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Doesn’t matter whether you’re a shy types or bold, a social freak or a homebody; if you happen to be a woman, you surely would never like to be ignored! Be it a party, a wedding or just another social gathering, everybody likes to get noticed, and sometimes, even complimented of her dress. However, if you are an Indian woman, or even remotely connected to India in some way, you know that the easiest and the sure shot way to become the cynosure of all eyes in a party is to drape an exiquisite Indian Saree (Sari), that can never go wrong with your figure!
Touted as the best garment in the world, to suit all kinds of figures, the Sari is traced back to the Indus Valley Civilization (around 4000 years back) in the history of Indian Clothing. The word Sari is derived from the Prakrit word, 'Sadi' and a 'Sanskrit' word-'Sati'. Interestingly, India is not the only country in the world where Sari is worn, but in fact, Sari is popular in countries like, Bangladesh, Srilanka, Nepal, Burma, Mauritius, Malaysia and Bhutan as well.
Indian Saree Styles:
The most popular style of wearing a Sari in India, is wrapping it around the waist over a petticoat with one end then draped over the shoulder baring the midriff. In ancient Indian tradition, the navel of the Supreme Being is considered to be the source of life and creativity, hence the midriff (stomach) is to left bare. The upper garment is a tight blouse (or a choli) which has short sleeves. A Saree is usually 4 to 9 metres in length.
Based on the different styles of draping, a Sari can be classified into the following types:
- Nivi: The most popular style of wearing a Sari in modern India, this starts with one end of the sari tucked into the waistband of the petticoat and then the cloth is wrapped around the lower body once, then hand-gathered into even pleats just below the navel. The pleats are also tucked into the waistband of the petticoat creating a beautiful effect. After one more turn around the waist, the loose end (or Pallu or Pallav in Hindi) is draped over the shoulder.
- Gujarati way:This version of draping, commonly known as the seedha pallu way, is also found in parts of Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Bihar. Instead of taking the loose end,( pallu ) over the shoulder from front, it is taken to the back and brought over the right shoulder. It is then spread across the chest, and the left edge is tucked in the petticoat at the back.
Gujarati Style Sari
- Maharashtrian/Konkani/Kashta method: It is also called Nauvari saree. In this style of wearing Sari, Instead of the usual five-and-a-half meters, the sari in this version measures eight or nine meters. One portion of the sari is drawn up between the legs and tucked in behind at the waist, while another portion is draped as a pallu over the chest. Thus this divided sari allows greater movement of freedom with both legs covered.
Marathi Style Saree
- Tamilian (Dravidian) version: After wrapping around the waist, the pleats are positioned along the left leg. The rest of the sari is taken over the left shoulder, wrapped once again round the waist and tucked on the left side. This is also a long saree, about 8 meters in length.
- Bengali or Oriya : The sari is worn pleatless; it is wrapped around the waist, brought back to the right side and the pallu is thrown over the left shoulder. The pallu is then brought up under the right arm and once again cast over the left shoulder.
Bengali Sari Style
- Malyalam/Kerala Style: The two-piece sari, orMundum Neryathum, worn inKerala. Usually made of unbleached cotton and decorated with gold or colored stripes and/or borders.The Set-Sare, a modified and modern version of Mundum Neryathum, is a one-piece saree.
Set-Saree Kerala Style Sari with a golden border
- Kodagu style or Coorgi Saree– This drape is confined to ladies hailing from the Kodagu district of Karnataka. In this style, the pleats are created in the rear, instead of the front. The loose end of the sari is draped back-to-front over the right shoulder, and is pinned to the rest of the sari.
Kodagu or Coorgi Style Saree
Image Source: Miscellenous