The dhoti, also known as panche, dhuti, mardani, chaadra, dhotar or panchey, is a type of sarong, tied in a manner that outwardly resembles "loose trousers". It is a lower garment forming part of the national or ethnic costume for men in the Indian subcontinent. The dhoti is fashioned out of a rectangular piece of unstitched cloth, usually around 4.5 metres (15 ft) long, wrapped around the waist and the legs and knotted either in the front or the back. Dhotis come in plain or solid colours, silk dhotis with embroidered borders are considered to be formal wear. The dhoti is touted as the male counterpart of the sari worn by females to religious and secular ceremonies (functions).
The word dhoti is derived from dhauti (Sanskrit: धौती), meaning to "cleanse or wash". In the context of clothing, it simply refers to the cleansed garment which was worn as part of everyday attire:129 The dhoti evolved from the ancient antriya which was passed through the legs, tucked at the back and covered the legs loosely, then flowed into long pleats at front of the legs, the same way it is worn today as formal dhoti.:130 While informal dhoti wraps around both legs firmly, in this style the back side of dhoti is pulled to the front and tucked at the waist, before tucking the two loose ends at back, creating firmly fitted trouser-like dhoti that wraps around both legs.
Names in India
The garment is known by various names, such as:
a In Marathi, a dhotar is not the same as a pancha (plural panche).
While the former is worn around the waist, the latter is normally
used as a towel after a bath or shower (compare below).
Custom and usage
Dhoti is usually worn over a kaupinam or langot, types of loincloth undergarments.
The pancha is worn by many orthodox Jain men when they visit the temple for puja; unstitched clothing is believed by some Jains to be "less permeable to pollution" and therefore more appropriate for religious rituals than other garments. They also wear a loose, unstitched cloth, shorter than the pancha, on top.
Hare Krishna, known for its distinctive dress code, prompts Western adherents to wear pancha, usually of saffron or white cloth folded in a traditional style. Maharishi Mahesh Yogi was known for wearing a white silk dhoti.
In India, there's a distinction between the lungi, a similar but smaller garment often worn by people at their home as it is more casual and comfortable than dhoti, and the more formal dhoti that is sometimes worn by politicians.
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- Company, Fideler (1960). Life in Other Lands. Fideler. p. 78. Retrieved 3 January 2021.
It is arranged to look like a pair of baggy trousers. This garment is called a dhoti and is usually made of cotton.
- Bhandari, Vandana (2005). Costume, Textiles and Jewellery [i.e. Jewelry] of India: Traditions in Rajasthan. Mercury Books. p. 105. ISBN 9781904668893. Retrieved 3 January 2021.
One of the reasons for the dhoti's enduring popularity is its loose trouser - like form , which is convenient and extremely well - suited to the tropical Indian climate .
- K Parker, Lewis (1994). India. Rourke Book Company. p. 14. ISBN 9781559160056. Retrieved 3 January 2021.
Boys and men often wear a dhoti. This is a piece of white cloth wound around the waist. Dhotis look like comfortable, baggy pants.
- "Indian Dhoti". Indian Mirror. Archived from the original on 29 July 2020. Retrieved 3 January 2021.
- Avasthi, Vivek (14 January 2020). "Sarees for women, dhoti for men: Officer's dress code for Kashi temple irks minister". The Federal. Archived from the original on 5 August 2020. Retrieved 3 January 2021.
- Govind Sadashiv Ghurye (1951) Indian Costume
- Indian Costume by Govind Sadashiv Ghurye 1966
- Ancient Indian Costume By Roshen Alkazi 1996
- Cort, John E. (2001). Jains in the World: Religious Values and Ideology in India. Oxford University Press. p. 221. doi:10.1093/0195132343.001.0001. ISBN 9780195132342.
- Koppel, Lily (February 6, 2008). "Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, a Guide On the Beatles' Spiritual Path, Dies". New York Times. p. C.10.
- McLain, Sean (2014-07-23). "No Dhotis Please, We're Indian". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2017-11-03.
- Sankaralingam, Sathrukkan (2020-09-02). "Gandhi - Weaving a nation together". Minister White Blog. Retrieved 2020-09-02.