Apsara, Indian Sculpture 12th Century


Dancing Celestial India (Uttar Pradesh). Early 12th century. Sandstone. H. 331/2 in. (85.1 cm) Promised Gift of Florence and Herbert Irving (L 1993.88.2) Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC. The contours and richly ornamented surfaces of this celestial attendant to the gods exemplify a stylistic shift away from earlier Gupta-influenced forms. Here the linear play of surface decoration and dramatic contours replace the earlier emphasis on seamless volume and subtle balance. The sculptor has twisted the figure into an extraordinary pose that captures the essence of her dance and seems absolutely believable until one imagines actually trying to turn this way. The jewelry sways and emphasizes her movements, both in the way the necklaces and sashes follow the curves of her body and in the upward thrust of the spiked tips of her crown. The crisp carving of her adornments makes a pleasing contrast with the smooth and rounded surfaces of her flesh. Images of dancing semidivine attendants often appear on the outer walls of Hindu temples. They are placed near the figures of gods to honor the deity, just as actual female dancers honored the gods’ images within the temple.

this is what wiki listed?

But on the Met Museum one line is written?

“Imagine posing as a model for this dancing female figure. You’ll soon realize that this striking pose is anatomically impossible. Yet the sculptor has captured the essence of continuous, whirling motion.”  https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/38153

But in our Indian classical Dance or so to say in other Indian dances there are various pose, Mudras those may seem impossible for west minds? But In many pose/Mudras certain amount of training goes into, before perfecting it. Specially in BharatNatyam, Oddissi dances?


Such are few common pose in or dance and Indian milieu? putting the red crimson red called Sindoor on forehead, that is symbol of Married women? But the way it is executed in dancing movement is something is captured the imagination of many artists. Even dancers also execute this movement with grace. Thus sculptors also put their expertise. Somtimes it is putting eye liner, or putting flower in hair plaits? or decorating head forehead etc. all such movements take shapes in various forms of arts.588c25ae9ce74cd0bc515f921e0d121a7ec453af8b975a1c12f355e1d7b9b0d67c2ca0db002594e468555a5735772632sit69.1_copy (1)C5T4l8mWEAA_aU8Cy5-AkGXcAAew5bCXiWoqgUQAALF8a

Film Pakeezah, MeenaKumari ji
Sunaina Hazari Lala, Kathak



#Museums #InternationalMuseumDay

Bronze siva.pngMuseums have now become multi utility spaces? Museum now hold Talks, Debates, Movies, Documentary screening, Study tours, Walk through History, Researches, Cataloging, Publications, Archaeological important material, Anthropological research, Exhibitions, even Live Lecture demonstration!! i think list is still not complete?  So vast is the scope of museums now a days in world?

Earlier when museums were thought it was just as an art gallery exhibiting, preserving few historical things, mostly excavated or collected such as paintings, sculptures etc.

Only few people used to visit such places, exhibiting Egyptian mummy, animal specimens.

I had visited few: Lucknow Zoo, there was a small structure housing few Egyptian mummy and few of old vintage portraits. Then i saw Salar Jung Museum on my visit to Hyderabad in 1977 when my father took us on LTC. It is one of the largest museums in the world. largest one-man collection of antiques in the world.  one cannot completely see and satisfied by one day visit. One clock was famous in our time, at some selected hour clock rang bell. A horse parade sort of thing happens in clock, with lots of other mysterious things. So everyone inside the museum kept an eye on their clock so that at the decided time they rush to see the clock.

Another striking Big sculpture i saw in white marble, in front it had a woman and at back side of a man. To show this huge mirrors were kept behind that statue.

I could see Mysore palace also it had a beautifull gallery of paintings of Raja Ravi Verma  (Ravan Jatau yudh and Lady with the lamp) and few other artifacts. In Mumbai I saw the Prince of Wales Museum (now it is renamed as chatrapati shivaji museum https://www.csmvs.in )  there i saw a gallery named as museum of natural history? most striking was the King Cobra, i shivered while standing in front of it. It’s hood stood upto few feet above and seemed that it will just strike. So i shifted little bit from its front. Then there was Jehangir Art Gallery on same road, i think?

Actually that day I walked from Gateway of India to masjid bander(?) I don’t know for how long i walked. On the way I saw Prince of Wales Museum, Jehangir Art Gallery, VT Station on my right side. I passed by it, but i could not notice that there is a big railway station inside that building? on the way there was National Gallery of Modern Art? (i thought only one NGMA existed in India, as one is in New Delhi, near India Gate? i did one Art appriciation course at NGMA New Delhi in 1994-95). Then later in life I visited  National Museum at New Delhi it is a life time opportunity to see this museum. It houses treasures of our Indian Heritage. I also got chance to visit Bhopal. I took a trip to see the Shiv Temple at Bhojpal? later i visited Indira Gandhi rashtriya manav sangrahalaya  इन्दिरा गांधी राष्ट्रीय मानव संग्रहालय I have had heard names of BB Karanth? Vibha Mishra? This is an open air museum housing types of houses, other things used by tribal community. spread over a large portion of land, one really needs strength to walk around.. In Bhopal Bharat Bhawan is also there i saw many paintings of renowned painters. Works of Mrinalini ji

While studying i could know about few other places such as a library at Rampur started by Nawab of Rampur. Famous for music traditions, i heard it had lots of manuscripts of musical importance. Then there was one Khuda Bux library of Patna?

One of the dream place that i wish to visit is Saraswathi Mahal of Thanjore. it is said to house big treasure and truly named as Saraswati, in name of Goddess of learning. On looking at the treasure in National museum Ned Delhi I could guess about the treasure, the saraswati mahal could be having. So beautifull Tanjore paintings were there in Delhi.

On Doordarshan i got to know about Raja Dinkar Kelkar Museum. He talked about how he collected many specimens of historical importance, most important was Mastani Mahal, That was built by Pehswa Baji Rao for Mastani ji. Kelkar museum has the portion of that mastani mahal.    I also read somewhere that when Prince Albert had to visit India then in Jaipur a building was named as Albert hall jaipur

Till recently i did not know existence of this nice website http://museumsofindia.gov.in/ listing museums of India. Instead i used to look wiki link on museums  to know about museums of India.  Now due to internet of things? I can see whole world?  The National Gallery of Victoria  , Cleveland museum. Met Museum, now Google Arts & Culture is there. Now following are some of the Gems of Sculpture, Art Architecture etc from India. just scroll down. See and appreciate great Art of India, and largely kept preserved due to Museums, Gallery and pvt collections. Many of such diamonds of our Art had been looted outside of India.

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Bull at Indus Valley civilization


Dancing girl of Indus Valley civilization @NMDelhi


Ganga? at @NMNewDelhi

Chola Dynasty saw the highest standard of metal works, using the lost wax technic.4    4cbb7c633f347741c1b90c5817e67c5e

BhooDevi, Mother Earth rescued by Varah Avatar of Vishnu


Natraj, the supreme Art of chola dynasty



Not only Metal craft but Indian Art had high standards of Sculptures in Stone. Many temples and caves carving are not available



BhooDevi, Mother Earth rescued by Varah Avtar of Vishnu

320px-Queen_Sembiyan_Mahadevi_as_the_Goddess_Parvati_(915582657) I cannot say if there is nay other icon similar to or near to this statue in Metal (Bronze?) anywhere else in world


lagai aoun aankhon me kajra? puting eyeliner?

There is no parallel to the sculpture of Hoyasala? Karnatak?


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one side India had highest standards of statue/Sculpture art, other side there was Paintings


Bani Thani of KishanGarh
Chola period Sculpture, Krishna?
Baaje Payal Nigo

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deogarh UP dasavtar

The top part of this band is cut-off with the fitting of Ganga mounted on makara on proper left.

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All thanx to our Musuems, Art Galleries.

All must visit our Museums, Galleries any where or near to where you live, to know our glorious past.

#SarangDev; #SangeetRatnakar; Span of #IndianClassicalMusic;

Sarang Dev wrote Sangeet Ratnakar. Sarang Dev compiled knowledge known (or available) prior to him such as Nāţyaśāstra, Dattilam, Bŗhaddēśī, Sarasvatī-hŗdayālańkāra-hāra and ideas of Abhinavagupta on Nāţyaśāstra. He wrote about ancient scholars such as Bharata, Matanga, Dattila and Narada paying homage.


Strange is that how in that age where mode of communication were supposed to be none as compared to present times. He managed to study works of Abhinavagupta who lived in Kashmir? SarangDev though belonged to family of Kashmiri Brahmins but still while living in Devagiri he studied Abhinavgupta. This shows how big was our knowledge base and was scattered across the geographical boundaries from Plateau of Pamir to Kanyakumari or Kucth or Patliputra in Magadh.

SarangDev(1175–1247) (शार्ङ्गदेव) was working in court of Singhana I of Devagiri of Yadaya dynasty(13th century). Amazing thing is that he was working as an Accountant, but he perused his passion Music!!

If these yadavas were claimed to be from Kannad background, Kannada language was used in their courts but along with Sanskrit and Marathi then the works of SarangDev in Sanskrit might have got appreciation of rulers also. As He was on payroll of yadava kings and if he wrote something that does not suited to the ruler, how can we imagine that work (Sangeet Ratnakar) could still survived? Thus this work on Sangeet Ratnakar might have got sanction of Ruler Singhana II. Incidenlty the Yadava rulers were also said to have built Jain Cave temples at Ellora?

There is another treatise on Indian Classical Music written in the times of Yadava dynasty of Devagiri, by Haripaladeva, the Sangeetasudhakara. First time this bifurcated Indian classical music as Hindustani Music and Carnatic Music.

Sangeet Ratnakar classifies sangeet into two kinds: Marga-sangita and Desi-sangīita. Marga refers to the classical techniques taught by Bharata in Natya Shastra. Desi Sangita refers to regional improvisations that may not follow the classical rules and structure for the music and performance arts. Many of our elder musicians who were hard core classical musicians followed Marga Sangeet.

but if regional traditions is to be belived then question comes as if the Maand singing as was prevalent in Rajasthan would be called classical or Deshi Sangeet? Maand Kokila Allah Jilai Bai of Bikaner sang most famous Maand Kesariya Balam, Padharo Mhare Desh

According to Sarngadeva’s verses 27-30 of the section 1.1, song is everywhere, in the cry of a baby, in the beats of nature, in the pulse of life, in every human act of DharmaArthaKama and Moksha.

The sections 3 through 8 of the first chapter describe nada(sound), svara(tone), Sruti (microinterval) gramas(primary scales), murcchanas(derivativescales), Varna (Color), Jati(Mode), Alankara (Embellishment), giti (Singing styles), meters and other musical concepts.

#Dance #DancingGirl, why they named it as #Indus Dance Girl? of #Harappa #IndusValley #civilization?

Indus Dancing girl as it is known  2500 BC Harappa  Mohenjo-daro   civilization in Indus valley

Many of us must be aware of this figure, nick named as Dancing girl of Harappa/Mohenjo-daro, found in 2500 BC old Indus River valley civilization. Indus river is know as Sindhu River in India. It has become world famous idol. People are researching over iconography etc things on this. But For me, I was amazed, why the name “dancing girl” is given to it?

How can historian/ archaeologist can name her as a dancing girl? She could have been any authoritarian figure? Priestess? or any sacrificial woman? Or simply a dream girl (muse) of an artist? Why not? But assigning this name in itself tells the attitude of society at large towards the word “dancing girl”. It is very easy to write “dancing girl”?

Is there anything such as Her ornaments, posture? hair plait? necklace? eyes? or any thing that can indicate her being a dancing girl? i Don’t think so?  This statue is from thousands of years old civilization? it is in Bronze? a difficult metal craft? and that too there was no Industrial revolution (as of UK) or #3D printer, not even elctricity for grill machine or tools? All there was traditional knowledge, hard work, enthusiasm and observing power of eyes? or even we can say power to imagine? People in Europe once upon a time imagined that earth is flat and if you walk accross a certian point you will fall down. That was imagination power?

If this statue is not observation then how one can imagine such thing? A Dream Girl? can we say?

It is still unknown as to what purpose this bronze statue served?

But it is certainly amazing that how this craft of using metals came to Indus valley civilization? It was done in lost wax technic as we know today? It is an example of Art of metallurgy prevalent in Indus River Valley civilization.

It’s not a dancing pose, it’s a standing pose. Even, sometime we stand like this, placing hand on waist. This statue was discovered in 1926 by a British serving officer (obviously) in colonial India. Now pakistan disputes it, I don’t understand why pakistan disputes it? earlier in that part of world everything Indian was destructed by the invaders from West Asia, and now after partition a newly born country claims to be owner of 3000 BC civilization. This itself indicates what they wanted to loot? What they are teaching in History books of Pakistan?- that Indus valley civilization grew and became Pakistan?

Lost wax method was used in Chola period also to make amazing beautifull Bronze statues. But for using that technic in Indus Valley there must have been some previous references? some education? knowledge transfer? passed on to generation to generation? it is not that suddenly one day, a man created bronze statue by using lost wax technic? it requires lots of things, planning execution. when wax is lost (melts away) the impression on the metal becomes visible and look artistic. isn’t it? At first a statue is created out of wax then covered by clay or mud, dried and then molten metal is filled inside, so that melted wax runs out from other end.

She can be any one? even a queen? or consort? any diety? why not? she can be even a gaurd/fighter? waiting to get her spear? or arrows ready from back, or something hidden at back? in olden times women gaurds were kept to protect princes queens or royal ladies and even for kings also? but in that time British officers were mostly amazed by the Nautch girls, dancing girls, tawaif or Devdasi traditions in India. Thus when someone in British Office/Archeologist? saw it, he immediatley imagined the dance pose of dancing girls that he had in mind imprinted so vividly that as soon as he saw this he named it dancing girl?

from wiki: This discovery indicates that they (indus civilization) knew metal blending, casting and other sophisticated methods. The bronze girl was made using the lost-wax casting technique and shows the expertise of the people in making bronze works during that time. The statue is displayed at National Museum, New Delhi.

Dancing_girl_second_prehistoric_bronzeA similar bronze statuette was found by Mackay during his final full season of 1930–31 at DK-G area in a house at Mohenjo-daro. The preservation, as well as quality of craftsmanship, is inferior to that of the well known Dancing Girl. This second bronze female figure is displayed at Karachi Museum, Pakistan.

An engraving on a piece of red potsherd, discovered at Bhirrana, India, a Harappan site in Fatehabad district in Haryana, shows an image that is evocative of Dancing Girl. The excavation team leader, L. S. Rao, Superintending Archaeologist, Excavation Branch, ASI, remarked that, “… the delineation [of the lines in the potsherd] is so true to the stance, including the disposition of the hands, of the bronze that it appears that the craftsman of Bhirrana had first-hand knowledge of the former”.

But I still Don’t agree with their Assumption? that her profession was dance? How they can presume? For Shri Ram at Aydohya few people are asking for a proof? here they are naming her as dancing girl without any proof? I think mystery of Harappa civilization can only be solved by deciphering the SCRIPT? So after reading all that is written in that script can tell something about lost civilization. But Pakistan cannot claim that it is their heritage?

Many miniature paintings also depicts lot of interesting things about these dancing girls of India. Which are often referred as Tawaif, courtesan, nachini,  domni, Kothewali, Derewali etc names aplenty but they have been at centre of life of any city, court/Mehfil or folklore.

Lucknow2When British came to India they became Gora Sahebs. Few gora sahebs started imitating mannerism of mughal or nawabs.

The dancing girls were the most evident in painting of that era. Also these gora sahebs were fascinated by these charming ladies. Gora Sahebs also patronized paintings.

These painting are called as Raj or Company school paintings.

Dancing girls, Ganika, NagarVadhu, Apsara concept has been in folk lore and mythology also. But when it became an ill famed custom we dont know?

Shakuntala was daughter of an Apsara, but she was a daughter of a Sage at first? Sage was solely responsible for birth of Shakuntala. But some how his name is not written in black color? only the characters of Apsara is much talked about? Irony?

I tried to search pictures on dancing girl? obviously through Google.

images (55)This pic must be from South India? the dhoti adorned by men is may be from Andhra, Karnataka or Maharashtra? Girls adorning the dress looks similar to worn by Sadir natyam or dassi natyam?

please note one thing in this pic that these girls are of very young age?


Nautch_dancerBeautifull Girl in this pic is again of a tender age? forced to dance? accompanying artists belong to a community? Tabla, the percussion instrument and sarangi are the accompanying musical instruments. This is probably of Mughal influenced era.


Below is another beautifull photo of a dance girl from Lucknow? See all beautifull things around her. Richly designed ornament/ jwellery and pure Gold or silver (not at all imitation) The curtains, the cushions, the mattress, the fashion? yes they were the fashion icons of those times. They make new styles of dress, specially custom made and wearing them they make it into fashion statements. As I understand they (these women) were actually master  entrepreneurs, as they supported or patronised many crafts. the dress designing, Textile weaving, tailoring, coloring of textiles, Jwellers, artists- painters, and all those trades which had these women as their clients?


Hand-colored photograph of two dancing girls, probably from western India, c.1890s
Dancers/Singers some where in Rajasthan, Gujarat?

Ancient Indian sculptures also depicted few of such fine example of good art.

e63d7c97b292b3808f58eadc32c0275aThe beauty at Sanchi stupa is a poetry carved in


The ornaments bangles, ear rings, necklace, waist plate and rings in leg all are extremely intricately designed.

Figurine, hair style and her skirt are all evident.





There are few other good examples of beautifull sculptures of Ancient India.  These are the most beautifull and umatched in world? Best poetic sculptures are found in Hoyasala, Belur etc in Karnataka. But still i can say there are thousands of such in South India.

These incredible statues carved in stone many centuries ago? No one can deny the hard work patience of artist or craft persons.

I have put these pics here just to show the dance in our arts. Compared to that statue found in Harappa. Can you say that statue was of a dance girl? I think in India our artists knew how to depict dance movements. Presumption is done by those not belonging to this land. Their assumption is made out to be a fact? That’s is wrong.


This statue reminds me of my favorite song from Pakeezah.  Thare rahio banke yaar re. Particularly the lines where Nayika (dancer in film) says bole payal nigodi…. and similar

pose. mudra is taken to indicate/depict that Bhaav of payal

nigodi……as is done in this sculpture on left.








cxiwoqguqaalf8a.jpgit looks as if master craftsman descended from heaven to create such intricate amazing beautifull sculptures. When you stand in front of these creations you can’t say it is created by men.  One life time is not enough to see all of splendour of India:

Ajanta Ellora caves, Elephanta caves, Belur, Hoyasala, Mahabalipuram, Konark, Khajuraho, Kiradu, Dilwara and whole of Rajasthan.





images (22)

The book by Pran Nevile describes in detail about the dance girls in colonical India.









System of nautch girls or dance girls was prevalent in this world from time immemorial. It was there in Kabul, Gandhar, Afghanistan, Kashmir & upto Kanyakumari in South India. Nomenclature differed, from Tawaif to Devdasi.

eggdance in bhopal court

In the said book there is a description that a dance girl kept whirling and keeping eggs on this loops tied with strings, he referred it as egg dance? not a single egg was broken.






These dancing girls were most innovative also. As is evident from dress they wore.










Indian films also had a hand in mystifying the dance girls. In many movies they are shown in some extra ordinary manner. I mean they are shown not in Authentic manner. Very few films had these dance girls in correct perspective.    I was in awe of Pakeezah, Umrao Jaan (Rekha ji) and this Chitralekha mostly due to my love for Meena Kumari ji.images (18)

belaBela Bose and Meena Kumari ji were there in this film. Many scenes Meena ji was behind the mask and some double must have danced.

But the Temple dancers from Orissa were totally different as i found out while reading many articles. These women never danced outside temples. They are called MAHARI, not devdasi. Two major class of Mahari was there, Bhitar Gauni and Baher Gauni. First was allowed to enter Garbh Griha, the sanctum of Temple and second class did seva outside the garbhgriha.images (79)

She is the last surving Mahari



images (15)images (77)it says Women of pride?


Why not?  They were bearer of our Arts? Traditions? Music and Dance with other attached traditions have been kept alive by such women and their families?

Thus naming them just as Dancing girl is not correct? For whom they danced? Who made them to dance? They were daughters of big VIPs and most respected Men of society, Kings, Dewan, Pundits- Brahmin, Priest, Business Men, Chettiar? Seth as we call. Merchant etc and etc. Thus degrading them is not in right perspective. Dancing Girl deserve respect?





#Drukpa, #Buddhist #Nun #Ladakh; a social revolution in #Himalayas

Buddha & Buddhism has always attracted me, since school days we read about the prince Siddharth/ Gautam the son of King Suddhodhan. Thanx to Amar Chitra Katha books also, as I read many of those books (I don’t like to call them as comic? The word comic sounds to me as, similar to comedy? )

Thinking of Buddha two places come to mind The Pamir i.e. Tibet and Ladakh. It is strange that the prince who was born in Kapilwastu has become famous all over the world. In those days when ways of communication were none compared to present days of whatsUp or Whatsapp?

Watching the Documentary- The Quest of Buddha on DD Bharti was an eye opener.

t1A silent revolution taking shape under the leadership of HH Gyalwang Drukpa in Buddhist monastery of Ladakh.


Lama was the word with which I was very much familiar, since in school I had read about Lama dance, that is held in Monastery and performed by Lamas- the Buddhist Monks. Later in Doordarshan also I saw many programs on Lama and Buddhist traditions & Paintings etc of Ladakh.

But for the first time I saw anything on the gender issue among the Buddhist Monks. In the program the plight of Buddhist nuns was described and discussed. As to how these nuns were felt discriminated all through centuries. But now time has changed. At 4th Annual council of Drukpa many ground breaking things happened. First time in the history of centuries about 50 Buddhist nuns performed the dragon dance, till date that was performed by Lamas for centuries.

Druk means Dragon. I knew Druk as a symbol of purity, since I used to buy DRUK fruit Jam and mango chutney etc. I think that brand was from Sikkim?

Drukpa means those from the dragon lineage.


At the Naropa ceremony nuns participated equally with lama monks first time in centuries.

There was tradition of donating the sons to monastery so that son can become a monk. For the first time I came to know that among the Ladakh society tradition was of youngest girl of family can become a Buddhist nun.

As tradition goes a 3 km long walk is held to visit the holy site. This walk is lead by the head Monk.

Celebrations are held. Most amazing thing happened. The nuns performed Vajra Dance that was previously remained unknown. Means for centuries this dance was never performed in public by Nuns. Now as our India is marching ahead with time society is also changing and accommodating new things as far as possible. Shri Gyalwang Drukpa with his team is bringing many changes among the traditions in the monastery.

The girls who are in monastery are now learning many things of new world. Many girl nuns are attending schools that was not possible for centuries, as it happens everywhere, boys were given preference over girls. It happened in Buddhist society also.  Many girl nuns are learning Kung fu? A martial art. It is a physical exercise but also has elements of meditation and concentration. Girl Nuns in the documentary says that this is a physical exercise and can be called as external Yoga. This is very true I think.


Social revolution is happening as Nuns along with society gathered in Ladakh valley and planted 1.5 lakhs trees in one hour. As said in the documentary that it entered in Guinness world record.

Another revolution happened as Nuns started hiking and they gathered plastic waste on the treks of Himalayas at Ladakh. That indicates that now Nuns have started asserting that nuns are an integral part of society. These nuns are contributing towards bringing social consciousness for environmental protection.

i tried to search the documentary “The Quest of Buddha” on DD Bharati you tube but could not get the link. But i saw it on 17 March 2018 telecast in evening.

Live to Love is there moto


#Men in #Dhoti; Is it not a #menswear? why #shorts?

images (95)Why men/boys prefer to wear Shorts (pants)? Any reasons?

I was little bit taken aback when i saw most of the young newly married couples coming to the city for honeymoon and wear such cloths which they could never dare to wear back at their homes? Idea is solely to couple-wedding-honeymoon-shoot-mauritius-india-indian-hotel-mauritius-best-photographer-7.jpgcompare Indian Vs West?


images (336) (1)


He definitely looks like a casual tourist, wearing casuals as he would say? 20171125_160550-1.jpgbut then he is wearing this short pant just with a presumed perception of being upmarket? belonging to  Nouveau riche group of middle upper class?

There is also a trend among the newly educated lot or high flying group that wearing this type of casual cloths is symbol of status?    




I mean very idea of wearing such types of cloth i don’t like.

When i see women kept fully covered and men standing with them are in shorts? i thought why this discrimination? why these women are burdened to save the honour? of family? izzat? Men can wear any kind of cloths but women are supposed to wear traditional dress only?


I have seen men wearing Pant/jeans shirts (to me it looks as imitating the British Raj?) but women standing with them wear saree (sari)? that is a traditional wear of India?

Why women are not supposed to wear those frocks and gowns, as British ladies wore of that time? Men conveniently copied the shirt and pants? but ladies who are supposed to keep the family honour are never allowed to wear western outfits? This is evident in most of the Indian Marriages.


Indian wedding are famous for splendour of colors, lights, festivities. Clothing is the most important aspect. Everyone seems to be wearing best attire of their collection, (often just to show off, why not such occasions were meant for this purpose only)

while choosing dresses for grooms and brides, people tend to choose traditional dresses for brides, Sari, Lehnga etc. Whereas grooms choose most awkward dress such as coat, pants etc.  It is also a form of gender discrimination.


NJ DC Wedding Photographer | Mohaimen Kazi Photography  indian-wedding-reception-outfits


Ideally both groom and bride must wear our traditional dresses. I liked this photograph(below)3860795ca60e8ed1b58457d07afe9497--punjabi-suits-indian-suits

When both man and woman wear that kind of cloths, then only it looks nice. Equal treatment should be given to both gender. Or


There should be an opportunity of right of choice. Girls are mentally / culturally pressurized to wear the outfits in garb of custom and culture? most of the time they succumb to that mental or emotional pressure.

As a child i might have seen this photograph(below) somewhere and few others, where a hero wearing a dhoti is hugging the heroine. There was one film produced in association of Russia. In that the actor hugged heroine while wearing Dhoti. That image lingered on me and still is in my mind.

14071 - Siddhartha

More angry i got seeing few images where men wearing couple-wedding-honeymoon-shoot-mauritius-india-indian-hotel-mauritius-best-photographer-7-e1513770257388.jpgjeans/pants but ladies wore half leg dress? that is also not justifiable? But it is matter of choice they say.


As i said in most of weddings traditional dresses are given to women and brides. Why families or society has accepted this type of dressing code?

British left but likening or copying dress continues? (most people think English speaking is something to do with status?) even after independence we as a society never discarded British dress mentality.


Does this couple not look beautifull? given that we belong to India?

Keeping up with our traditions and family values they should adopt traditions followed in the family.

Otherwise what they will teach their wards (next generations) about their traditions?

Will they not be blamed for imposing their choices on their wards? some one asked?







Idea here is only to compare Western and Indian dress?couple-wedding-honeymoon-shoot-mauritius-india-indian-hotel-mauritius-best-photographer-4


Why this garment is called Dhoti? wikipedia has something on this subject also. People always search wiki for everything. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dhoti Is there anything similar search engine in our India?

I was amazed to see that dhoti is linked to religion?  on this link at oxford dictionary https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/dhoti  it is written as a garment worn by male Hindus ?? no one questioned.  The mention of dhoti as a Hindu dress is totally wrong. dhoti oxford

Similarly another link on Britanica https://www.britannica.com/topic/dhoti says similar thing.

dhoti britanica

I thought the word Loin Cloth is used for Langot? I didn’t know that Dhoti is a long loincloth?  Then down on page it is written that it was called a Paridhana? To me Paridhan means cloths/dress we wear.  So there are lots of confusing information for my ears and eyes on internet.

images (104)Mahatma Gandhi ji wore Dhoti (of course after his return from South Africa and when one of our great leader advised him to travel & see around our real India. He then took to travelling to different parts of India. In the film GANDHI by Richard Attenborough Gandhi ji on river of Ganga at Allahabad saw that girl who was struggling to cover her body and seeing that Gandhi ji left a piece of cloth in running water, it went down stream and that girl caught that cloth. Whole scene is an eye opener. poetically the situation was picturized to depict the pathetic condition and poverty. That lady emoted very well, if you see that scene then only you can understand.

He was of also of the view to discard  foreign cloths. He encouraged self weaving with Charkha. Through that he meant our society should be self sufficient, Self supporting, Self dependent even in cloth making. We know it by name of Khadi. Khadi symbolizes Independence, Self Respect, Self dependence.

I like the idea where men and women have equal opportunity to choose their cloths?


Many years back(1989?) i tried to participate in a dress designing competition organised by YSL? I did try few designs for dhoti? in various ways? In 1983 NID the premier institute for Design in Ahmedabad advertised for admissions in design courses for +2 students. Back home i could not dare to apply for admission? thinking/presuming of family reaction?  Back then in age of Black and white Doordarshan, we had TV only for any kind of visual entertainment. News print was main source of information, giving an idea of what is happening in world? so I knew Ritu Kumar, Rohit Bal, Rina Dhaka, there was another Rina i think? a duo designer singh? Later in time i came to know about one designer Rodriguez from Goa. In photo he looked dashing?

In between during 1985 or so i saw and read about Smt Sarbari Dutta?  20dattaThe good thing was that she was designing men’s wear. She had saree(sari) with Kantha also. I was ill-famous for wearing dhoti kurta among my peers. All my classmates and other imitated the western cloths- pant and shirt.  I was ridiculed for wearing dhoti.

I felt sad to see some traces of  Un-acceptableness in eyes of my Father? Because due to me he might have got feedback of different nature from his peer group? After many years, once on an occasion of a wedding of relative his anger came out? I had chosen to wear coat, long full shirt and Dhoti for that wedding. I was the only one in whole crowd wearing that kind of funky outfit??

My father had custom made most expensive triple suit for my wedding?  Most expensive means it was beyond normal expenses our family could bear? But he made it clear I am going to wear that British dress, which I termed as “Gulam-dress” a symbol of slavery? my papa ji always got furious on hearing that. But I got chance to wear my choice of cloths at the time of reception at home. I had bought a Dhoti Kurta from Kolkatta, Of course not from Sarbari’s collection?  But i did make attempts to see few showrooms in Kolkatta, Wedding dress on display in those showrooms were beyond my pocket.

Dhoti is a fantastic wear for men. The term Dhoti is common to both gender. Or a word is there that can be used : UNISEX !!. But the dhoti that men wear is called mardani dhoti. In some community a cloth men wear is called as Lungi, Tahmad.  Below is a glimpse of few versions of Dhoti.

Priest saluting the sun in the Ganges, Varanasi Benares India
priest saluting the sun in the Ganges, Varanasi Benares India


Model wearing creation of Sarbari Dutta

02dhoti1.jpg img_6603.jpg

models wearing sarbari’s creations.



I don’t know why this image was created? instead of being creative, creator seemed to make joke? or fun. I doubt whether they were serious to bring forward our mens wear.

1b3ca97f59da74b8ce621bae23e33761--pretty-men-beautiful-men there are many versions to tie this cloth called Dhoti.12818963_222051778145519_25854311_n1e952153465024263bb98aee75be0cbf-how-to-wear-different-styles.jpg

festive-kurta-with-dhoti-pants 1-nZ45fQ5-iBXItqDNsJKEsw    3.jpg


In Bollywood or any film attire is chosen as per the role or story requirement. not for promoting any dress. But yes many times style statements are made by the actors but those remain withing the boundaries of characters they played.

Encyclopedia Britanica shows this pic, men wearing Dhoti
Rajasthani Life, India
Indian men wearing traditional clothing and Rajasthani turbans in village of Nimaj, Rajasthan, Northern India


Dhoti is so easy to wear, Dhoti is a long unstiched piece of byomkesh-bakshy_145310027.jpgcloth.

People have to tie a knot around waist and drape it. few tricks are required to do the plaits and tuck it back.



Even wild version is there no requirement of a long cloth. few naughty people tie just a small cloth.

 c463f2b708442f4b3ddfc5db1f99d416chufaylw8aayzmb.jpgcream_dhoti_with_zari_border_kr85cenx85z.jpg dh1   dh2 Lungi is not Dhoti


Our Leaders also had liking for dhoti, that was the Indian dress. No South North divide was there? can you figure out in this picture abe? any difference?

images (3)images (4)images (8)images (7)

Men in dhoti: Manipur

kiqplebhibgsi.jpglong-lungiSouth Indian styleMen_1


Mahatma Gandhi ji popularised this type of Dhoti.












Leaders, freedom fighters never had problem wearing Dhoti?
Nawalargh, Lloyd 017
i kept this pic for design of Door: tradition and Art


One incident happened with me when i was entering the Red fort in Delhi. I was wearing dhoti kurta which i thought to be a normal dress. But at the entrance gate one guard stopped me and started inquiring.  I said why u stopped me, as i felt bad being singled out in that crowd. I said you stopped me only thinking that i am a poor village person and cant give you reply. Call your officer. Few more guards came then i told them in English, that i am such and such person and i live inside RedFort. I am going home? Can i go? they started talking themselves. I said you should not think so low about dhoti kurta.  People think so low about dhoti kurta. they have their own perception about this Indian dress. perceived notions.


But when i see people in shorts, or pants i think sad, as how our traditional life style had been taken over by the west.  Traditions also had gone extinct.

People in general do not think wearing dhoti as good thing? i mean not many give a thought to wear dhoti? If they see some one wearing dhoti,  immediately their thought process signals that dhoti wearing person is backward? That’s called Gulam Mansikta? Legacy of Raj? Thinking like a slave. We have lost respect for our own traditions.

Earlier on Black and white Doordarshan we used to get glimpses of few fashion icons. Now this internet has come up with vast opportunity to see the world at our own desktop?  it is now called as Palm top or Palm held devices?

11502189227928-sojanya-since-1958-stitched-gold-mens-dhoti-3781502189227679-1_mini.jpg571b5544b4569d8c62152ae724f5dee0-indian-groom-indian-suits.jpgimages-63.jpgaz49Dhoti is so versatile, as is the sari/saree. Indian traditional attire has vast scope. there are regional variations as well.

images (57)2_South_Indian_Dhoti_Style

6281c985647f2f3038f43f4c78e90d6d-sexy-indian-men-indian-suits.jpg4bf6d91c29f67a5d3d42209fb939b0a3--greek-men-male-cosplay   images (62) images (61)

can it be called dhoti: but since a one piece cloth tied thus a form of dhoti?

 this is not exactly a dhoti but a small piece of dhoti? but picture is pleasant to look at.


He is UmaShankar in a TV serial(pic above). But he is wearing a ready made dhoti, stitched for ease. But the picture exudes warmth and sensuous appeal. so I included here. But it tells that nowdays people have forgotten how to wear the dhoti, and thus created this new instant dhoti, ready to wear. Just like fast food or instant noddles? how lifestyle has changed our ways.

b2e4cc4ee39e80656ed74c151698c6b6This is a studio click i think. dhoti in this pic is for special occasions. But in ancient or recent past warriors used to wear such type of dhoti. Often on days when durbar or courts used to held.

Sangeet samrat: Alladiya Khan, Emperor of Music wearing traditional dress, Dhoti
Ustad Abdul Karim Khan

Sangeet Samrat most respected doyen of Hindustani Music Alladiya Khan saheb ji in this pic is shown wearing the traditional dress of India. Dhoti and Turban are prominent here. Also on left is great Ustad Abdul Karim Khan saheb wearing a Safa, traditional Turban.

And many more stalwarts great artist of our India always wore Indian dress with much pride and felt Proud.

I don’t know when we will try to love our Indian dress. And stop imitating west?download-9.jpga11.jpgimages (89)download (10)

There are few links available in YouTube on How to wear Dhoti?

I just think of some days when we will start respecting our own traditions.