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Begum Liaquat Ali (centre), dressed in a traditional gharara, 1950

A gharara (Hindi: ग़रारा, (Urdu: غراره‎) is a traditional Lucknowi garment,[1] traditionally worn by Muslim women of Hindi Belt.[2] It consists of a kurti (a short, mid-thigh length tunic), a dupatta (veil), and most importantly, a pair of wide-legged pants, ruched at the knee so they flare out dramatically. The knee area, called the gota in Urdu, is often elaborately embroidered in zari and zardozi work. Each leg of a traditional gharara is made from over 12 metres of fabric,[3] often silk brocade (see Farshi Pajama).

Ghararas originated in Awadh region of Uttar Pradesh during the era of the Nawabs. During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, it was considered everyday attire among Muslim women of Hindi Belt particularly among women of Nawab and Taluqedars families. They were representative of the status of the person wearing them.

Although they are not worn as everyday garment today as they once were, they still remain as popular wedding attire among Muslim women of Hindi Belt and also among Urdu speaking immigrates in Pakistan & Bangladesh. Ghararas were also made popular in Pakistan & Bangladesh, in the 1950s and 60s with popular public figures like Fatima Jinnah and Begum Rana Liaquat Ali Khan wearing them.


See also


  1. Naveen Patnaik (1985). A second paradise: Indian courtly life, 1590-1947. Doubleday. Retrieved 13 November 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Yojana: Volume 6, Issue 20. Publications Division, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. 1962. Retrieved 13 November 2010. The Begums of Lucknow use a modification of ghagra, called gharara or bara paincha, which sometimes require 36 yards of cloth.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Handcrafting a Culture