Traditional Wear Of Andhra Pradesh

Often referred to as the 'food bowl of the south,' Andhra Pradesh is the eighth largest state of India situated along the southeastern coast. In the year 1965, Andhra state was merged with the Telugu speaking area of Telangana, and Andhra Pradesh was created. The state is known for its rich heritage and culture. Andhra Pradesh is a famous tourist spot as it bears beautiful ancient temples, palaces and museums. The beaches in Andhra Pradesh are also famous and picturesque. The official language of Andhra Pradesh is Telugu, which is unique in its way. Other than that, Andhra Pradesh is very famous for silk and cotton textiles.These techniques have been developed about 3000 years ago. 

The traditional wear of Andhra Pradesh is not much different from other southern states of the country.


The men in Andhra Pradesh generally wear dhoti and kurta.


A dhoti or dhotee´ is a large piece of cloth that is wrapped around the waist and is tucked from between the legs. The length of the dhoti worn is according to one's preference. The dhoti can be either till knee length or ankle length.


Kurta is the top worn by the men in Andhra Pradesh. They are usually made up of cotton. The length of the sleeve is wrist (full) length, three-fourth or half.


Even though Kurta is traditional wear, men have also started wearing shirts and T-shirts and shirts instead of Kurta.


Men in Andhra Pradesh also were lungis. Lungis are a piece of clothing simply wrapped around the waist. Muslim men wear pyjamas in place of dhoti and kurta with a Fez Cap (cylindrical red cap).


Before the 14th century, women in Andhra Pradesh wore dhotis, just like the men did. But over the years, the length of their dhoti kept on increasing and much later, they started using an additional piece of cloth to wrap over their shoulders. The additional piece of cloth later got stitch together to form a saree.


The saree is a long length of cloth (usually 5½ meters or 6 yards long) that is wrapped around a woman's lower body, and the excess is draped across their torso, over the blouse.
Women wear blouses to cover their upper body. The blouse comes till mid-torso. They may be stitched however the wearer desires it to be - with different types of colour work, lengths of the sleeve and even length of the blouse may alter.

Langa Voni

Langa Voni is a two-piece or a half saree worn by girls or young women in south India. It consists of a skirt, blouse and a dupatta. Girls wear Langa Voni before they get married or before they hit puberty. They may also wear it without a dupatta.


Women wear a petticoat or an underskirt below their saree.

Andhra Pradesh is well known for its quality handloom industry. Women prefer to wear these original handloom sarees. Dharmavaram, Kanchi, Chirala, Mangalgiri, Venkatagiri towns have a worldwide reputation for their production of handlooms. Dharmavaram is famous for the production and distribution of silk sarees. Ikkat sarees woven in the Nalgonda district needs a weaving-pattern in which the yarn is randomly dyed in geometric or zigzag manners. Mangalgiri sarees are made of fine cotton. Gadwal sarees are also well known.
traditional dresses of andhra pradesh


Lambadies or the Banjaras are a common tribal group in Andhra Pradesh. The men of the tribe have adapted to wearing the dhoti-kurta, but the women continue to wear their traditional dress. The traditional dress for the Lambadi women comprises of a long - ankle-length skirt, a blouse and a ghoonghat or dupatta (an additional piece of cloth). Their clothes are very colourful, vibrant and heavy. The dupattas and skirts have thick borders, and the entire costume has a mirror, bead and stonework on it. They also wear bangles, anklets and other jewellery. Women of all communities wear saree and blouse. Some Muslim women also wear salwar kameez.

Kalamkari Fabric

Kalamkari fabric is a type of cloth painted with mythological figures and stories. Natural dye is used to colour the fabric. Sarees, salwar kameez, dresses and other garments are made out of these fabrics. Kalamkari fabric is still produced in few districts of Andhra Pradesh. Some Sarees are also made with bidri artwork.
traditional dresses of andhra pradesh

Dresses For Special Ceremonies

For marriage ceremony, the bride wears silk sarees from Dharmavaram as these sarees beautify the dresses for festivals, parties, and wedding. The sarees are brocaded and decorated with gold plating. The bridegroom wears kurta, and full-length dhoti with an overlapping pattern or a zigzag of excess cloth tucked in the front along with an additional piece of cloth draped over one of his shoulders. The bride wears the colour red whereas the groom wears white or cream coloured clothes. Both the bride and groom wear jewellery. The bride wears bangles, neckpiece, earrings,
payal (anklets) and a maang tikka (head jewellery) that goes around their forehead. The groom wears head jewellery that is in the form of a gold chain wrapped around his forehead.

In South India coming of age, the ceremony is celebrated when a girl reaches puberty. For the ceremony, the girl wears a Langa Voni given by her maternal grandparents during the first part of the ceremony. For the second part of the ceremony, she wears a saree given by her paternal grandparents. This marks her transition into womanhood.
traditional dresses of andhra pradesh


In Andhra Pradesh, both men and women wear sandals or chappals as footwear. Some even wear mojdis (closed flat shoes).

Some Traditional Textiles of Andhra Pradesh

  • Ikat Weaving
  • Chirala Textiles
  • Dharmavaram Sarees
  • Mangalgiri Sarees
  • Uppada Sarees
  • Venkatagiri Sarees

Influence Of Western Culture

People residing in the urban area have started wearing western clothing both by choice and by the requirement to comply with their office/workplace dress code. More and more women are shifting from wearing sarees to wearing salwar kameez or western clothing, as it is easier to work with them. The youth and the kids also wear pants and shirts as opposed to their traditional wear which the older generations wear. The people of Andhra Pradesh prefer to wear natural fabrics like cotton and silk.  Andhra Pradesh, also regarded as Kohinoor of India, is famous for its weaving and dying industry that is said to have begun 3000 years ago.

This post was published by Vidhi Jhaveri

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