Anarkali Salwar Suit

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Indian Actress Priyanka Chopra in an Anarkali suit.

Anarkali Shalwar suit is a form of women's dress originating from the city of Lahore in Pakistan. The Anarkali suit is made up of a long, frock-style top and features a slim fitted bottom. The Anarkali suit varies in many different lengths and embroideries including floor-length Anarkali styles.

Anarkali suits owe their name to the fictional Anarkali, a courtesan in the court of Mughal emperor Akbar who was legendarily murdered for her illicit relationship with the Crown Prince Salim, who would later become the Emperor Jahangir.[1]

The word Anarkali literally means the ‘delicate bud of the pomegranate flower/ tree’. This name signifies the qualities of softness, vulnerability, innocence, and beauty associated with the women who wore Anarkalis.

The majestic Anarkali suit ensemble is quite popular in Pakistan and many other South East Asian communities. It generally consists of 3 separates – a fitted till waist and then flared long kurta/ top-wear, a churidaar (fitted) bottom and a dupatta/ stole. The graceful Anarkali suit finds its roots in the Mughal and Persian cultures. The various forms of the regal Anarakali silhouette are also related to the Indian culture in many ways. The Indian Angarakha is very similar to Anarkali and is closely associated with the Indian classical dance form Kathak. In fact, Anarkali tends to be the regular costume of the dancers, practicing the Kathak form of the Lucknow Gharana.

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