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Traditional and Cultural Dresses in Nepal

Written by Roshan Bhattarai · 5 min read >

Nepal is a country rich in cultural and traditional diversity. As there is a saying ” Nepal is a common garden of 4 castes and 36 sub-castes.” Yes, it is we see many ethnic, cultural, religious groups in Nepal. These all ethnic groups have their festivals, languages, and rituals. Along with that, These different ethnic groups have their own dances, musical instruments, dresses, and others. Today in this article we will discuss the Traditional and Cultural Dresses in Nepal.

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Before We Begin

The people in Nepal wear dresses as per their culture, religion, tradition, festival, and occasions. In Nepal, we can see different types of cultural dresses worn by different ethnicities. These cultural dresses reflect culture, tradition, religion, and history. Here we are with the list of the traditional and cultural Dresses in Nepal.

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Here is the List of the Traditional and Cultural Dresses in Nepal

The traditional and cultural dress in Nepal shows nationalism. While Daura Suruwal and Gunyo Cholo are the national dress of Nepal. These national dresses are the identification of Nepal in the world. Along with that, these traditional and cultural dresses in Nepal have their own historical importance too. Thus, for now, let us move on to the list below.

Daura Surwal

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First, let us talk about Daura Suruwal. It is the national dress of Nepalese men. The Daura is a Kurta and is the upper garment. It is a closed collar shirt with five pleats and eight strings that serve to tie it around the upper body. And the Suruwal is the trouser. Janga Bahadur Rana introduced the tradition of wearing a coat with the Daura Suruwal in the 19th Century.

Daura Suruwal is famous in Nepal. Nepalese men wear Daura Suruwal on different occasions such as Marriage, rituals, festivals, etc. Along with that, It has great religious facts in Nepal. It has eight strings used to tie it, which denotes Astamatrika-Singini. As per Nepalese mythology, eight is also the lucky number.

These 8 strings denote Biagini, Kumari, Barahi, Brahmayani, Indrayani, Maheshwari, Byasnabi, and Mahalaxmi. While the pleats or Kallis signify the Pancha Buddha or Pancha Ratna. And the closed neck of the Daura signifies the snake around the Lord Shiva’s neck.

Gunyou Cholo

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Gunyou Cholo or Chaubadi Cholo is a national female dress of Nepal. It is a traditional woman’s blouse in Nepal. The Gunyo Cholo is generally wrapped and may have an open or closed neck. It is usually cotton with a red or white geometric print. However, these days it is available in a different color. Nepalese females wear gold ornaments that add beauty to this dress.

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Dhaka Topi

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The next dress on our list we have is Dhaka Topi. It is a headgear that is the identification of Nepal. The cloth for Dhaka Topi is imported from Dhaka, Bangladesh. It is one of the parts of the Nepalese national dress that goes with Daura and Suruwal. The Dhaka topi is round at the base, with a height of 3 to 4 inches.

Dhaka Topi represents the high Himalayas of the country. It is said that Dhaka topi indicates the mountain after the melting of the ice. Melted ice allows the growth of green and brightly colored flowers in the lower regions of the mountain. Nepalese celebrates Topi day in Nepal globally on 1 January.


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Dhoti is a dress worn mostly by men residing in the more Terai parts of Nepal. It is a dress that provides comfort while wearing it. It is a rectangular piece of unstitched cloth, usually around 4.5 meters (15 ft) long. Dhoti is wrapped around the hips of men and tied around the waist.

Khukuri is the pride of Nepal. Click here to know more about the Khukuri.


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Another popular dress in Nepal is Sari. Sari is worn by Nepalese women for decades. It is a garment that consists of several yards of lightweight cloth draped so that one end forms a skirt and the other ahead or shoulder covering. Saris are worn together with a petticoat and a blouse. Nepalese female wear Saris on different occasions such as Marriage, rituals, festivals, etc.

Traditional and Cultural Dress of Gurung Community

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Now let us talk about the cultural dress of the Gurung community. In the dress of men. It comprises a blouse-type shirt (Bhoto) fastened with ties across the front of the body. Along with that, it has a kilt-like garment (Jama) that wraps around the waist and reaches to mid-thigh. Moreover, Gurung men tie a long piece of cloth around the waist like a belt (into which a khukuri may be slipped).

Nepali cap (topī) completes the dress. In winter a sheep’s-wool blanket keeps the wearer warm and dry. While Gurung women wear a cotton or velvet blouse (cholo) usually in red color, that ties at the front. As a lower garment, they wear a long pleated skirt (phariyā). As well, they wrap a sash around the waist, and a headcloth completes the outfit.

The Ghalek is a cloth hung across from one shoulder to the opposite waist. It forms as a bag for carrying things. The ornaments include large, heavy, silver earrings that stretch the earlobes, nose rings. And square amulets hung on a string of glass beads called pote necklaces.

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Cultural and Traditional Dress of Tharu Community

Traditional and Cultural Dresses in Nepal
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The dress of the Tharu community consists of Mardani, dhoti, phad, Cholia, and Nahagi. Mardani, Dhoti, and Phad are wear of the Tharu men. And, the typical traditional outfit of Tharu women is cholia (choli). Cholia is a type of blouse usually black in color. Along with that Tharu women wear Nahagi, a white cloth dress (a type of sari is usually worn up to the knee) and uporona. And they wrap Nahagi around the chest that fits together with cholia.

Cultural and Traditional Dress of Newar Community

Traditional and Cultural Dresses in Nepal
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Nepali Newari women wear a Haku patasi. In the Newari language, Haku means Black and patasi. It is usually a heavy black sari with red borders. Newari women also wear different types of jewelry with Haku Patasi. One is Loonswan, a gold plate worn in the center of the head. It is with designs all over with an image of Lord Ganesh in the middle.

Likewise, Tapalan and Suruwa are the traditional wear of Newar men. While Tapalan is a long double-breasted shirt (usually knee-length). And suruwa is tight-fitting trousers. Also, Newar men may wear waistcoats and coats may be worn over the shirt together with a white cotton patuka, a black waistcoat, and topi.

Cultural and Traditional Dress of Limbu Community

Traditional and Cultural Dresses in Nepal
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Mekhli is a dress of Nepali Limbu women. It is a long dress of Dhaka cloth. Limbu women wear it with a horizontal strip of cloth along with collars in a V-neck style or crossing over. Besides it, Limbu women also wear Dhaka sari, chunglokek, or sunghamba, which is basically a blouse, or chaubandi cholo, shawl, and phaoee, a yellow waistband.

Talking about the dress for Limbu men, the traditional dress consists of:

Paga: It is a cap that is pointed and ties at the back with long strips.Paohao: It is the main body dress.
Ningkheng: It is kind of a muffler.Hangchang: It is an upper-body dress for the royal family.
Phaoee: It is kind of a waist belt.Hangpen: It is a lower-body dress for the royal family.
Sandokpa: It is an upper-body dress.Sungrehba: It is a coat-like upper body dress.
Lapetta and pagappa: It is an upper-body dress.

Cultural and Traditional Dress of Sherpa Community

Traditional and Cultural Dresses in Nepal
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Sherpa Men wear long-sleeved robes called kitycow that falls slightly below the knee. And men tie Chhuba at the waist with a cloth sash called kara, creating a pouch-like space called tolung, for storing and carrying small items. Traditionally, chhuba were made up of thick home-spun wool, or a variant called lokpa made from sheepskin. Sherpa wears Chhuba over raatuk, a blouse, trousers called kanam, and an outer jacket called tetung.

For Women, Women wear long-sleeved floor-length dresses of thick wool called tongkok. And a sherpa women wear a sleeve-less variation called angi. They wear it over a raatuk (blouse) in warmer weather. Along with Chhuba they wear colorful striped; metil aprons in front, and gewe in back. They are held together by an embossed silver buckle called kyetig.

Cultural and Traditional Dress of Magar Community

Traditional and Cultural Dresses in Nepal

A Kachhad is a wrap-on a knee-length loincloth. Magar men wear it with a Bhoto or a vest (tied at the shoulders) and the Nepali topi. As well, they wrap both the shoulders with a diagonal shawl worn on each side. 

Likewise, Magar Women wear Phariya or lungi. It is a type of sari (usually in a dark color). And chaubandi cholo, a closed blouse. Furthermore, women wear bright yellow or blue cotton patuka or waistbands. Then, they keep majetro (shawl-like garment), on the head and a ghalek binding on the shoulder. 

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These are some of the popular traditional and cultural dresses available in Nepal.

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