Is Lehenga Punjabi or Pan Indian?

Lehenga Choli

Think of a big fat Indian wedding, and you will recall gorgeous lehengas in the bridal trousseau. Earlier, people believed that lehengas were Punjabi attire and worn by Punjabi ladies only. However, everyone loves carrying lehengas these days. So, is lehenga Punjabi? I’ll clear out your confusion in the following article. Let’s dive in! 

Lehenga is not Punjabi. Although the most popular lehenga is the Punjabi Ghagra, it did not originate in the state. Our manuscripts mention lehengas are from the Mughal era, primarily in the entire Northern Indian. Also, we can find the South Indian ladies carrying peculiar lehengas during various occasions. 

What is Lehenga?

Before I discuss the roots of lehenga with you, you should be clear headed with the meaning of such an ensemble. 

So, what do you mean by lehenga, after all? 

Also known as langa, the lehenga is an Indian attire. It is an ankle-length skirt having heavy embroideries, gota patti work, bead work, and sequin designs. The entire ensemble comprises a blouse or choli and a scarf or dupatta together with the long skirt or lehenga. 

Indian women wear these costumes in weddings as the bride and as guests, and during festivals and other cultural gatherings. 

Let’s move on to our mainframe discussion, shall we? 

All About Punjabi Ghagra

Everyone knows about Punjabi ghagras. These costumes were the traditional feminine attire in Punjab and dominated the region for many years. Even now, they have massive popularity and are worn by many ladies across North India. 

The Appearance of Ghagra: Lehenga Vs. Ghagra

Let me tell you that ghagras are a bit different from lehengas. 

Unlike the three-piece lehengas, ghagras are a four-piece attire having a phulkari scarf, a tunic-like kurta, the long-skirt or ghagra, and a salwar or suthan. 

In some parts of Himachal Pradesh, a modified form of Ghagra, called Ghagri, is famous. Like Ghagras, the Ghagri is also a four-piece costume with a shorter skirt that does not extend to the ankles. 

Here are some more differences between ghagras and lehengas. 

  • Lehengas are fashion ensembles. These have a perfect fit and attenuate the feminine curves. However, ghagras are loungewear. It focuses more on the comfort parameter than the appearance. 
  • Lehengas have a tight fitting near the waist. However, ghagras are loose and fit comfortably near the navel. 
  • Lehengas have different sizes according to body measurements. In contrast, ghagras are free size garments and can fit anyone. 

The Spread of Ghagra Outside Punjab

Nowadays, ghagras have a widespread popularity. It even extended outside Punjab to the nearby states. Apart from East and West Punjab, women in the rural parts of Himachal Pradesh and Haryana wear ghagras as their traditional costumes. 

The Rise of Salwar Suit in Punjab

You might be knowing that traditional Punjabi women wear Salwar suits nowadays. Where did ghagra go? How did it lose its popularity? When did Salwar Kameez replace ghagras? 

Hold on! I’ll answer all your questions. 

Ghagras witnessed a massive popularity till the 60’s in Punjab. Right then, Salwar suits became highly popular among the Punjabi ladies which replaced Ghagras eventually. Although women still wear the traditional ensemble during specific occasions like funerals, Salwar suits are the broadly-accepted and conventional attire in Punjab. 

Where is Lehenga Famous Outside Punjab? 

Lehengas are pan-Indian costumes. It is worn by ladies across the subcontinent except that their appearances vary. 

Let’s look at the states where lehengas have a traditional significance right below. 

Phanek is Worn in Manipur

Like lehengas, the traditional Manipuri phanek is a skirt-like attire having stripes and worn by most ladies in the state. 

The Rajasthani Ghagra

Rajasthan had a significant influence in shaping the modern lehengas. The state’s traditional costume is Ghagra which is a long skirt and can be heavily-embellished. Women carry Kada or bangles from wrist to above-elbows to accessorize ghagras. 

The Gujarati Ghagra

Like Rajasthan, ghagras are the traditional attire in Gujarat. Although Gujarati women don’t wear them daily, ghagras have a primary significance in festivals like Navratri. Women cover their bust and belly with a shoulder to waist dupatta when carrying a ghagra in Gujarat. 

South Indian Pattu Pavada

Pattu Pavada is the ethnic skirt in South India. It is a simple lehenga worn with cholis having three-quarter sleeves. 

Ghagras are Famous in Uttarakhand

The traditional and festive costumes in Uttarakhand are ghagras. Ladies wear these ethnic skirts with full-sleeved cholis and long dupattas. Also, they accessorize the garment with large Naths and a headband. 

Lehengas and Cholis in Madhya Pradesh

The typical ethnic attire in Madhya Pradesh is lehenga and choli. It is a moderately fitting clothing worn during special occasions by the ladies in the state. 

Apart from these states, lehengas and ghagras are quite popular in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, and Jammu and Kashmir. The lehengas across India remain almost the same except some minor structural differences and draping styles

Punjabi Lehenga Online

Punjabi lehengas are a must-have in your closet for any occasion, whatsoever. These costumes can make you appear distinct, fashionable, and glamorous in any event. Do you want to shop for Punjabi lehengas online? I can help you with some unique Punjabi Lehenga designs and a destination to buy them online. 

Take a look below! 

Minimal Black Lehenga

Black Punjabi lehengas are in vogue these days. You can carry them out at evening ceremonies and make everyone praise your fashion appeal. You can shop such a minimal lehenga online at Myntra

Zari-work Lehenga

Are you crazy for Zari’s work in Punjabi lehengas? You can get one at Etsy. 

Floral Lehenga

Floral lehengas are getting popular these days. You can shop for these lehengas and wear them during day time functions. 

Cocktail Lehengas

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Another sought-after Punjabi ensemble is my favorite cocktail lehenga. These look graceful at every occasion regardless of the draper. 

Embellished Lehenga

Do you want to appear like a fairy on any occasion? Go for a fully embellished lehenga online and appear dreamy like never before. 

Lehengas are traditional garments, party favorites, and bridal costumes across India. Although highly popular in Punjab, they have nationwide acceptance and every woman dreams of looking at herself in a dreamy lehenga.