At more than 5,000 years of existence, the Indian saree is considered to be the oldest form of a garment in the world still in existence. The Vedas – among the oldest literature composed by mankind – mentions it, and records from the Indus Valley Civilization (3300–1300 B.C.E.) also indicate its usage at the time. Yet it being ancient has in no way impacted its popularity. Still omnipresent on ramps at leading fashion shows, in Bollywood, on streets of rural and urban India, on hip college students and their conservative grandmothers – the saree is as entrenched in our culture as it ever was.
While there exists a professional or classical style of draping a saree, there are more than 80 variations of it across the subcontinent. There’s the pleatless Bengali and Odia styles, the Kodagu style saree which is a back to front version of the classic style, the two-piece Malayali version, and so on. Variations also exist depending on the kind of fabric, as well as on methods of weaving that have been used. Hence there are the tie-dye Bandhani sarees, Chanderi cotton sarees and the numerous silk saree varieties including the Kanchipuram, Banarasi and Mysore sarees.
New Woman has curated all these purely traditional sarees of the different states of the country…
Uttar Pradesh: Gorgeous Banarasi Silk Sarees
West Bengal: Elegant Dhakai Jamdanis
Madhya Pradesh: Simple yet beautiful Chanderi and Maheshwari Sarees
Bihar: Raw Bhagalpuri Tussar Sarees
Tamil Nadu: Breathtaking Kanjeevaram Sarees
Orissa: Geometric Bomkai Sarees
Kerala: Chic Kasavu Sarees
Andhra Pradesh: Vibrant Pochampalli Sarees
Maharashtra: Offbeat Paithani Sarees
Rajasthan: Intricate Bandhni Sarees
Assam: Colourful Muga Silk Sarees
Gujarat: Ghatchola Sarees