“What should I wear in Rajasthan?”. It’s a question our guests often ask in the run-up to their trip. Allow us to break it down for you…
Dressing for the Season
What to wear in Rajasthan depends largely on the time of year you visit. Rajasthan’s seasons are winter (December to March); summer (April to early July); monsoon (late July, August, early September); and post-monsoon (late September, October and November).
- In the colder months of December, January and early February, we recommend a winter jacket for early mornings and evenings. Layered clothing that you can quickly put on or take off is great, as the temperature fluctuates.
- In March, late September, October and November, we suggest casual summer clothing such as Bermuda shorts and a t-shirt. You can consider a light jacket.
- We recommend loose-fitting pieces in natural fabrics for April, May, June and early July, perhaps a breezy cotton maxi skirt or a linen shirt.
- For late July, August and early September, pack a light waterproof jacket in addition to loose-fitting pieces in natural fabrics, comfortable for humidity.
Average Temperates in Rajasthan:
- January (10/23°C or 50/75°F);
- February (12/26°C or 55/80°F);
- March (15/30°C or 60/85°F);
- April (21/37°C or 70/100°F);
- May (26/43°C or 80/110°F);
- June (26/43°C or 80/110°F);
- July (26/35C or 80/95°F);
- August (24/38°C or 75/100°F);
- September (24/35°C or 75/95°F);
- October (18/35°C or 65/95°F);
- November (12/30°C or 55/85);
- December (10/23°C or 50/75°F).
December and January can be foggy in the early morning, and this usually clears up by noon. February, March, April, May, June, October and November are dry and sunny. July through September is wet and humid.
What should women wear in Rajasthan?
It’s not expected for tourists to adhere to India’s conservative sense of dress, but it would be culturally appropriate to avoid anything tight or revealing. Skirts, shorts or dresses are no problem provided they fall below the knee. For your upper half, we recommend avoiding exposing the shoulders or chest area. Bare arms are fine though skinny spaghetti straps are best avoided. You may like to consider pairing a loose tunic with leggings or a t-shirt with a maxi skirt. When at your hotel, you should feel comfortable wearing anything you like, including your bathing suit. It’s only when out and about in busy markets etc., that we recommend modest dress.
A shawl comes in very handy for a multitude of uses: you can drape it over your shoulders when entering a place of worship; wrap it around your shoulders if it’s breezy to protect you from the sun or evening mosquitos. That being said, there are some beautiful scarves to buy in India, so you may like to wait until you arrive. (In that case, do check out our guide to shopping in Jaipur. You might also enjoy our article on the most colourful markets in Rajasthan). Fab India, which has outlets in most Indian cities, has some great ready-made pieces. For bespoke, our experienced guides can assist you in visiting a quality tailor.
What should men wear in Rajasthan?
There are no real cultural norms to note. However, if a Jain temple is on your itinerary (such as the one in Ranakpur or those in Jaisalmer), we recommend covering up with long trousers and a long-sleeved shirt. Leather items are not permitted in Jain temples, including belts, wallets and shoes. You may keep in mind that fancier restaurants ask men to avoid wearing shorts or open-toed shoes whilst dining. A dinner jacket is not required.
What should children wear in Rajasthan?
Young girls and boys visiting Rajasthan can wear what they normally would. T-shirts, shorts and summer dresses… these are all acceptable for pre-pubescent children. However, teenage girls, especially those in their later teens, are recommended to follow the advice given to adult women above to avoid causing disrespect to others.
What do the locals wear in Rajasthan?
One of the great joys of exploring Rajasthan is the bright pops of colour you see radiating from the local attire. Whether it’s a vividly red turban adoring the village elder’s head or a hot pink veil draped around a ladies shoulders. You will see the people of Rajasthan wearing a rainbow of colour.
The traditional dress in Rajasthan for women is a ghagra (a full-length embroidered and pleated skirt) and a kanchli or choti on their upper body. These tops are often intricately designed and embellished with sequins and beads. Their odhni completes the look. Also known as a chunar, this is a long thin cloth worn as a veil. There are different ways a Rajasthani woman can wear her veil, but most of the time, you’ll see it tucked inside their skirt on one end with the middle of the fabric draping over their chest and shoulders and pulled over the face.
To accessorize, affluent women in Rajasthan will traditionally adorn themselves in elaborate gold, pearl and bejewelled necklaces. Rural women prefer to wear brass, silver or white metal ornaments. A fully bejewelled woman could be wearing earrings, a nose-pin, a forehead piece, armlets, belly chains, anklets, bangles, toe rings and finger rings.
For men, their traditional Rajasthani outfit is a dhoti paired with an angarkha. The dhoti is a long piece of cloth – usually white – tied around the waist and wrapped around the legs like a loincloth. The upper garment, the angarkha, is robe-like and ties at the side with an inner panel covering the chest—these range from hip-length to ankle length. The look is completed with a turban or pagari, or safa. They come in various colours and patterns and are tied differently depending on one’s region and caste. It is a thing of pride for most Rajasthani men.
On their feet, both men and women will traditionally wear jooti, aka mojari. These are simple shoes made of sheep, camel or goat leather. The traditional shoe of Rajasthan will be plain and black or brown in colour. Mode modern options come in bright colours and are embellished with embroidery, beads and mirror-work.
If you’d like to visit Rajasthan on a private, tailor-made journey of a lifetime, please do get in touch. As tried and tested experts in this specific region of India, we’re the perfect match to assist with your arrangements. For more travel tips like this, our Packing List for Rajasthan might be helpful. You can also check out our guide on the best time to visit Rajasthan and how to dress appropriately when visiting temples in Rajasthan.