Two words used on IIT Bombay campus : Gymkhana and Uttariya

Gymkhana

‘At British Cricket Clubs in colonial India’, author wrote,

food served and entertainment were English, the wine may have been  French. But the only concession to India was the commonly use suffix, gymkhana, which derived from  gend-khana, or ball house.

Ref : A corner of a foreign field, An Indian history of a British sport, Ramachandra Guha

Uttariya

In ‘Mauryan and Sunga period (321-72 B.C.)’,

Men and women continued to wear unstiched garments, as in Vedic times. The main garment was the ‘antariya’ of white cotton, linen or flowered muslin, sometimes embroidered in gold or precious stones. For men, it was an unstiched length of cloth drapped around the hips and between legs in the ‘kancha style’, extending from the waist to the calf or ankles or worn even shorter by peasants and commonors. Then ‘antariya’ was secured at the waist by a sash or ‘kayabandh’, oftern tied in a looped knot at the center front of the waist. The kayabandh could be a simple sash, vethaka; one with drum-header knots as ends, maurja; a very elaborate band of embroidery, flat and ribbon-shaped, pattika; or a many stringed one, kalabuka. <b>The third item of  clothing calld the ‘uttariya’ was another length of material, usually fine cotton, very rarely silk, which was utulized as a long scrarf to drape the top half of the body.

The Uttariya was worn in several ways to suit the confort of the weather: very elegantly by those at court, who could drape it on both shoulders or one shoulder, or diagonally across the chest and casually knotted at the waist, or it could even be worn loosely across the back and supported by the elbows or wrist, or in many other ways depending on the whims of the wearer.

The uttariyas of upper-class women were generally of thin material decorated with elaborate borders and quite often worn as a head covering… Women generally covered their heads with uttariya, worn straight or crosswise, often resplendent with beautiful borders…. Skull caps were sometimes worn under or over the uttariya ot keep it in place, or at times it could be decorated with a fringe or pendant.

Ref : Ancient Indian Costume, Mrs. Roshen Alkazi, National Book Trust, 1982, Rs. 50

This little book further compares dresses wore in various ancient Indian empires;
satvahana, Kushan, and Gupta period.

Interesting line :

‘Although, footwear is often mentioned in Vedic literature there is not
sculptural evidence for this period, except in the case of soldiers who wear the persian boot. It may be bacause shoes could not be taken inside a stupa or Buddhist temple, that they were not depicted on sculptural on stupas.

I am curious! Anyone knows who proposed the dress code for IITB graduation
ceremony?

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About Dilawar

Graduate Student at National Center for Biological Sciences, Bangalore.
This entry was posted in Indian History and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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