Kashmir, the undisputed crown of India, is one of the most visited places in the nation, and it is the picturesque scenic beauty, that enchants every traveler who come here for the first time. This place is known for its rich flora and fauna, apart from the snow clad mountain peaks, orchards and valleys, which make this region, a tourist’s paradise. It is also known the world over, for its beautiful people, cuisine and attires, that definitely creates a jaw dropping appeal. This post of mine describes a traditional Kashmiri outfit, which is referred to as a ‘Pheran’, which is a combination of a salwar suit or a long tunic. The variation or style that local Kashmiri men wear, comes in a typical chequered pattern, whereas the attire that a woman adorns, has ornate resham thread embroidery in ‘lock-stitch’ style. One can see the elaborate craftsmanship on fabric, which is usually a coarse material, that prevents and blocks the harsh winds of the freezing winter months in Kashmir. A ladies Pheran usually comes in uni color, with the embroidery pattern around the frontal portion that extends all the way from the neck. It would not be wrong to call it a long tunic or a suit, which is always conceived on a coarse fabric material.
Pheran is Now a Fashion Statement
In downtown Srinagar, or in any other part of Kashmir valley, be it Baramulla, Kupwara, Anantnag, Sopore, Pampore, Kulgam, Budgam, Tral or Pulwama; you find everyone in a Pheran, be it men or women. In the icy winter months, this is the main outfit of an ordinary Kashmiri, who moves around practically everywhere in it, carrying a Kangri or a charcoal heater inside this outfit. This traditional suit or fatigue is typical of Kashmir and India, as in no other part of the world, you find people wearing it. The bright colors with embroidery work around the neckline and hemline, defines a women’s attire, whereas bland colors like ash, brown and cream with chequered patterns are typical of men. Some may call this outfit a robe or a salwar suit, or for that matter a tunic dress, but for local Kashmiris, it is always a ‘Pheran’ and nothing else. Anyone travelling from Delhi or Mumbai, or for that matter any other part of India to Kashmir, dresses up in a Pheran for a photo shoot or buys one for himself or herself, to be preserved as a memento or a souvenir.