Discover the Beauty of Saree Draping Styles from Different Regions of India

One of the best attire is which every women can flaunt themselves is Saree. No matter whether you are an Indian, a British or an American, a saree draped on you make you look set apart from all kind of ethnic wears. Moreover, with the merge of western outfit wearing styles, Saree has a new outlook on the ramps, in films and in the red carpets of various events

Change is something never constant and when it is fashion, it is something well evident. However, one fashion trend that has held his foot firmly is saree. India is a saree trove and every region has a unique saree draping style. Thus, the fashion of saree never fades.

Fashion houses like Coco Chanel, Sabyasachi, Alexander McQueen all have picked up nine-yard wonder to make their models look elegant, timeless and chic whenever they walks. Whether it’s a international closet or a classical walkover, saree is the showstopper.

 This nine-yard wonder has witnessed a number of draping style due to cultural diversity of the country. Even occasions have also influenced the draping of a saree. Let us take a quick look at our blog and the ways of wearing saree traditionally followed in India.

Athpourey or Bengal Traditional drape

Bengal and Bengali saree are high identifiable, they are the most recognizable. Compared to the modern day saree it has a conventional box pleat where the pallu comes from the back to the front on both sides. During marriage or occasion Bengali women knots a bunch of keys to the pallu and drops over the right shoulder. This signifies the authority of the women in the household.

Mekhla Chador, Traditional Assam Drape

The most elegant saree of Assam is Mekhla Chador, and the petite beauties of Assam just love to wear in most traditional occasions. it is a typical handloom saree, comes in two pieces and the bottom is worn like a sarong with pleats in the front whereas the upper garment trucked to the left side on the waist in a triangle shape and other end in thrown over the shoulder like a shawl.

Nauvari/Lavani Drape

Traditional Marathi saree is original nine-yard drape, which reflects the strong and independent women of Maharashtra. It has an unusual draping pattern, it is worn around the legs like a dhoti, and the upper part comes like a normal saree. If you see a Lavani folk dancer, you will witness a nauvari saree drape clearly. This makes it often named as lavani saree drape. The wearing style allows easy movement of the legs for the wearer.

Seedha Pallu from Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh and Orissa

Gujarat, UP and Orissa generally tries to follow a similar pattern of draping the saree as seedha pallu. This saree wearing stele resembles the lehenga choli where the pallu of the saree is used in place of the dupatta. The shoulder need not carry the weight of the heavily worked pallu, but the work displayed nicely in front.

Nivi Draped Saree from Andhra Pradesh

The modern way of wearing saree has derived from Andhra Pradesh that reflects aristocracy. This is not very walk-friendly, but it highly flaunts the curves of the women and the looks extremely regal.

Kappulu Style from Andhra Pradesh

Kappulu caste of Andhra Pradesh, settled in the coastal areas wears the saree from left to right unlike other saree that ties itself from right to left. The style flatters the curves of the women and, longer the saree the better it looks. It has a narrow pleat at the back and second if the two cascades of cloth forming a twist with the end piece. The pallu lies over the right shoulder and can hang loosely to pull over both the shoulder or wrapped around the neck.

Parsi Gol Saree

This is an elegant form of Parsi drape, which a Parsi woman wears after their ritual of Saree Perawan ceremony. They prefer to choose a light chiffon saree or georgette saree. They call pallu as gara, which is taken from behind, and draped over the blouse and it hangs loose over the left shoulder in folds. It is brought over the right shoulder and folds splays out in the front and lies close to the hem.

Coorgi Style of Western Ghats

Related to the old myth of Kaveri and Agastya, this saree draping style allows Coorgi women lead an independent freestyle and climb the hilly slopes of the Western Ghats easily and especially the trees. Paired with a full-sleeved blouse the pleats formed at the back. The end of the saree comes over the left shoulder and secured over the right shoulder in the form of a firm knot called molakattu. Today is most wedding Kanjeevaram red and gold silk is worn using the Coorgi style.

Madisar Drape from Tamil Nadu

The Iyer and Iyengar of Tamil Nadu try out this Madisar saree worn traditionally after their marriages. However, today you can spot many unmarried women trying out this style in joyful events. The toughest style to drape a saree, but if you can wear it perfectly it does not require the petticoat or a blouse. The style is also regarded as ardhanareeshwara style of draping, meaning half man and half woman, since the lower half is draped like dhoti and above part like a saree.

Namboothri Saree drape from Kerala

Namboothri is of the oldest form saree wearing style that covered only the lower part of the body. it is a combination of mundum or the lower garment and neriyathum or the upper garment. The upper part is

Kunbi Drape from the Goa

Look for the traditional occasions in Goa you will find the women now wearing this drape to uplift their culture. However, in the earlier days women who worked hard in the paddy fields and near water areas used to try this drape. The saree if you watch was draped in a manner that it never spoiled the cloth. You will see in this format saree draped from the shoulder below with ends tied on top of the right shoulder. This way saree remained intact and did not cause any hindrance while working. You will find a number of ramp shows today walking the ground with Kunbi saree draping style.

Source: Craftsvilla

Santhal Drape from the Santhal Parganas of India

One of the saree draping styles that has a huge resemblance to the Bengali Style saree drape is Santhal drape. You will find the box pleat at the back, while you will find the pallu pulled over the left shoulder in the form of a triangle. You will see the rest of the pallu tucked in front and probably one of the easier saree draping styles in both the list.

Source: Kherwal Santal Blog

Pinkosu style saree draping from Madurai

Saree has varied formation and draping styles in the South. In case you do not have a petticoat, Pinkosu is one of the ideal styles to wear a saree. It is ideal for the women in the warm weather. Here the women need to drape the saree 1.5 times around the waist before doing the pleats. The pleats are made on the outside of the saree. Thus, underneath of the saree will be visible and hence you cannot wear all saree in this format. It is best to choose cotton saree to try this drape.

Source: Utsav Pedia

Enki style of saree from Andhra Pradesh

 It is a typical Andhra Pradesh style of wearing a saree, where you will find that the lower part appears like a dhoti, by pulling the pleats just below the leg and tucked at the waist in the back. You need to pull the pallu over the shoulder and wrapped around the waist.

Source: Kaushi Collection

Surguja of Chhattisgarh

This is a typical way to wear saree and in general, the dancers of Oraon community of the Chhattisgarh drape the saree in this style.  You need a 5.3-yard saree, which will be able to add a whirling effect to your drape. The loose ends that stay simply should come in the front and the back in a tucked manner to allow freedom of movement to the dancers.

Source: Craftsvilla

Halakki Vokkaliga of Karnataka

Compared to other saree draping styles discussed on our blog, this is one of the unique. You will find a long piece of cloth draped in the Karnataka culture, which needs no blouse or petticoat. They simply have this nine-yard long cloth wrapped around their body and tie the end at the neck.


Bootheyara style of Karnataka

We all know that beauty of the saree draping style lies in the comfort of wearing it. If you are trying out bootheyara, you will know the highest form of comfort. You can either wear it as one piece or as two-piece depending on the look or the comfort level you want to feel. Mostly women wear this 8-yard long cloth in the lower part with a knot called molakattu in the front with a blouse. If you wish to cover your bust, add another piece of cloth in the form of dupatta from the top.

Source: Border & Fall

Phanek and Innaphi from the lands of Manipur

North-Eastern states to have variation in their saree draping styles, and phanek and innaphis are the two forms of traditional saree wearing style they possess. Phanek is ethnic sarong worn by the Manipuri women and are of two types - the meitei phanek and the tribal phanek. Whereas, Innaphi helps to wrap the upper part of the body and is worn like a dupatta. Phanek has horizontal stripes and a floral border and innaphi come with delicate floral designs.

Source: Ethnics by Piyali

In the next part of our article, find more then ways to wear a saree. The Indian being culturally rich has end number of ways to try out a saree.  Wait until we reveal the other forms.

If you like, a style pick one, take a snap after you wear it and share on our social channels!

Click here to check the Second Part of this blog !!!

About the author

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.