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Trip to tradition with Rajputi Poshak

The gorgeously layered traditional Rajasthani dress can make you feel like a royal queen

Sanika Kakirde Published 17.03.22, 02:15 AM
Traditional Rajasthani Poshak

Traditional Rajasthani Poshak Priyanka Baid

In December, in the thick of a Rajasthan winter, on a cloudy Sunday evening, a few kids, a friend and I made our way from Chhapar to Ladnun.

All of us after about four days of brilliant but only Indian food had sprung to life at the mention of pizza! Ladnun has pizzas! But I had something else, too, on my mind: the Rajputi Poshak.


Chhapar had been magical. It is a small town, with haveli-style houses with a central courtyard built for large joint families, some crumbling, some refurbished. There are new-age mansions, too, with world class amenities. The sky seemed closer and bluer; in the evening it was filled with starts. Small lanes connected with larger ones leading up to highways. Everyone knew each everyone. Visiting the deer sanctuary Taal Chhapar on a horse-drawn carriage was mesmerising.

Ladnun is quite similar to Chhapar. Construction sites block traffic in places, but the place is mostly quiet.

My quest for a Poshak turned out to be a mini adventure. We reached Ladnun and were given the reference of a few stores, which were called much in advance of our visit. It’s Rajasthan, and royalty is a way of life here. At Store 1, we saw fabrics, though nothing that one had not seen. But the owner took out her scooty and led us to the next shop!

At Store 2, we picked up a few Kurtas and I picked up a rather colourful Holi-ready Kota Lehriya Ghagra, which they altered for me in under 30 minutes. But what about the Poshak? The Poshak stores were shut! But a Store 2 person called a Poshak shop, and the store was opened for us!

So what is a Poshak?

It is the gorgeously layered traditional Rajasthani dress that is made up of four parts. The Kachli is a bra-like conical blouse with sleeves and is tied at the back with two strings. Over this comes a hip-length Kurti which is sleeveless. Then there is the Lehnga or skirt and finally a Dupatta draped in a particular way. Add to this some traditional Rajasthani jewellery, and one can begin to feel what a queen could have felt.

Another round of lanes in Ladnun, and finally we reached the Poshak store. To get to the real thing, you need time, and patience, and good friends! I picked up a mint green Poshak with Gota work and a bright Lehriya dupatta with Zari tassel lace for a border, a typical feature.

But that was not the end of the journey! The Poshak comes in a set, unstitched. I had to get it stitched! I was determined that I wanted it tailored exactly the way it is meant to be worn!

So we were on the move again, to the tailor lady. She was sitting in a balcony and stitching away on a hand-sewing machine. An older lady was her helper. They were the caretakers of a house and lived in the outhouse.

The younger woman asked me if I wanted just a Kurti or a Kachli and Kurti with or without lining. On seeing my befuddled look, the older woman got a set and dolled me up in it! As if on cue, my friend who had decided not to buy one for herself ended up giving her measurements and picking one up.

My parcel with the Poshak arrived in 10 days. I am waiting to wear it. Finding the home of a tradition may bring as much joy as getting close to nature.

Stay thriving stay stylish.

The columnist, a personal stylist, speaks her mind on everything about fashion. Contact: @sanikakakirde

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