Before we talk about Anarkali suits, first let me ask you a simple question. Are you into classics? Bollywood classics to be precise. Have you watched the movie ‘Anarkali’ released in 1953 or ‘Mughal-e-Azam’ in 1960? If yes, you have all the more reasons to be fascinated by this exquisite Mughal era costume. Anarkali is said to have been a great beauty and her story is immortalized because she was buried alive by Emperor Akbar for having an affair with his son Salim, later to be called Emperor Jahangir.
As a dancer, her costume indeed was dramatic. ‘Anarkali suits’ as it is known today is a combination of long kurta and bottoms like churidar. The kurta is fitted on the bust and normally features large pleats that flare out around the legs like an umbrella. Sleeves usually
full, short or half-sleeves, are tight at the arms and tight above the waist. During the Mughal era these kinds of apparels were worn by famous dancers doing the ‘mujra’ or ‘mujara’ who danced for the entertainment of the Mughal kings. These mujra dresses evolved to be called ‘Anarkalis’ in remembrance of a great dancer and a passionate lover Anarkali.
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