Ghagra and Lehenga are two very similar traditional dresses worn by girls and women folk in many parts of India and Pakistan, especially the northern belt. These are actually lower parts of two different dresses that are known as Ghagra choli and Lehenga choli respectively with only minor differences and lots of similarities. This is why not only westerns but also many Indians are seen confused between a Ghagra and a Lehenga. While the two lowers are used in a routine manner by girls belonging to poor families, these two outfits have become more of party wear dresses with lavish Ghagra and Lehenga being worn on marriage and festivals by ladies.
Ghagra is a part of a two piece traditional outfit worn by little girls and older women in many parts of India. Though today worn by women in many parts of India, the lower is more popular in Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, and Rajasthan. It is a loose skirt made of cotton, silk, or any other cloth that can be simple and printed or it can be lavish and expensive with brocade work. The skirt is usually worn with a matching upper known as choli or a blouse with women taking a stole called dupatta to drape around their shoulders. The skirt is held at place around the waist using a drawstring called nada in India. It is usually worn below the navel.
Lehenga is another lower part in an outfit called Lehenga choli worn by women in many Indian states, mostly northern. The proper name of the outfit is Lehenga choli that is famous as an ethnic India dress all over the world. It is Lehenga that dominates women’s attire during marriages, functions, and other festivals. Lehenga is worn by Bollywood celebrities in movies and remains as popular as ever. Lehengas have become all the more popular because of the fact that they are worn by most Indian brides during their marriage ceremonies. Lehengas can be very expensive with all the brocade work and the use of expensive clothes to make them.
What is the difference between Ghagra and Lehenga?
• While there seems to be no ostensible difference to a westerner, Lehenga is worn on festivals and special events whereas Ghagra is a traditional skirt worn in daily lives by girls and women.
• Bridal Lehenga is perhaps the most popular form of Lehengas. They are most expensive and make use of brocade work.
• Lehengas are more fitting worn at the waist to accentuate the shape or the figure of the woman.
• Ghagra are loose fitting, and they can be simple when made of cotton. However, Ghagra made of crepe and silk can be very bright and expensive with the use of brocade work.
• Ghagra is used by women in Rajasthan and Gujarat more as a comfort wear.
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