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Jammu And Kashmir Dress

The traditional dresses of Jammu and Kashmir are renowned for their embroidery and intricate designs that reflect the rich of the culture and landscape of the region. The form of clothing is designed primarily to counter the cold climate of the region. Such cultural influences along with influences on tradition coupled with the climatic factors are mirrored in the traditional attire. Most of the garments are made of wool, cotton and silk designed with intricate embroideries. This long gown has a lot of beautiful embroidery work on it consisting of floral motifs.

Kashmiri women are renowned for their beauty in India. It is said that they possess ‘an English rosiness of complexion behind the Eastern tan’. Their hair color ranges from golden red to brunette and their eye colour varies between green, blue, grey and black. Besides being boats-women and farmers, the women of Kashmir lend their men-folk a hand with shawl making, embroidery and other handicrafts.

The Pheran is worn by Kashmiri women and is a large gown and ensures no body part is emphasised. A Hindu woman's Pheran could touch her feet whereas a Muslim woman's Pheran is knee-length, loose and embroidered in front and on the edges. It is tied at the waist for the sake of smartness and is made of a folded material called lunge. The long loose sleeves are decorated with brocade. The head-dress called Taranga is worn with this type of costume and is tied to a hanging bonnet. It tapers down to the heels from behind.

After the 'reform movement' of the thirties,  the women of the state took to the sari. However, on the wedding day women would wear the Taranga ceremonially. It is covered with the end ‘palav’ of the bride's wedding sari.

In contrast to Hindu woman's Pheran, that imparts her Roman look, the Pheran of Muslim women are delightfully embroidered in front. Their headgear, the Kasaba, looks very different from the Taranga. It is red in color, tied like a turban and held tight by an abundance of silver pins and trinkets.

Over time, Kashmiri women have evolved in their dressing style. Despite modern forms of clothing becoming popular, the Pheran remains the much-loved traditional attire.

Costumes of Kashmir for Men

Men usually pair the Pheran with a churidar while the Muslim men choose to wear a Salwar beneath the Pherans. The Kangri is a vessel filled with hot coal and is placed within a container made of natural fibre. The Kangri is usually placed in the front, skillfully shrouded by the Pherans. It functions as an internal heating system in order to keep the wearer warm during the extreme cold winters.

The Pathani Suit, is especially popular in Srinagar among men and is also referred to as Khan-dress. Turbans are commonly worn by Muslim men. The clothing item for the head, the skull cap, is popular among the working class. Woolen Pashmina shawls are also worn with delicate and detailed work having been done on both sides of these shawls. In jewellery, the Pashmina belt and ‘Kamarbands’ are common accessories too.

Costumes of Kashmir for Women

The Pherans are the prominent attire for Kashmiri women, as well. Traditionally, there are the Poots and the Pherans, which includes two robes placed on top of the other. The Pherans worn by women usually has Zari embroidery done on the hem line, around the pockets and mostly done around the collar area. The Pherans worn by Muslim women is traditionally characterized by their broad sleeves and reach up to the knees. However, the Hindus of Jammu and Kashmir wear their Pherans long, stretching up to their feet with the sleeves narrower. Females wear a headdress called the Taranga that is stitched to a suspended cap, and it narrows down at the back, towards the heels. Patterns in Brocade style can be found on their long sleeves.

The Pheran is usually worn alongside a red coloured head cloth known as the Kasaba. It is stitched like a turban and is pinned together by silver brooches and ornaments. A pin-scarf hanging from the Kasaba goes towards the shoulder. The Kasaba is worn by the women of the Muslim community as a regular attire, and the Abaya is another commonly worn dress among Muslim women. These costumes may vary to some extent for unmarried Muslim women.

Kashmiri Accessories for Women

The intricate patterns of a woman’s costumes in Jammu and Kashmir are further enhanced by the use of various accessories. In jewelry, earrings, anklets and bangles are widely used on top of the ornamentation in clothing. Silver jewellery is very popular in Muslim women, and they beautify themselves with the help of silver neck pieces, bracelets and heavily bejeweled chains. Special pieces of jewellery symbolize the married status of women among the Kashmiri Pandits.

Costumes of Ethnic Groups of Kashmir

The Jammu and Kashmir landscape are dotted with various ethnic groups.


These are a tribal community that reside in the hills of Jammu.


The Gujjar community resides in Jammu and is the second-largest group of ethnic tribes inhabiting in Kashmir and they are mostly shepherds. Gujjar women wear loose clothes.

Costumes of Ladakh

The costumes of inhabitants of Ladakh deserve special mention due to their extraordinary variety. Other woollen gowns are also worn by women. One such costume is called Skerag that is wound at the waist. The Skerag works like an enclosure for the Ladakhi men to carry their bare essentials. Historically, when a woman dies, her colourful hat is given to the first born of woman.

Over the years, citizens of this state have embodied the dressing style and habits of the West, as well as, those of other regional Indian cultures. This is noticed primarily among the men who choose to wear western attire to a great extent. The sari became increasingly popular among Hindu women after the 1930s Reform Movement. However, despite these influences, the traditional Pherans continues to symbolize the culture and couture of Jammu and Kashmir.

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Jammu And Kashmir Dress
Jammu And Kashmir Dress
Jammu And Kashmir Dress
Jammu And Kashmir Dress
Jammu And Kashmir Dress
Jammu And Kashmir Dress

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