Daura Suruwal Traditional Nepalese Dresses

Daura Suruwal Traditional Dresses

Daura Suruwal is the Traditional Nepalese dress of Nepal. It was introduced by the then Prime Minister of Nepal of the 19th Century Jang Bahadur Rana. It is also worn vastly by men of Sikkim and Darjeeling. Daura refers to the upper shirt or Kurta and Suruwal is the trouser worn. Pattern and construction Suruwal is similar to that of a churidar pajama. The volume on the waist tapering down towards the ankles. Usually, a nada is used to pull and bunch the fabric at the waist, although using an elastic strip has become a common practice. For years, Daura Suruwal has remained the same due to its religious significance and nostalgia.

The Daura Suruwal consists of 8 strings (since 8 is considered to be a lucky number according to the Nepalese people). It refers to Astamatrika-Singini which is as follows:

  1. Biagini
  2. Kumari
  3. Barahi
  4. Brahmayani
  5. Indrayani
  6. Maheshwari
  7. Byasnabi
  8. Mahalaxmi

A coat and the Bhadgaule topi or the Dhaka topi is essential to complete the Nepali look.

Settling on the high hills and valleys such as Jumla, Humla, Bajura and Bajhang districts of northwest Nepal, they adopted overlapping double-breasted tunics to keep their bodies warm from the cold climatic conditions of the Himalayas.

The mandatory Patuki, before the arrival of the coat and waistcoat, helped turn the upper portion into a large pocket making it especially easy to carry and conceal the Nepali weapon of choice, Khukuri.

Suruwal on the other hand is simple to stitch, volume on the waist providing a simple solution for various waist sizes. Several extra inches are cut when deciding the length of the suruwal.

Daura Suruwal Traditional Dresses


The Nepalese Prime Minister Mr. Rana had worn it during his visit to England in the 19th century. This had further popularised the Daura Suruwal. History holds that Queen Elizabeth had gifted a coat to the Prime Minister which he used to wear over the Daura. This was a modification to the traditional clothing.

After he returned from the foreign trip, he ordered all his “Praja” to wear a jacket over Daura Suruwal for all formal occasions. Though not declared the national dress at that time, it was widely accepted as the unwritten formal dress code amongst the aristocrats.

Prime Minister Bir Shamsher Rana declared Daura Suruwal to be the national attire and ordered all common Nepali people to wear it for all formal occasions. Until that time, it is said, commoners were restricted from wearing a suruwal in order to keep the class distinction.

After the fall of the Rana regime, King Tribhuvan continued the tradition of wearing Daura Suruwal, topi and coat combination for all formal occasions.

In 2017 BS, King Mahendra, under his nationalism movement, made Daura Suruwal mandatory for all civil servants.

This cemented the place of the Nepali topi as part of the national costume. The shape, length and volume of the garment remain unchanged.

Few modifications were made during this time period to Daura Suruwal. The only modification as part of his personal style was made by Balkrishna Sama who added the Nehru collar to his daura suruwal.

Daura Suruwal Topi have been designed and redesigned through generations out of various needs and style influences leaving us with a garment that reflects the unique country that is Nepal.

National Anthem of Nepal


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