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Origin of Lehenga Choli - The Age Old History of This Beautiful Attire

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Indian Lehenga choli has traveled an extensive way from the royal courts of Mughal Empire to a favored dress of Indian women for all types of ceremonial occasions. Traditional lehenga choli is worn during weddings, festivals like Navratri, Eid, Dusshera. In wedding seasons this traditional dress has its own worth. The Indian lehenga choli exuberantly brings out the essence of feminism.

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Indian Lehenga choli has traveled an extensive way from the royal courts of Mughal Empire to a favored dress of Indian women for all types of ceremonial occasions. It is exciting to know about the origin of lehenga choli, which says that it was originally worn by women since Mughal era. At that time it was considered as a dress that had the skill to festoon Indian exquisiteness in the most unassuming manner. Even today, the spirit of Mughal culture is very much intact and is depicted in conventional Mughal designs.

Through history, the lehenga has undergone very little alteration. In fact even today leading manufacturers do not fail to lift customary patterns form the golden Mughal era. The ensemble still comprises a customary long skirt, the choli and the dupatta. The fabrics used to make the lehenga are in fact the same as those used during the reign of the great Mughal King, Akbar i.e. silks and brocades. The dupatta is currently made of silk, linen of chiffon which is a new improvement.

Lehengas are ankle length long pleated skirts held around the waist. The skirt is graceful and flares around the wearer. The length of tribal embroidered lehenga varied between the knees to ankle, while that of richer people was always lengthy enough to touch the floor as they stirred. Traditionally, all lehengas were skirt type umbrella shaped. Nowadays, in the fashion market, however, there are diverse shapes of the lehengas giving a new look to the ethnic dress.

The various styles of lehengas are Straight cut lehengas, Fish tail lehengas, Mermaid lehengas, Paneled lehengas, Kali ghagras lehengas, Circular lehengas, A-line lehengas, Lehengas with full flair and so on. As is well known, the conventional dress of women in Rajasthan and Gujarat is still the ghagra choli. While the ancestral and rural women prefer the embroidered lehenga choli made with cotton fabrics and decked with embroidery and mirror work, women belonging to royal families favour and afford more elaborate brocades, tanchoi and heavy satins even with real gold and silver embroidery, studded with expensive stones.

The lehenga choli is the envoy of the traditional Rajasthan/Gujarat style of dressing. When we talk of traditional, nothing is more conventional than the bandhani printed--the tie and dye ghagra cholis. This is immensely popular throughout the country. This is mainly of unadulterated cotton. Other fabrics like silk and other man made fabrics are also obtainable. Usually, the blouses have detailed mirror-work and patch-work on them and are very vibrant. Other designs that give an ethnic look to a ghagra choli are kalamkari, mangalgiri, maheshwari, ikat and so on. Hand embroidered ghagra cholis are also traditional.

Wearing of this traditional dress at occasions is the hottest trend. Traditional lehenga choli is worn during weddings, festivals like Navratri, Eid, Dusshera. In wedding seasons this traditional dress has its own worth. The Indian ghagra choli can be worn at main occasions like mehendi, dandiya/sangeet, the wedding ceremony and the reception. The Indian lehenga choli exuberantly brings out the essence of feminism.

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