September 2014
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The Gharara Truth
[Culture-January 2011]

Many times we wear clothes we love not knowing their origination, rich background, and culture. As styles and trends come and go there are some outfits that tend to be easily forgotten. One of these is the gharara. It has recently been making a comeback in some groups and cultures but has lost its once popularity of yesteryear.

There are common misconceptions about the history and origination of the gharara. To clear up your doubts we reveal the truth. Keep reading to learn where the gharara really came from! First, let’s revisit what the gharara really is. The gharara is basically a sharara split in two. The sharara is a really wide lengha. So the gharara consists of really wide leg “pants” which look more like two huge trumpet skirts, a kurti, and dupatta. The bottom of the gharara is ruched at the knees to make it flare out dramatically. The knee area, called the goat, is often elaborately embroidered in zari and zardozi work.

The common misconception is that the gharara is Pakistani, when in reality it’s not. Yes, it’s true that Pakistani women, especially brides, do often wear the gharara. However, the gharara is actually Indian because it originated in Lucknow during the time of the nawabs. During the 19th and early 20th centuries, it was worn as an everyday attire by upper class North Indian Muslim women. Now it has become more reserved for special occasions. It is not often that one sees someone in a gharara. For a while, it had become the forgotten garment. Slowly it is making a comeback and can be seen occasionally at Muslim weddings.

[photo credits: classyindianclothes.com, missyonline.com]

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3 Responses to “The Gharara Truth”

  1. Ayesha Says:

    What is the material of the dupatta of pink gharara ?

  2. admin Says:

    Sorry I don’t know the material because it’s no longer available.

  3. Gurpreet Kaur Says:

    hi there….. i got here because i was looking about the history of indian clothes… i’m from Jakarta, Indonesia….. doing thesis about india wedding dress n this is really helpful…. i never know that india has many traditional clothe…. all i know only sari, lehenga n salwaar kameeez. I have a questioned… do you have any data about india wedding accessories n their meaning…? thank u

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