As the vibrant festival of Navratri approaches, the streets of Mumbai are witnessing a surge in sales of traditional garba costumes, with ghagra and chaniya choli taking centre stage. Enthusiasts of the colourful and energetic garba dance are flocking to shops and markets to acquire these traditional outfits. What’s noteworthy is that this year, chaniya choli sales have seen a remarkable increase of 50-60 pc compared to the previous year, underlining the enduring cultural significance of these garments.
For many Mumbaikars, Navratri is not just a religious celebration but a lively and spirited occasion where they can showcase their cultural pride. The dance form known as garba, often performed during Navratri, demands distinctive attire that adds to the festive atmosphere. Ghagra and chaniya choli, known for their vibrant colours and intricate designs, have been the go-to costumes for garba enthusiasts.
Local shopkeepers and fashion boutiques in various parts of Mumbai have reported brisk business in the weeks leading up to Navratri. Priti Patel, the owner of a traditional clothing store in the bustling Colaba market, said, “This year, the demand for chaniya cholis has been unprecedented. We have seen a 65% increase in sales compared to last year. People are not just buying them for the dance; they want to embrace their culture and heritage.”
The surge in sales is not just attributed to the youth but people of all ages who want to participate in the festivities. Families are making it a tradition to dress up in matching ghagra and chaniya choli sets, symbolising unity and celebration. The intricate embroidery and mirror work on these outfits are also drawing attention from fashion-conscious buyers.
Mumbai’s fashion designers have also contributed to the resurgence of these traditional garments. Many have come up with modern interpretations of ghagra and chaniya choli, blending traditional aesthetics with contemporary designs. This fusion has not only appealed to the younger generation but also encouraged them to embrace their cultural roots.
“This year we have seen a surge of 50-60% in the sale of chaniya choli. We have also witnessed a rise in the number of teenagers turning towards chaniya choli,” said Sunil Chickliya, a chaniya choli vendor in Borivli. The increase in the sale of these traditional outfits signifies the enduring cultural value attached to them. Mumbai’s garba enthusiasts are not just dressing up; they are connecting with their heritage, celebrating diversity, and adding vibrancy to this beloved festival.
As Navratri festivities begin, the streets of Mumbai will come alive with music, dance, and a sea of colourful ghagras and chaniya cholis. These traditional costumes are not merely pieces of clothing but symbols of cultural pride and unity, making them an integral part of the city’s Navratri celebrations year after year.