The Style & Beauty of Rajasthani Women

The wedding I recently attended may have been in Maharashtra but it was in fact a Marwari wedding. The Marwari people are from Rajasthan, a state I am desperate to visit. The land of the legends, majestic fortresses and golden sand dunes. I cannot wait to one day visit the pink city (Jaipur) and the blue city (Jodhpur).

I love the Rajasthani fashion (the movie Jodha Akbar may have something to do with that!) so it was a treat for me to see hundreds of beautiful Rajasthani women, dressed up in all their finery and get a glimpse of this vibrant culture!

Whilst my husband spent some time with the groom, I sat in the ladies dressing room and watched them all help each other drape their gorgeous sarees (whilst simultaneously trying to keep hold of some extremely cute and wiggly toddlers!). The Rajasthani style is a fusion between tribal and regal, the fantastic printed patterns mixed with splendid, heavy jewellery. These beautiful women are also extremely modest and cover their heads when in the presence of men or elders.

To cover their heads women either use the loose end from their saree (pallu) or use an odhni if they are wearing a ghagra (a long skirt worn with a top or blouse). The odhni is a speciality of Rajasthan, one end of this ten foot piece of fabric is tucked into the ghagra whilst the loose end is taken over the right shoulder and gracefully placed over the head. The colours and patterns are particular to their caste and the occasion.

The Rajasthani style is a fusion between tribal and regal, the fantastic printed patterns mixed with splendid, heavy jewellery. These beautiful women are also extremely modest and cover their heads when in the presence of men or elders.

A ghagra is a long skirt worn in Rajasthan, this style of skirt starts of narrow at the waist and as you go down it gradually increases in width and flares out. The width of the skirt and the number of pleats it forms is said to symbolise wealth and social status. If you spun around wearing one of these it would fly up and spin with you and you’d most probably feel like a princess.

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I could not keep up with the number of times the women from both extended families changed their outfits and during a couple of the ceremonies they all wore the same colour, which I found lovely, I was able to capture this beautiful photograph (above) when the bride’s family were officially greeting the grooms family.

The style of Rajasthan’s women is unique and extremely colourful, it was an absolute privilege to see these beautiful women dressed in their best. I would love to someday learn the stories behind those printed patterns and understand why specific colours are worn for specific occasions.

This is one of the enchanting things about my new home, there is so much diversity here in India, every state has its own culture, customs and festivals. There will always be another culture to discover, a tradition to be intrigued with and where ever you go in India, there will always be something that leaves you absolutely speechless.

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35 thoughts on “The Style & Beauty of Rajasthani Women

  1. So true.. you can treat almost each state as a different country entirely..with their own traditions,cultures, life styles, food .. everything.. it’s indeed very interesting! and you articulate very well about these intricacies.. great job!

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  2. Rajasthan is a beautiful place, have you worn a Rajasthan dress If you go to Jaipur please vist place called as Chauki Dhani , you have to vist it, it place thoroughly show there clutre

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Lauren, So happy you posted again and what an interesting post it is. I just adore hearing about your life and adventures. The pictures were beautiful and educational. I learn so much about beloved India on your blog. Must tell you, thanks to you, I bought a long Kurta in a flower print and the pants/leggings (I don’t know what they are called) to wear with when this winter weather is over. And I know a place where you can order crumpets online if you are missing those but it is in the U.S. I am sure they have some mail order there if you are as crazy about them as I am.
    Hope you are well and slowly adjusting. It is grand of your husband to try to rectify the trials you are facing. You’ll be fine and look back at this period and maybe laugh.
    Lots of love,
    Ellen xx

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    • Hi Ellen!!

      Lovely to hear from you, as always!! Delighted you bought a kurta!! I bet it suits you, wearing Indian clothes makes me feel so good (when the dupatta is not falling on the floor that is!!).

      A couple of people who know Nagpur have recommended a couple places where I might find some western things and I have recently visited a pastry shop with another expat here in Nagpur (she is from England too!), it was delicious! I am missing crumpets though haha!

      Slowly slowly everything is falling into place! I hope you and your husband are well! I will be posting again soon, sorry my posts have become less frequent.

      Thank you so much for your comment again! Take care

      Lots and lots of love!!! Lauren xxx

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  4. Hi Lauren,

    Thank you for sharing the pictures of the wedding. The woman are beautiful in the red color! Very interesting about the culture and dress. Just amazing!

    Melissa

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  5. What absolutely gorgeous colours and beautiful sarees!
    We too would love to visit Rajasthan one day too. The photos we have seen are just majestic! Can’t wait to see your photos and read about it when you go 🙂

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  6. I actually visited the State of Rajahstan in 2012. It is fascinating!! my favorite town was Udaipur! I was meant to post my trip about North India after I finish South India (which I did finish already) but I changed my mind… I decided to write about Peru first and then North India. Varanessi will be on it too. I am glad you had a fantastic time!

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  7. Hi Lauren,

    I have spent time in Rajasthan, and I can assure you that you will not be disappointed when you do get to visit. Jaipur and Jodhpur are both amazing places. If possible, when you visit Rajasthan, I recommend also that you spend some time in Pushkar, a stunningly beautiful place. And if you can, I would plan a visit to Jodhpur to coincide with the Rajasthan International Folk Festival which is held annually in October. And make sure you stay in the old town in Jodhpur.

    Changing the subject completely, do you and your husband plan to stay in India permanently?

    Wishing you all the best,

    Nicola

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    • I’ve just read elsewhere that you plan to live in India permanently, so ignore that question! But can I thus ask a different question?! Will you and your husband be getting a place of your own before you, hopefully, start a family? Or will you continue to live with your in-laws as an extended family?

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      • Dear Nicola,

        So lovely to hear from you, thank you so much for your comment! Ooooh I definitely will try to visit during October, that sounds fasinating!

        The plan as it stands right now is to live with our in-laws indefinitely, its the way here in India. There is a chance we may be moving to another city because of my husbands employment, in that case we will have a place of our own in another Indian city, but we are definitely staying in India. I must admit, that would be nice because I have always dreamt of making a home of my own, decorating and having everything just the way I like it- here it is impossible to do that.

        I hope you are well and thank you for reading!!

        Lots of love,

        Lauren x

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  8. Oh, I’ve always been so in love with Rajasthan! It is very rich with color and culture and your pictures make me want to visit Rajasthan even more! ♥ I intend to see Udaipur while I’m here. Have you heard of it?
    Jodha Akbar ♥ Love that movie.

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