How to Guide for Draping a Nauvari Saree in 3 Different Styles

The time is here when you can feel the Nasik Dhol beating from the distant and marking the arrival of the Ganpati Bappa. Yes, the greatest festival of Maharastra is Ganpati Mahotsava. And to mark the festival is to wear the traditional drapes on this occasion. 

Do you remember the song "Pinga" from the movie Bajirao Mastani, a classic Bollywood work made sometime back? Wear Piggy Chops and Deepz shakes their booty on a remakrable Lavani composition? I think many of you can recall - The kind of style of saree they were draping - that's called a Kastha or Nauvari.

The Maharashtrian saree drape often called as the Nauvari saree drape, and is one of the most loved amongst the regional drapes, showcased not just in popular cinema but also has made a splash on the fashion runway as well. This drape comes with a certain amount of playfulness that is very different from any other styles of wearing a saree. It highlights the curvy figure, gives one room to walk fast, and allows one to sit with ease on the floor or take on any amount of work with ease.

It is believed that during the great famine, the women of the state took to working in the fields alongside their husbands and the squatting required them to take the saree in between the legs to tuck it at the back, hence this style.

Preparing for the Drape

Here are some of the items that you need to keep aside before you try out a Nauvari style saree:

How to Drape a Bengali Style Saree - Look for more in this blog!

1. One can wear the Nauvari saree without a petticoat.

2. You can try it out with legging which is of a three-quarter shape.

3. Wear a blouse of the Khun fabric that one can get in Belgaum.

4. The essential length of the saree is 9-yards and not the usual urban length of 5 and a half meters that we wear.

5. Simpler kind of saree it is alright to choose plain deep colors, but in case you wish to wear it for a wedding or a very special occasion, choose a Paithani saree that glows every inch of its length.

The Kashtha or Nauvari Saree Draping

The Kastha is the  pther name for the Nauvari saree. But in our blog we will be sharing you the three different style to wear ion the upcoming ganpati Festival. No matter where you are in India or abroad, my blog is going to be your quick guide to style your paithani silk saree or gadwal silk sarees or may  be any other silk mark varieties you shop next.

The style will show how the women during the Maratha rule went to war wearing this styles, even go fishing or horse riding. 

Most preferable they tried out cotton, as it was a daily fabric of comfort. But for the festivals they preferred the silk fabrics like Paithani or Gadwal.

How to Wear a Kastha Cotton Saree

The saree to be used in this draping is a cotton saree with a golden weave. This is the common Lavani saree . Before you start wearing this drape, wear the blouse and tights that come to knee length and get started.


Make pleats and pallu and pin them to 1m in length.


Take the inner section of the saree, wrap it around your waist at back and bring the end from front to right side, tie a firm knot of the saree here.


Take the pallu pleats and drape from left to back and again to the front side. Place at the left shoulder and pin at the blouse. Adjust the front drape border, make a wrap-around, tuck it on the left side. You will have a front loop which is for skirt pleats.


Take the lower edge of the middle section and pull to the front, this will make a dhoti or wrap effect on both legs from behind. Now tuck this from the bottom of the knotted fabric, we will need this for the kela (portion of the drape required to cover pleats at the waist).


Make lower skirt pleats that open on the right side instead of the left side. Leave the first two top pleats on the left side. Align all pleats together and then wrap them from the big pleat fabric on left.


Now hold pleats at the top edge and fold them in a bundle, use the waist border to cover it, so it stays in the kela. Then again take the fabric which was pulled from back to front and cover the kela again and tuck the rest in the waistline.


Now split the lower pleats into two sides. Hold the lower edge from this section and pull it back between your legs for the Kashta. Pull it tight, so you have at least half a meter of fabric at the lower back knee level.


Fold the border part, so it turns up the right side, and make pleats on the folded part. The border will face the left side, use pins to secure, and tuck it in the back waistline.


Now adjust the front drape pleats where your outer border will be in the cowl, covering the mid-waist section. 

How to Wear a Brahmini Style Nauvari

Just the way you the single kastha, you have to drape this style of Nauvari in the similar way. The Pinga Dance were you see the leads and the back dancers exhibiting this style of saree beautifully.


Till we make the kela, follow the same steps as we mentioned in the Kastha Style. Followed by the step to split the pleats from below, keeping two extra pleats on the right side.


At this point pull the saree back for kashta. Now tuck in the Kashta in the same way written in the above section.


Pick the most inner border towards your inner leg from the right-side, pull it tight to your thighs. This will create a big cowl in front.


Use a sopari or beetle nut (or use a small round) to put it through the edge of your folded border pleat that we pulled. Tie a rubber band to secure the ball or the sopari.


Tuck this part in your left side of the waist to secure the pleat from falling off.

How to Wear a Peshwa Style Nauvari

The drape has to be done just like the other nauvari style sarees, until you prepare the kela. But the difference lies here:


Now repeat the same way of lower pleat partition like in Brahmin style saree draping.


The kashta in Peshwa style saree has only a single border at the back, which faces the left side.


Now come to the front side to drape the border from the left side. Repeat the same step of tucking in sopari/ball in the waistline.


Now we will make the zigzag border. Pull up a pleat under the first triangular border that we made by tucking the ball in the waistline. Place pleat fold under the border creating a triangular shape in zigzag and pin it with a safety pin.


Keep repeating this 5 or 6 times, until you have the zigzag effect till the floor length. Continue with arranging the bodice drape and shoulder pleats.

Reference Video Tutorials Going Gaga Online

Here are my recommendations which I found to be suitable enough to watch to be a wear as a great drape in Ganpati Festival, Maharashtrian weddings or any other occasion. The one which you can access right now from my blog is the one by the Fashion Blogger, Rashmi Ghag - "marathi mulgi" making the Nauvari style dirth easy to wear and style it for you.

For other reference videos, here are my choices:

1. Rashmi Ghag - Peshwa Style Nauvari Saree

2. Everyone is Beautiful

Well, there are no more people who have fantasized me. I think these people will enough to aspire you try on this new look!! They nailed it right.

Author Bio

Sumana Bhattacharya completed her Masters in Economics from the University of Calcutta & was working with the Department of Education, Govt. of West Bengal to provide training to the teachers in Government Schools. She moved to USA in 2005 after getting married & is the mother of 2 kids. She is the one that drives IndyVogue every day, every hour, every minute and every second. Salute to her and her undying spirit.