Madaliya, Thalaisamman, Nath & More: A Style Tour Across 7 States of India

Let’s take this one together, okay? Paint a very ‘Hymn for the Weekend’-like picture in your mind (c’mon, we’re not even asking for 25,000 bucks). All set? Let this sparrow be your tour guide for today and show you around 50 (or more) shades of this land. The land of culture, diversity, gaiety and zeal- India. Words will never be able to capture the hues and tints of this land. So, we decided to take you on a style tour around the country to encapsulate the interplay of fashion and culture. We wish to embark on this journey with you to explore the unexplored and uncover hidden treasures in the various nooks and corners of the country.

Ready? Fasten your belt cause we’re about to take it from the top.

1. Ladakh

A perfect landscape, isn’t it? There’s more to the panorama. Let’s take it beyond the valleys and the serenity. Let’s talk about the real beauty-the Perak, a symbol of prestige owned by the Ladakhi women in the form of a headgear. Adorned with stones, untouched, raw and extravagant as it is. This unusual piece of ornament is generally found in aquamarine colors to mark the power and prestige of the women. It is made of a thick lamb skin coating which reaches the waist and represents a cobra (skin) when upturned. The Perak is passed down over matrilineal generations to signify the dignity and honor of the women. So don’t you forget to acknowledge this beauty in your next Ladakh trip because the North remembers.


2. Nagaland

Moving eastward, let’s pull the brakes and take a moment to appreciate the majestic hills and the unconventional beauty of the topography or the citizenry of Nagaland. The crimson sunrise and sunsets are like luscious brushstrokes painted across this picture-perfect state. This warm shade is not only depicted in their culture but also their carcanet. Lively shades like orange and tangerine are worn by Naga women as a neckpiece. This extravagant yet a beautiful piece of jewelry made by the women of the Konayak tribe gives you the “fall is approaching while summer is gone” feel, doesn’t it?


3. Bengal

Yes, there is more to the quintessential “Roshogollas” and the yellow taxis we see on the talkies. Apart from the vibrant festivals and the culture that often initiate endless conversations and nostalgia there’s the one Bengali in the group who nose it all. Geddit? We’re talking about the most elegant ornament in the entire country- the nose ring. Let’s cater to the stereotypes of Bengali women having wide kohl lined eyes, middle parted hair and a dusky skin tone. If you still don’t know she’s a Bengali, just add a golden nose ring and you’re good to go. More extravagant the occasion, bigger her nose ring. Usually worn on festivities, marriages or just when you feel like is the nose-ring, appropriate for all occasions. So a saree without the nose-ring? ‘Nath’ happening.


 4. Tamil Nadu

Lets speedboat are way through the backwaters of Southern India.  Tamil Nadu- the synonym for simplicity and elegance in itself. Other than their glamorous Kanjivaram sarees what we absolutely love is their headgear- Thalaisamman, which is very common in Tamil Nadu but mostly seen in Chennai. It is not just worn during ceremonies or weddings but also used as an ornament in Bharatnatyam.  It is divided in three parts- the middle one is for ornamentation purposes (quite similar to maang tika), the one on the right denotes the sun and the one on the left denotes the moon. Also, the term “Thalai” in tamil stands for “head”. So now you know why Rajnikanth is called the Thalaiva?


5. Rajasthan

As we slowly trek our way upwards, we see an amalgamation of colors and cultures. Diverse and multi-colored in nature is the state of Rajasthan. Their way of fashion is extremely polychromatic and unique in nature, be it their bangles, earrings, turban, jewelry and footwear. But the most unique feature is the Madaliya or silver amulets that is worn by most of the women in Jodhpur, Rajasthan. These amulets are not just used for ornamentation but also for the protective role played by these jewelry. It has an enshrined image of an image of Hindu diety accompanied by its animal vehicle. It’s amazing how so much thought goes into the making of these art-e-facts!


6. Uttar Pradesh

The tour guide always keeps the best for the last, isn’t it? Bright and exquisite, yet so simple is the city of Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh.  This cultural capital of India lives up to its name. Vibrant hues and shades of vermilion and yellow is what makes this city fashionably devoted. Untouched, natural and artistry is what defines the city of Varanasi. But what appeals to us the most is the raw fashion. The deeds they do are so spiritual and so are the beads. The kind of handmade beads that they flaunt by wearing them as a neckpiece, wristlet or a headpiece is so insanely creative. Be careful! Don’t trip when in the city (pun intended).


The soaring high mountains to the sun washed beaches,what a breathtaking sight

A blend of verve, hues, charm,  dynamism in the  culture which is indeed so bright.

Desert or wildlife safaris, treks or beaches,or  be it  an unexpected combination,

Synonym for soul stirring, enthralling, captivating and enchanting is our nation.



Enamoured by the street fashion that you discovered on this virtual style tour? Share with us your personal experiences with culture and fashion on our Facebook page.

 image source: Pinterest

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