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Saree – A Unifying feature of India

The word saree originated from a Sanskrit word ‘Sati’ which means a strip of cloth and the word. ‘Sattika’ is mentioned in the early Buddhist literature.

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Image: Wikimedia commons
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By Akanksha Sharma

Saree is one of the unifying features of India. The image of Indira Gandhi, the late Prime Minister of India dressed in starched white saree serving as a powerful leader in a male dominating society is very popularly known around the world. On the contrary, the picture of a woman from a weaker section of society, thin, poor and wearing a dirty, stained saree and carrying an undernourished child whose legs are wrapped around her waist is also a familiar image. These two images represent a very different culture and background. But, they share a very common cultural feature of India ,i.e., Saree. Saree is usually a long unstitched piece of cloth, generally is 6 yard long. It is paired with a blouse that covers the upper part of the body and underneath it, a petticoat is worn for tucking in the pleats of saree and to hold the saree in place. The draping style is different in different states of India: It comes in different fabrics, colours, and designs.

Origin of Saree

Saree worn during Indus Valley Civilization- Wikimedia commons
Saree worn during Indus Valley Civilization– Wikimedia commons

It is one of the oldest civilisation of India. In the history, the evidence is found that a long piece of unstitched cloth was used to be worn to cover themselves. The word saree originated from a Sanskrit word ‘Sati’ which means a strip of cloth and the word ‘Sattika’ is mentioned in the early Buddhist literature. Later the word was evolved into the word ‘saree’. A statue of a female has been recovered from the Indus Valley civilization, draped in saree. Earlier, Saree used to be worn in a manner so, that it divides the two legs, forming a trouser like look. This style was popular among the temple dancers to aid them in their movements. The early statues of Goddesses depicted that saree was worn in a ‘fishtail’ which was tied at the waist, and covered up the legs. During that era, the upper part was also covered with the saree. Later with the arrival of Muslims ghagra and the petticoat was discovered and clothes were stitched. And later blouse was discovered. Since then, saree has evolved lot.

Styles of draping saree

According to the researchers, there are more than 80 ways to wear a saree. However, the most popular and favoured style is Nivi style. This style originates from Andhra Pradesh, Nivi drape starts with one end of the sari tucked into the petticoat then the cloth is wrapped around the lower body once, and the loose end is draped over the shoulder called pallu and the rest of the cloth are divided into pleats and tucked into the waistband of the petticoat under the navel.

 

Nivi style of wearing Saree- Wikimedia commons
Nivi style of wearing Saree– Wikimedia commons
Maharashtrian Saree- Wikimedia commons
Maharashtrian Saree– Wikimedia commons

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In Orissa, It is worn without pleats and is wrapped around the lower body in anti- clockwise direction and the pallu is wrapped around the body over the left shoulder. In Kerala, a two-piece saree having a decorative golden coloured border is popular. Among Maharashtrians, the draping style is similar to male Maharashtrians dhoti, and forms a trouser like attire. There are more ways to wear is differently and each state has its own traditional style of draping saree.

In Modern era, it is also worn professionally. The dress code of air hostesses on Air India flights is also saree. Many Politicians wear saree as it being traditional clothing and it also covers their modesty. Saree is also the wedding attire of women. And it is paired with a lot of old jewellery during a wedding. Instead of that, a lehenga is also worn by women. During festivals and different occasions, mostly people prefer wearing saree to give a more traditional look.

Saree is not only famous in India, but also popular among women of Bangladesh, Pakistan and Nepal. In Bangladesh, it is the national wear of women. Most married women wear it as a regular dress or wear it occasionally. Manipuri saree is the most popular saree among Bangladeshi women.

Nepali woman wearing Saree- Wikimedia commons
Nepali woman wearing Saree– Wikimedia commons

In Pakistan, Saree is worn by Pakistani Hindus and is commonly worn in metropolitan cities during important occasions and also wear it formerly. In Sri Lanka and Nepal, saree is worn both professionally and as a daily-wear. It is one of the cultural symbols that unites us together, even after having a very diverse culture. It enhances the beauty of women and also adds to their modesty. After all it the most sensuous, glamorous and an all-time wear for women.

Akanksha Sharma is a student of Journalism in New Delhi. She currently works as an intern in Newsgram. Twitter @meganme456

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  • Shubhi Mangla

    Saree is truly the best among all Indian attires!

  • Pashchiema Bhatia

    And also the most known and unique Indian attire

  • Vrushali Mahajan

    It reflects our culture and how attached we are to it!

  • Shubhi Mangla

    Saree is truly the best among all Indian attires!

  • Pashchiema Bhatia

    And also the most known and unique Indian attire

  • Vrushali Mahajan

    It reflects our culture and how attached we are to it!

Next Story

Most Famous Railway Stations Of India

Indian railways stations are not only railways stations but are also one of the apexes of India pre and post-colonial history

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India has many railways stations famous for various reasons. Wikimedia Commons
India has many railways stations famous for various reasons. Wikimedia Commons

By Ruchika Verma 

  • Indian Railways is one of the biggest railways networks in the world
  • India has railways stations which are famous for various reasons
  • Indian railways stations are famous for various reasons from being beautiful to being a haunting place

India has one of the biggest railways departments in the world. And also, one of the largest numbers of railway stations as well. Indian railways stations are not only railways stations but are also one of the apexes of India pre and post-colonial history.

Railways is of great importance for India because of its economic as well as historic significance. Wikimedia Commons
Railways is of great importance for India because of its economic as well as historic significance. Wikimedia Commons

Railways have a huge behind the increasing Indian economy, the revenue generated is huge. Railways were introduced by Britishers in India and since then it has become of the biggest assets of India. They are not only a mode of transportation but also have a huge historical background.

Here is the list of some of the most famous Indian Railway Station.

Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus

Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) or the Victoria Terminus (VT) as it popularly known is in Mumbai. It is one of the largest railways stations in India. It is also one of the most famous and has found a place in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites because of its magnificent gothic architecture. The station was built in 1887 to celebrate the golden jubilee of Queen Victoria.

Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus is one of the oldest and largest railways stations in India. Wikimedia Commons
Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus is one of the oldest and largest railway’s stations in India. Wikimedia Commons

Lucknow Charbagh Railway Station

It is one of the most beautiful railway stations in India. It has 9 platforms and other 4 which are under construction. The Lucknow Charbagh Railway Station has a magnificent architectural masterpiece. It was built in 20th century by the British and looks more like a monument than a railway station. It is one of the two major railways stations in Lucknow and is well-connected to the whole country.

Also Read: Indian Railways to use artificial intelligence

Howrah Junction 

Howrah Junction in Kolkata is the oldest railway station in India. It is also one of the largest railway stations in India with 23 platforms. Howrah Junction can handle more trains than any other Indian railway station. Despite being renovated several times, it still holds the magnificence of the British and Bengali architecture.

Howrah Junction is the oldest railway station in India. Wikimedia Commons
Howrah Junction is the oldest railway station in India. Wikimedia Commons

Cuttack Railway Station
Cuttack is a city in Odisha. The Cuttack Railway Station in Odisha is one of the most beautiful and cleanest Indian railway stations. This railway station is famous for its architecture which is said to be inspired by the Barabati Fort, which is located in the Kalinga region of Odisha.

Vijayawada Junction Railway Station

Vijayawada Junction is one of the largest railway stations in India and is situated in Andhra Pradesh. It was constructed in 1888 and is famous for its architecture. It is also one of the busiest railway stations in India. It is also famous for its white structure.

Vijayawada Railway Station was constructed in 1888. Wikimedia Commons
Vijayawada Railway Station was constructed in 1888. Wikimedia Commons

Begunkodor Railway Station

Begunkodor Railway Station is in West Bengal. This station us famous because it is said to be haunted. Due to this, the station has been abandoned for 42 years. The station is said to be haunted by the ghost of a woman draped in a white sarees.

Also Read: Facts about Indian Railways you can’t miss

New Delhi Railway Station

New Delhi Railway Station is one of the largest railway stations in New Delhi and India. It is also the main railway station of Delhi. The railway station situated between the areas of Ajmeri Gate and Paharganj and sees the one of the largest crowd of commuters.

New Delhi Railway Station is famous for being the largest metro station in the capital, New Delhi. Wikimedia Commons
New Delhi Railway Station is famous for being the largest metro station in the capital, New Delhi. Wikimedia Commons

Barog Railway Station

Barog in Himachal Pradesh is a little railway station which is famous for its elaborate history. The railway station is surrounded by beautiful mountains. It is also famous for the ghost of its engineer which is said to be haunting the railway station. The station is also famous because of various folklores surrounding it.