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The Indian Grooms Turban

 Just as a veil is indispensable in case of the bride, a headgear is obligatory for the groom. Delving a little into this significant piece of a groom's ensemble. An Indian groom without a turban is rarely heard of except in Kerala and Tamilnadu. Turbans or headgears play an important part not only for the groom's attire but also that of his immediate male relatives.

According to the true Indian wedding tradition, the entire ensemble of an Indian groom is meant to resemble a king The importance attached in Indian weddings to turbans accounts for this, as the Indian kings considered their crowns and turbans as symbols of pride and stature.

As India is a land of multi-every-thing - multi cultures, multi cuisines, multi linguistic and so are turbans! Let us take a journey with this significant piece of a groom's ensemble and how this tradition encompassing the contemporary elements and pomp.

Turbans of North 

Starting from Jammu Kashmir, the northern most tip. as the cold climate of the place demands, the Ladakhi groom along with his heavy woolen attires, adorns an elaborate headgear called the tibi, decorated with precious stones and beadwork. The Kinnauri' groom of Himachal Pradesh covers his head with a silver head ornament called 'mulamentho, similar to his bride's. It flows from head down to the neck on either side of the face and has a bunch of silver leaves attached to a triangular plaque, to which a complex lattice design is attached. Next is the Sikh groom who always comes with his usual turban called 'pagri' or 'dastar. but tied in a different style for the Big-day. As Pagri is always red or pink, the attires will be kept in contrast with it. The Marwari groom from Rajasthan who ties a red turban called safa' adorned with the traditional kalgi' and sarpech is a popular icon of North Indian groom.

The Grandiose South 

In South, mostly Kannada and the Reddy grooms give importance to headgears. Mysore Peta is the traditional headgear of a Kannada groom and they wear it on any important or formal events. It is a single piece of cloth decorated with gold brocade and zari borders or even with beautiful metal pendants sewn onto it to add a flavor of grandeur and lavishness. The Reddy groom too shows the typical South Indian flavor for gold by wearing a royal looking white and gold turban with a 'bashingam' on the forehead.

The Quaint East

 Moving to the eastern corner, the Bengali groom wears a white 'topor', a conical headgear made of sholapith (a fragile soft pith plant) and lots of beliefs associated with it. The Bihari groom, wears a red silk cloth and in Jharkhand, where there are many tribes, the groom wears a simple white turban. The Oriya groom and bride wear the same turban - a majestic crown decorated with multi-coloured stones, beards and paisley motifs.

As the East, houses many indigenous tribes of the country, their customs are very interesting. The Assamese groom comes with a tulsi mala or a crown made of fresh flowers, while the Manipuri groom cover his head with a white turban called the kokyet, edged with golden braiding. The traditional colourful tribal headgears using beads, cowries, feathers and bamboo spikes are also popular.

The Typical West 

A typical Marathi wedding is one of the simplest among Indian weddings and so is the headgear of a Marathi groom - a simple Nehru cap or a pink/saffron turban called pheta. On the other hand, the 'Rabari groom from Gujrat wears an ostentatious red turban with intricate designs, and beads to enhance his grandiose attires. And finally, the Goan Christian groom wearing a three-piece suit and adorning a formal hat.

Contemporary Meets Tradition 

As times are changing trends are getting more cosmopolitan and people loves to experiment with looks. Rituals and traditions are still alive, but a contemporary element is getting attached.

As lavishness of Indian weddings increases, headgears are also undergoing big transformations. Designers are coming up with combinations of ethnic motifs and modern sensibilities. Opulent fabrics like silk and brocade are being used, with intricate embroideries, beaded folds, Swarovski embellishments and dangling pearl chains. The delicate yet proud feather, "kilangi, which traditionally perched atop the headgears are getting replaced with brooches embedded with colorful stones. Turbans are even getting personal going along with head shapes, size, and number of folds.