Cultural Dresses of Nepal

Nepal is a country rich in cultural diversity. The people in Nepal wear different colorful dresses as per their culture, religion, tradition, festival, and occasions. Generally, a man wears Daura Suruwal with Dhaka Topi and women wear dhoti cholo or sari. There are various cultural dresses which are worn by the different caste of people. The cultural dresses help people to show their culture, tradition, religion. These dresses also help to reveal the essence of nationalism in its country. Here is a list of the cultural Dresses of Nepal.

Cultural Dresses of Nepal

Dhaka Topi

Dhaka Topi literately means a “headgear made of Dhaka cloth“, a fine cotton cloth once exclusively imported from Dhaka, the present-day capital of Bangladesh. The Dhaka topi is a part of the Nepalese national dress and a symbol of Nepalese nationality which became popular during the reign of King Mahendra. The topi is round at the base, with a height of 3 to 4 inches, indicates the mountains and the Himalayas of the country. The Dhaka topi is said to represent the mountain after the melting of the ice. The melted ice enables the growth of greenery and vibrantly colored flowers in the lower regions of the mountain. International Nepali Dhoti and Topi Day is a day celebrated by Nepali people globally on 1 January to keep Nepali traditional fashion alive.



Daura Surwal

Daura Suruwal is the national outfit of Nepalese men. The Daura is a variant of the Kurta and is the upper garment, the Suruwal is the trouser. The coat was added to the costume by Jang Bahadur Rana, a prime minister of Nepal in the 19th century. Daura is a closed-neck shirt with five pleats and eight strings that serve to tie it around the body.  The Nepalese Prime Minister Bir Shamsher Jang Bahadur Rana wore the Daura-Suruwal on an unofficial visit to the United Kingdom in the 19th century, which became very popular in Nepal. Janga Bahadur Rana introduced the coat to Nepal in the 19th century.  He started the tradition of wearing a coat with the Daura Suruwal. It is still famous in Nepal and all the men wear Daura surwal on their occasions, marriage, etc.


Religious Fact about Daura Surwal

The Daura has eight strings that are used to tie the Daura. According to Nepali mythology, eight is a lucky number which is denoted as Astamatrika-Singini.

  • Biagini
  • Kumari
  • Barahi
  • Brahmayani
  • Indrayani
  • Maheshwari
  • Byasnabi
  • Mahalaxmi


The pleats or Kallis signify the Pancha Buddha or Pancha Ratna and the closed neck of the Daura signifies the snake around the Lord Shiva’s neck.

Gunyou Cholo

Gunyou Cholo is a traditional woman’s blouse of Nepali culture. It is also known as Chaubandi Cholo. The blouse is typically wrapped and can have an open or closed neck. A gunyou cholo is often cotton in a red or white geometric print, however, we can use different color and we can distinguish different Nepali cultures. We wear gold ornaments with gunyou cholo to look beautiful. It helps to recognize different Nepali cultures, traditions.



Dhoti is such a dress worn on a regular basis by men residing in the more terai parts of Nepal where comfortable wearing is of utmost importance. It is basically a long plain piece of fabric that is wrapped around the hips of men and tied around the waist as a substitute for trousers.



Sari is worn by women for decades. These saris are consisting of a petticoat, a blouse and sari draped around the shoulder. Sari is mostly worn with a lot of gold jewelry and ornaments. Saris are very common in festivities and are even recognized as formal wear for Nepalese women.

Traditional and Cultural Dress of Gurung

The traditional dress of Gurung men consists of a blouse-type shirt (bhoto) fastened with ties across the front of the body and a kilt-like garment (jama) that wraps around the waist and reaches to mid-thigh. A long piece of cloth is tied around the waist like a belt (into which a khukuri may be slipped). The typical Nepali cap (topī) completes the dress. A sheep’s-wool blanket is used in winter or in wet weather to keep the wearer warm and dry. Western-style clothes are commonly worn by the younger generation, especially young men who have served in the military.


Gurung women wear a cotton or velvet blouse (cholo) that ties at the front, over a long pleated skirt (phariyā) that is usually dark red in color. A sash is wrapped around the waist, and a headcloth completes the outfit. The ghalek is a cloth hung across from one shoulder to the opposite waist, forming a bag for carrying things. Ornaments include large, heavy, silver earrings that stretch the earlobes, nose rings, and square amulets hung on a string of glass beads called pote necklaces.


Cultural and Traditional Dress of Newar

Haku Patasi is made of local household cotton grown in different places surrounding Kathmandu valley. Haku patasi is a black sari with red borders worn by Nepali Newari women living in and around Kathmandu valley. Haku means Black and patasi meaning Sari in Newari language. Haku patasi is usually heavier, and always black sari with a red border. Different types of jewelry are also worn with Haku Patasi. Some of the jewelry is Loonswan – a gold plate worn in the center of the head with designs all over with an image of Lord Ganesh in the middle.


Nowadays Haku Patasi became the most important part of every Newari Jatra, celebration and function. Newar women, girls, and even female kids are dressed in Haku Patasi with the red handmade cotton slipper called chatti.

Cultural and Traditional Dress of Sherpa

Men wear long-sleeved robes called kitycow, which fall to slightly below the knee. Chhuba is tied at the waist with a cloth sash called kara, creating a pouch-like space called tolung which can be used for storing and carrying small items. Traditionally, chhuba were made from thick home-spun wool, or a variant called lokpa made from sheepskin. Chhuba is worn over raatuk, a blouse, trousers called kanam, and an outer jacket called tetung.

Women traditionally wear long-sleeved floor-length dresses of thick wool called tongkok. A sleeve-less variation called angi is worn over a raatuk (blouse) in warmer weather. These are worn with colorful striped aprons; metil aprons are worn in front, and gewe in back, and are held together by an embossed silver buckle called kyetig.