What Is the Traditional Costume of Nepal?

The traditional costume of Nepal is called the Daura Suruwal or Labeda-Suruwal, and consists of a shirt that ends at the knee and fastens at the side with ties, pants, and a kind of shoes called docha. It is worn only by men and can include a coat.

The Daura Suruwal has several religious elements that are woven into its design. The top, which is known as the Daura, has eight ties which symbolize wealth, according to eastern mythology. It has five pleats, or Kallis, which represent Pancha Ratna or Pancha Buddha, and the neck of the Daura is closed, which symbolizes the snake that encircled Shiva's neck in the story of Lord Shiva.

A common item of clothing worn with the Daura Suruwal is a kind of hat called a topi, which is used during cold weather as a way to keep the head warm. While the traditional Daura Suruwal has been around for centuries, it is often credited to Janga Bahadur Rana, the prime minister of Nepal in the 1840s, who added the now often-seen coat to the Daura Suruwal during a trip to London in order to keep warm. The Daura Suruwal is considered the formal national attire of Nepal, and it is what is used during national and state ceremonies.