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Introduction of Dhoti

A dhoti is an Indian garment worn mainly by Hindu men all over the world. Dhoti consists of a one piece cloth (plain and similar to saree but shorter in length) which is tied around the waist and extends to cover most of the legs. A dhoti is from four to six feet long white or color strip of cotton. This traditional attire is mainly worn by men in villages. It is held in place by a style of wrapping and sometimes with the help of a belt, ornamental and embroidered or a flat and simple one, around the waist. In other parts of India, dhoti is also known as vetti, mundu, pancha or mardani. The usual length of a dhoti is around 4.5 metres which is approximately 15 ft long. The style of draping a dhoti differs from region to region.

It is worn differently in North indian states as compared to what is worn in South Indian states. In North Indian States it is worn with a short kurta, in Bengal it is worn with long as well as short kurta. The kurta is known as a “panjabi” and the combination is called “dhuti panjabi”. In Tamil Nadu, it is worn with a sattai (shirt). It is worn with a chokka (shirt) or a jubba in Andhra Pradesh. In Assam, the kurta is referred to as panjabi and the combination is known as suriya panjabi.


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Origin & History

It was a word that had originated from the Sanskrit word ‘Dhauta. It was also marked as the traditional wear by several leading Indian politicians across the Indian subcontinent.  It was and till this day is considered as part of the traditional attire for several countries like Srilanka, Bangladesh and Maldives. Initially it was worn only with a kurta. The dhoti was also considered to be an attire that commanded respect and dignity.



This garment is basically available in an off white or cream color. The material for this fabric can be either cotton or silk. In most regions of the south, it is mostly made using a gold border. This makes it appear richer and more sophisticated. In most cases 5 yard long strips of cloth are used to make this garment. Approximately five knots are used to wrap this garment in the southern lands. The style of wearing differs in every land. In other parts of India it is mostly worn in a pant style and not the skirt style of the south regions. A part of the dhoti is tucked behind which makes it look like a pant.



Normally, they are worn during a festival or to acknowledge the marriage ceremony. In most south Indian weddings, dhoti is an important part of men’s wear. Most politicians wear this as it has become their formal wear. Pandits and those adorning the temples wear dhotis as their regular wear. In most rural and urban regions, males enjoy the relaxation that one gets with the dhoti in the comforts of their home.


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Global Influence

It has influenced the global culture in many ways. People across the globe are wearing the traditional dhoti in the pant style and have made it a modern day style statement.



With dhoti, men wear a kurta or shirt when at home. During ceremonies, they carry a cloth called angavasthram to cover their upper body. In case of farmers, a towel acts as an accessory. For dhoti pants, women can pair pearl necklaces or beads adding to the inherent charm of the outfit.


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