fariya of women.

These days, the women of Nepal feel easy to wear “kurta surwal”. Although it is the costume of the women of Nepal, it is believed that this costume originally came from the Punjab of India. It consists of light baggy pants, a blouse, and a large scarf.

This costume is often worn today by Nepalese women. The pants are loose, usually made of cotton, and have a light color (any color can be used). They are usually plain, with no pattern, although the modern Suruwal may have patterns and patterns as an ornament. Unlike pants, the blouse is very bright with patterns.

There are hundreds of different combinations of colors and patterns. The above blouse is long (to the middle of the thigh or even knee-length) and sleeveless / short-sleeved. The scarf is big; It is worn wrapped over the body. The pattern on the scarf is the same as the blouse.

Another traditional dress for Nepalese women is a sari. It is an essential product for any future bride. Sari is usually worn in this country as a wedding dress. In addition, saris are used for special occasions and important ceremonies.

The traditional Nepalese sari and the Indian are the same. It consists of a petticoat called “parkar”, a tight and short blouse and the sari fabric itself (a piece of fabric, 4.5 to 8 meters long and 2 to 4 feet wide). This fabric is draped around the waist and on one shoulder. Sari is usually worn with many jewels, especially gold jewelry.

Most teenagers, young people and even old people prefer to wear jeans and a shirt as a Nepalese dress. I will not deny that it is really comfortable to wear. But there was once a system for dressing national costumes: “daura suruwal and dhaka topi” by men and “gunyo choli and patuki” by women in Nepal.

But nowadays it’s the other way round, we rarely see these clothes. Fashionable clothing is slowly replacing our national dress and we do not know that fact. Even in marriages, we wore suits and robes instead of our cultural clothes. In Nepal, the creation of an official national cultural identity was an explicit project of the Hindu state.

“From the beginning, the male figures in Daura Suruwal and the female figures in Gunyo Choli, the designated national costumes, appear in other Indian costumes, but it is a kind of lip service only – in fact, traditional clothing is proud, its traditional Wearing clothes in public, and not just for special occasions and celebrations, as is the custom in the mid-twentieth century, their distinctive clothing distinguishes them and gives them a national identity while enhancing their appearance and making them look beautiful.

Costumes of Nepal: Dresses of Nepal: Nepalese Costumes

Written by

Jitendra Sahayogee

I am Jitendra Sahayogee, a Writer of 12 Nepali Books, Director of Maithili films, Founder of Radio Stations, Designer of Websites and Editor of Some Nepali Blogs.

9 thoughts on “Costumes of Nepal – All About Dresses Of Nepalese Male & Female

  1. In Nepali dresses according to geography what is ‘Toni’ in the hill means.. I might suggest you to correct that as Topi else people will miss-read it…

  2. I know this web site gives quality based articles and additional data,
    is there any other website which provides these stuff in quality?

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