Ancient Indian Attires
Around 528 BCE Prince Siddhartha Gautama gave up his worldly riches and became the Buddha, a wandering holy man who dressed very simply and had almost no possessions.
The Buddha attracted many followers who wished to live like him, and he gave precise instructions about their robes. These robes have been worn by Buddhist monks from the sixth century BCE right up to the present day.
Buddhist monks have a “triple robe,” which consists of: a waistcloth, wrapped around the body like a sarong; a robe; and an outer robe, which is only worn in cold weather.
Monks’ robes can be dyed from roots and tubers, plants, bark, leaves, flowers, and fruits, and these natural substances produce a range of colors from deep red to yellow. The most common color for Buddhist robes is a yellowish-orange, or saffron.
The Gupta Empire The Gupta emperors ruled from 320 to 550 CE, and encouraged art, science, and trade.
Textiles were a major source of wealth for the empire, and large quantities of silk, cotton, linen, and muslin very fine cotton) were produced to be traded abroad. While the ordinary people in the Gupta Empire wore simple clothes made from cotton, kings, princes, and princesses had splendid clothes and jewelry.
A set of famous Buddhist murals painted at Ajanta during the Guptas’ rule portray a group of exquisite dancing maidens, laden with jewels.
The dancers wear flowing robes of the finest muslin. Around their necks, waists, arms, and legs are strings of pearls, beads, and jewels. Some have golden, jeweled headdresses rising in points, while others are bareheaded with jewels and flowers woven into their hair.
The Tilaka Ever since the Aryan period, Hindu women have worn a mark called the tilaka on their foreheads.
It is usually made from a mixture of red ocher powder and sandalwood paste and is a visible sign that a person belongs to the Hindu religion. According to ancient Hindu tradition, the tilaka began in Aryan times when the bridegroom used his thumb to apply his blood to his bride’s forehead as a recognition of their marriage.