Sarees as Men’s Apparel

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Gandasarigu Seere – Sarees as Men’s Apparel

Author:  Dr. Jyotsna Kamat

Place: Lepakshi, Shravanabelagola, Thalagunda, Belagavi, Kashmir

The word seere derived from Sanskrit chira was not only the apparel of women, but also of men, it is pointed out after surveying references to saree in historical period by Andayya, Bheemakavi, Raghavanka, Harihara and others.

The Talagunda inscription speaks for sarees being given as gifts to students every year. Poddalapura, Chirapalli, Nagapattana, Tondemandala, Chola Desha, Vanga, Kalinga Simhala, AnhilaWada and Multan were centres from where sarees were procured in addition to local products – as mentioned in Manasollasa, the literary work of Chalukhya King Someshwara of early 12th century AD. Belagavi was then the center for saree trade.

The literary work of Kalhana of Kashmir – RajaTharangini speaks of how the Kashmir King Harsha was so impressed by the artistic and colourful sarees worn by men of Karnataka region that he introduced that in Kashmir.

Literary sources speak of the designs on sarees and the knitted and brocade work. Ancient sculptures and paintings, especially those at Shravanabelagola, Lepakshi also show men using sarees of various colours as the lower garment, and using a long shirt over it. Some wear it in kachcha fashion while others rap it round themselves.


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