If there is one item that instantly conjures up the image of Rajasthan, then it is the ‘Rajasthani Pagri‘. It has various names such as ‘Rajasthani Safa‘, ‘Paaga‘, or ‘Marwari Pagri‘. The Rajasthani Pagri is a style of the turban of Rajasthan, indigenous to Rajasthan. Men primarily wear it and a feeling of great pride accompanies the wearer. It, therefore, symbolizes tradition and respect.
These turbans of Rajasthan go back a long way in history. The Rajasthani Pagri is not just another piece of attire but is also a symbol of social status. A pagri is approximately 21 meters while a safa is between 9 to 11 meters. A person’s caste, religion, occupation can be known from the way the turban is worn.
Here are some fun facts about Rajasthani Pagri!
- There are hundreds of ways to wear the Rajasthani Pagri! – One of the first facts about the Rajasthani Pagri is its characterizations by the different districts of Rajasthan. For example – there is ‘Jallori’ from Jallore, ‘Bhatti’ from Jaisalmer, ‘Jaipuri Turban‘ from Jaipur. Similarly, there is ‘Alwar’, ‘Sirohi’ and the most popular one – the ‘Jodhpuri Safa’. Their draping is also in-line with the occasions. For example – ‘Shikari Turbans’ come out while going for a hunt. The choosing of colors also signify important social events. Saffron is a staple during weddings, khaki comes out during the grieving, and so on. The way one wears it can also signify a season. ‘Phalguna Turbans’ are a staple during the spring season. The world-famous ‘Leheriya’ print has associations with rainstorms. There is so much variety that it changes every 10-15 km!
2. It offers various other utilities – The tribes of Rajasthan who live in the intense heat of the desert keep their heads cool with this pagri. There are other unique ways to use it. It can be used as a cover or towel. The turban’s long 9-meter cloth is also used as a rope to draw water from a well.
3. Rajasthani Pagris were worn as far back as 7th Century CE – That’s right, this cultural attire celebrates a long history behind it. When Rajput kings ruled the land, these turbans came into existence. The purest and richest fabrics of cotton and silk went into the making of these pagris. A headgear fit for royalty, the kings wore this as a symbol of social status.
4. A turban draping contest is held at Pushkar – The world-famous Pushkar festival has scores of attractions. One such is the turban draping contest held at this festival. The competition attracts many tourists who want to wear this turban once at least.
5. There is a turban museum in Jaipur – The capital has a unique turban museum. It claims to have one of the largest collections of the Rajasthani pagri and Rajasthani safa! Facts!
6. One man can tie them in 108 styles – Pawan Vyas, a resident of Bikaner, Rajasthan holds the India Book of Records for tying the smallest Rajasthani turban on fingers. He further knows 108 ways to wear the headgear!
7. Udaipur has the world’s biggest pagri on display – ‘Bagore ki Haveli’ in Udaipur prides itself in housing it. An artist from Baroda, Dr. Avanti Lal Chawla took 15 days to make it. The pagri has a weight of around 30 kgs. Almost 150 meters of cloth went into its making.
The Rajasthani Pagri/Rajasthani safa thus is a unique symbol of pride and social class. Its varied amounts of styles and extensive history make it one of a kind in the whole country.
Follow Rajasthan Studio on Instagram for more amazing art and travel content. Reach out to us on email at contact[at]rajasthanstudio[dot]com. This blog is curated by Rajasthan Studio and written by Aakriti Jaswant.