Jasmine Trails Travel Guides

Turbans of India

India the Continent masquerading as a country: Part 3
Turbans of India
Jasmine Trails Travel Guides

Turbans of India a Travel Guide by Jasmine Trails

Significance and history are woven into the very fabric of the Turbans of India

The style of the turban is important, as this represent the individual’s caste, religion, profession and the specific geographic region the person belongs to. The turbans of India are extremely significant and have a long history, tradition, sentiments and significance attached to them. A turban knocked off a wearers head signifies insult. An exchange of turbans signifies brotherhood, placed at another man’s feet signifies surrender.

The style of the turban is important, as this represent the individual’s caste, religion, profession and the specific geographic region the person belongs to. The turbans of India are extremely significant and have a long history,… Click To Tweet

The turbans of India are symbols of the wearer’s position and rank in society, depending on the turbans style, size, and the material used in making the turban. The turban is also closely connected to religious beliefs and social customs.

Turbans of India are usually called ‘Pugree’ or ‘Pag’ with slight variations in pronunciation from region to region. The word ‘Pag’ has its roots in the Hindi word ‘Puk’, grey or white hair.  Thus the ‘Pag’ conveys sagacity, wisdom and seniority.

Turbans of India are usually called ‘Pugree’ or ‘Pag’ with slight variations in pronunciation from region to region. The word ‘Pag’ has its roots in the Hindi word ‘Puk’, grey or white hair. Thus the ‘Pag’ conveys sagacity, wisdom… Click To Tweet

In Punjab the other common names for ‘Pugree’ are, Dastar in Punjabi, Paghri in Hindi and Urdu, Chira, Safa, Siropa, Madhasa, Keski and Parna.

Dastar is a Persian term and is usually worn by a religious or a distinguished person. In Punjab Pag is the term for the common man’s turban. Safa comes from the Hindi word Safai, which means cleanliness. Siropa, is a symbol of honor. Madhasa is a style of turban worn during war to protect the wearer from attack. Chira is a red turban usually worn during weddings.

Turbans worn in Punjab. Turbans of India Guide by Jasmine Trails

We see similar trends in Rajasthan, the other great turban wearing region of India. Now Rajasthan as we know is primarily an arid desert, with boring hues and shades of brown dominating the landscape. This monotonous continuity of various browns is broken up by the lively colourful turbans and dresses of the people and the equally vivid colour of the architecture, making Rajasthan one of the most colourful places in India.

The Turbans of India are most pronounced and prolific in Rajasthan, where the style of tying the turban changes within twenty kilometers! Like in The Punjab in Rajasthan we also get the Safa, Paaga (Pag) or Pagri (Pugree), with a thousand and one variations!

The Turbans of India are most pronounced and prolific in Rajasthan, where the style of tying the turban changes within twenty kilometers! Like in The Punjab in Rajasthan we also get the Safa, Paaga (Pag) or Pagri (Pugree), with a… Click To Tweet

The ‘Jallori turban from Jallore, the ‘Bhatti’ turban from Jaisalmer and the Jaisalmer merchants ‘paagri’, the ’Shahi Jodhpuri paag’ or the royal turban, the “Banswara paag” from Banswara, the “Jaipuri turban” from Jaipur, the “Alwar” turban, and “Sirohi” turban, to name but a few of the most popular styles of turbans. The Jodhpuri “safa” is the most common turban in Rajasthan.

Turbans worn in Rajasthan. A Guide to turbans by Jasmine Trails

In Rajasthan, every community has their own distinct variety of turbans. The Rajputs have their signature five coloured turbans, the Jats, Bishnois and Ram Snehis wear plain white coloured turbans, Raikas and Kabirs are famous for their bright red turbans, the sanyasis wear ochre coloured and Langa Kalbeliya gypsies use coloured turbans with check prints. Saffron is a sacred colour and is worn to weddings. Dark blue, black and khaki turbans are worn during mourning.

The types of turbans worn in Rajasthan are dictated by the occasion and season too. The ‘Durbari paag’ of Dholpur is worn while attending the royal court, the ‘Shikari’ turbans are worn while hunting. The ’Pancharanga’ or five colours, are especially colourful turbans worn during the harvest season, the ‘Falgunia’ with red and white coloured designs is worn during Holi, the festival of colours, while the black ‘Chunari’ turban is worn during Diwali, the festival of lights. The ‘Mothara’ turban with tiny round circles is worn during the festival of Raksha Bandhan. Saffron coloured turbans are worn during the festival of Dussehra, a yellow turban for Basant Panchmi and a light pink turban for full moon nights.

A turban is not just ornamental but is one of the most practical pieces of head gear found anywhere. Turbans are made of light cotton and excellent conductors of heat by permitting circulation of air as such give protection against the scorching sun.

A turban is not just ornamental but is one of the most practical pieces of head gear found anywhere. Turbans are made of light cotton and excellent conductors of heat by permitting circulation of air as such give protection against… Click To Tweet

The layers of the turban provide protection against impact and were used in warfare in lieu of helmets. Turbans are light in weight and not negatively impact the wearer. Turbans can be used as a pillow, sheet or towel. Turbans can be unknotted and used as ropes to draw water from wells too.

In this Jasmine Trails Travel Guide we have tried to introduce the reader to the Turbans of India. We consider this important for two reasons. Firstly, turbans in all shapes and sizes are prevalent across Punjab and Rajastan. Secondly, all our travelers, are consumed by curiosity when it comes to turbans.  As you can see the turbans of India is a very complex subject indeed. In all our customized tours to north India we introduce you to complexities of the turban.

In this Jasmine Trails Travel Guide we have tried to introduce the reader to the Turbans of India. We consider this important for two reasons. Firstly, turbans in all shapes and sizes are prevalent across Punjab and Rajastan.… Click To Tweet

Jasmine Trails Travel Guides- taking you deeper into the subject.
Turbans of India is part of the “Continent Masquerading as a Country” series.

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