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Glossary - Ancient Indian Costume

Find the actual meaning to the Hindi words used in Ancient Indian Costume...

Author: Roshen Alkazi

Last Updated On: 8/31/2010


ajina: skin of antelope or goat

ajinayajnopavita: deer skin worn over the left shoulder by Hindu ascetics

angada: armlet like a coiled snake

angarkha: tunic with side fastening

anguliya: finger ring

antariya: lower garment

ardhoruka: langoti type of drawers wron by women

atkan: bead necklace

baju band: armlet for upper arm

bali: ring-type earring with pearl strung on it

bashylk: scythian pointed felt cap

bhairnivasani : earliest form of skirt, a tubular cloth held up in gathers around the waist by a gridle

bindi: forehead ornament

calanika: antariya worn between the legs and then wrapped around the hips

chaddar: a large shawl

chalana: loose or close fitting trousers

channavira: cross belt on chest

chattra: umbrella, symbol of royalty

chattradhora: attendant who carried the royal umbrella

chaulari: four-stringed necklace

chauri: fly whisk, made from yak's tail

cinacola: sleeveless metal armour, probably of chinese origin

cholaka: short blouse with apron front

choli: short blouse

chudamani: lotus-shaped ornament for hair, its petals ornamented with pearls and precious stones

chugha: coat worn over tunic by kushans

dehri: disc-type earring

dhammilia: an elaborate hairstyle consisting of flowers, pearls and jewels

dhanush: bow

ekavali: single-strand pearl necklace

gada: heavy club

ghagri: simple stitched skirt

gurnakuntala: a style of wearing hair (male), shoulder length, curled and hanging loose to the shoulder, sometimes held in place with a head band or a string of pearls

hara: necklace

haravsti: large pearl necklace

hemasutra: chain for neck made of gold with precious stones in the centre

hemavaikaksha: two long wreaths of flowers or pearls crossed at the chest, worn mainly by women

himru: intricately woven brocade of today with cotton for its main warp

hiranya: gold

jalaka: metallic wire gauze used in making coasts of mail

jamiwar: intricately woven brocaaade of today, of silk floral design on a wool background

jatabhara: heavy, bundled top-knot of matted locks worn bu Hindu ascetics

jhangia: short drawers

jimiki: large earring with tassels

kabaribandha: simple hairstyle in which the hair is twisted into a chignon or bun

kachcha: a style in which the antariya is drawn up between the legs to form a trouser-like garment

kakshyabandha: a thick jewelled roll worn aslant at the hips

kalabaku: many stringed cummerbund

kambala: blanket

kanaka-kamala: a full-blown lotus design earring set in rubies, still used in south India

kancala-kundala: elaborate earring with pendants

kanci: hip gridle with bells

kancuka: tunic

kangan: bracelet

kantha: short necklace, board and flat

kantopa: cap with flaps covering the ears

kara: simle ring-type anklet

karnika: earring

karnaphul: flower-shaped earring

kaseyyaka: high quality cotton or silk

katisutra: string for suspending the hip belt

kausheya: a type of tussar silk

kayabandh: cummerband, sash

kesapasa: hairstyle in which the hair was looped close to the head in a elongated knot

keyura: armlet for upper arm

khadga: sword

khadgavahini: a female attendant to royality who carried the royal sword on her shoulder

khinkhwab: brocade of silk and gold or silver wires interwoven

kushalaka: waist cloth of buddhist monks

kinkini: anklet with small bells suspended

kirita: crown or tiara

kosha: sheath for sword

kundala: simple ring or circle earring

kurta: under-shirt of parthian, kushan, scythian origin, with four-pointed hem and ruched sleeves

lambanam: long necklace

langoti: a narrow strip of cloth suspended from a waist cord and drawn up between the legs

lehnga: style in which antariya is wrapped like a skirt around hips

makarika: ornament for the hair in the shape of a fish-crocodile

mala: garland of flowers

malai: gold coin necklace of South India

mangamalai: gold coin necklace of South India set with gems

maninupura: anklets of jewelled beads

manjira: hollow anklet which made a tinkling sound in movement

mauli: turban

maulibandha: an elaborate style of wearing the turban

maulimani: jewelled clasp for the turban

mekhala: girdle or hip belt

muktajala: a net of pearls worn over the chignon to decorate the hair

muktavali: neckalce of single strand of pearls

muktayajnopavita: sacred thread made of pearls

mukuta: crown

muraja: a sash with drum-headed knot at the ends

nada: drawstring through shirt for holding it up designed bedcovers

nicola: designed bedcovers

nishka: neckalce of coins

nivi bandha: the preliminary knot made to tie the antariya at the waist

nupura: anklet

opasa: fillet for hair

padapatra: garter-like decorative ornament for the thigh

paklari: five stringed necklace

patka: a decorative panel of cloth tucked in at the waist over the antariya

patra: a begging bowl

pattabandha: ornamented gold strip for holding the turban in position

pattika: flat, ribbon-shaped elaborated embroidered cummerband

phalaka: slab-like gems

phalakahara: necklace with slb-like gems at intervals

phalakavalaya: bracelet with slab-like gems set into it

piddha: low chair or stool

pracchadapata: tie-dyeing of Gujarat and Rajasthan

putalya: contemporary gold coin necklace of Maharashtra

rallaka: rugs or floor carpets

rasana: gridle made up of linked chains or strung with pearls, beads, or preccious stones

ratna: precious stones

ratnajali: a net of braid and pearls worn around the chignon

rupya: silver

samghati: cloak of Buddhist monks

samkaksika: buckled belt of Buddhist monks

sankla: thick chain-type anklet

satlari: seven-stringed neckalce

sirastra: helmet

sirastrajala: helmet

sitara: star-shaped forehead ornament for women

sraja: garland of flowers

stanamsuka: Persian- influenced knee-or thigh-length tunic

suddha-ekavali: pearl neckalce with gem at the centre

sutra: chain for neck

suvarna: gold

talapatra: earring which originated from a small strip of palm leaf rolled and inserted into the lobe

tamra: copper

tarahara: a single strand of big pearls

tilari: three-strined necklace

tiraz band : ornamented braid decorating the upper part of the sleeve

torque: a simle necklace of gold wire originally of Celtic origin

tulakoti: heavy anklets with the two ends enlarged at their meeting point

tulapansi: light-weight cotton from Central India

upavita: upper garment worn over left shoulder and under right arm

urna: a symbol of prefection in the Buddha, a tuft of hair between the eyebrows

ushnisa: turban

uttarasanga: upper cloth used by Buddhist monks a nuns

uttariya: unsitched upper garment or scarf

vaikaksha: straps crossed at the chest

valaya: bracelet

valkala: bark-strip garments worn by Hindu ascetics

vethaka: simple sash

yajnopavita: sacred cord

yashti: neckalce of gems and gold beads with large central bead


Ajina, Angada, Angarkha, Antariya, Atkan, Baju Band, Bashylk, Calanika, Chattradhora, Choli, Chudamani, Ekavali, Ghagri, Hemavaikaksha, Jalaka, Kachcha, Kalabaku, Kantopa, Karnaphul, Lambanam, Langoti, Maninupura, Mekhala