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Meet Avantilal Chavla: The ‘Turban Man’ of India

The World’s biggest Turban by Chavla, can be seen at the Western Zone Cultural Centre in Udaipur

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Avantilal Chavla awarded for having World's largest turban collection. Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
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  • Turban is a kind of headwear specially known for its binding
  • Avantilal Chavla, a turban maker from Vadodara has a World record of having the largest collection of Turbans
  • The World’s biggest Turban is found in Western Zone Cultural Centre in Udaipur

VADODARA:  72 year-old Avantilal Chavla has possibly the largest collection of turbans in India. Turban is a kind of headwear specially known for its binding. Turban is most commonly wore by men and is manually tied. The binding of the turban varies from communities to communities. Usually, a turban is made up of a cotton cloth and are vibrant to look at.

Shri Guru Nanak wearing turban. Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
Shri Guru Nanak. Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

A turban is a pride for Sikhs. All the Gurus of Sikhs wear turban. A turban is also known as Pagree and Dastar in Punjab. Wearing a turban is an official policy among Sikhs and their last Guru, Guru Gobind Singh has made it mandatory to wear Turban. In Sikhism, a turban represents that the person wearing it shows respect of Sikh’s teachings and promote equality. It is one of the methods to preserve Sikh identity.

A TOI report said, not only Sikhs but also some Christians, Rastafaris, Islams and people believing in Judaism wear Turban. Turban is not popular only in India but also in various foreign countries like Fiji, Indonesia, Pakistan, UK, Greece, Myanmar, Pakistan, Armenia and others.

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Avantilal Chavla, a turban maker from Vadodra has a World record of having the largest collection of Turbans.  Chavla started making Turbans at a very young age. He had a record of making 20 types of turban in 25 years starting from 1988. Chavla was a professor in the Department of Dramatics in MS University and is currently retired. Chavla is the first person who is PhD on turban in 1989.

Avantilal Chavla with his turban collection. Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
Avantilal Chavla with his turban collection. Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

Chavla belongs from Ratlam and is now a perfect Gujarati. Chavla has been granted a sum of Rs 1 lakh to display  his collection at the workshop cum exhibition, which would be organized next month in New Delhi. The fund was granted to him by Sangeet Natak Academy.

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The World’s biggest Turban can be seen at the Western Zone Cultural Centre in Udaipur. The turban is  made by Chavla. The turban measures around 151 inches and has a circumference of 11 feet. It weighs around 30 kilograms and is 7 inches thick, said the TOI report.

World's largest turban. Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
World’s largest turban. Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

Chavla collection also includes turban of Maharaja of Baroda, Thakore Sahibs of Jamnagar, Morbi, Limbdi, Wadhavan and others. Chavla can also bind a turban in just five minutes.

-This article is compiled by a staff-writer at NewsGram. 

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  • Aparna Gupta

    Turbans are our pride. This is really surprising that someone can do PhD on turbans

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In Pakistan, Hindus don’t get even a ‘Crematorium:’ Will you believe that?

There are a lot of Hindu family residing all over Pakistan and still, there are very few cremation grounds where their last rites can be performed in that area

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Not having a crematorium in Peshawar is just one of the woes that the minority communities are facing since long. Wikimedia Commons
Not having a crematorium in Peshawar is just one of the woes that the minority communities are facing since long. Wikimedia Commons
  • Due to the lack of cremation grounds, some Hindus and Sikhs travel hundreds of kilometres just to perform the last rites as per their religious practices
  • As per reports, there were about 12 cremation grounds before Independence
  • Unfortunately, Hindu’s and Sikh’s have to face the same problem in the neighbouring state as well, that is Afghanistan

Death is said to be a great leveller. But the tragedy struck to some section of society in Muslim-dominated Pakistan is altogether different.

Due to the lack of cremation grounds, some Hindus and Sikhs travel hundreds of kilometres just to perform the last rites as per their religious practices. People who can’t even afford to travel, they have no option but to bury the mortal remains of their near and dear ones.

As per reports, there were about 12 cremation grounds before Independence. But with the passage of time, they vanished in the thin air of the terror-torn nation. Even in areas lying in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, where about 35,000 Hindus and Sikhs live, the cremation grounds are also rare.

Also Read: Today’s Social Issues and their Answers to Children

The law of the land is non-existent for the minorities communities like Hindu’s and Sikh’s. Without taking no-objection certificate, people from these communities can’t move an inch even. The grief-stricken families have to wait for the clearances, as they are left with no other option.

People are forced to travel long distances to cremate their relatives from the areas like Swat Bannu, Kohat, Malakand etc. The cost to travel such long distances ranges from Rs 40,000 to Rs 70,000 and on the top of it, the fear of robbery during these travels cannot be ruled out. Not all the Hindu families can afford to perform the last rites in the manner they want.

Unfortunately, Hindu’s and Sikh’s have to face the same problem in the neighbouring state as well, that is Afghanistan. The minority communities are compelled to bury the dead because cremation grounds are vanishing fast in Pakistan.

Although, Pakistan boats that the minority communities enjoy equal rights in their country, the ground reality seems to be completely different. Wikimedia Commons
Although, Pakistan boats that the minority communities enjoy equal rights in their country, the ground reality seems to be completely different. Wikimedia Commons

Although, the administration of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has allowed the minorities communities to perform cremation near temples. But most of the temples are built on the agricultural lands and commercial areas, which have already been encroached upon by land mafia.

There are a lot of Hindu family residing in the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and still, there are very few cremation grounds where their last rites can be performed in that area.

Although, Pakistan boats that the minority communities enjoy equal rights in their country, the ground reality seems to be completely different. Not having a crematorium in Peshawar is just one of the woes that the minority communities are facing since long.


After much of the protests, finally, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has started building the facility from the chief minister’s fund, as per some government sources.

There are almost 50,000 Sikhs and Hindus in Peshawar. And unfortunately, due to lack of proper facilities, people over there are also facing the same situation what others are facing in areas like Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Also Read: 7 new-age social issues in India that need a check

To expect some kind of generosity from the war-torn state like Pakistan is out of the way. Instead of spending extravagantly on the military expansion, Pakistan should come forward and full-fill the basic amenities for the citizen of its country. It’s the people who make the country and not the other way round.