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Ladakh Traditional Dress for Man & Woman

Ladakh, an area of India that is tucked away high in the Himalayan highlands, is well known for its magnificent vistas and dynamic cultural legacy. The particular lifestyle and deeply ingrained traditions of the people who reside in this enchanted area are reflected in the traditional clothing of Ladakh. This essay will go into the fascinating traditional clothing of Ladakh for both men and women, highlighting its distinctive characteristics, historical significance, as well as enduring appeal.

Ladakh Traditional Dress for Male:

Ladakhi men dress in clothing that seamlessly integrates comfort, style, and utility. The majority of the traditional Ladakh men’s clothing is made up of numerous different components that work together to form an eye-catching ensemble.

1. Goucha

image credit: istockphoto

The iconic traditional Ladakhi coat worn by males is called a goucha. Usually fashioned of goat hair and thick wool, it offers protection from the chilly mountain air. The coat’s style has exquisite hand-woven patterns and vivid hues that pay homage to Ladakh’s long history of artistic culture.

Men dress in the Goncha, a knee-length robe, underneath the Goucha. Each hue of this robe, which is often made of wool and available in a variety of colours, represents a particular area or community in Ladakh. The Goncha is renowned for its loose fit, which makes it easy to walk around while participating in celebrations and daily activities. During weddings and other special events, individuals living in Ladakh wear imported Gonchas made of brocade, silk, and velvet from Nepal and Bhutan. Often worn is a thick fabric belt called a skerag.

2. Suruval or Shalwar

Men don Suruval, a loose-fitting pair of wool pants, to finish the traditional Ladakhi outfit. The Suruval provides comfort and warmth, enabling Ladakhi men to move about their hilly environs without difficulty.

3. Topi

A distinctive Ladakhi hat known as the “Topi,” is a must-have for males. It is composed of wool and frequently decorated with vibrant embroidery or ornamental designs that reflect the wearer’s style and place of origin.

Ladakh Traditional Dress for Female:

The traditional clothing worn by Ladakhi ladies exudes beauty and grace while showcasing their superb craftsmanship and creative creativity.

1. Goncha or Perak

Women dress in a loose-fitting robe that’s comparable to the one worn by men, known as the goncha or perak. The gorgeous hand embroidery on the Goncha for women highlights the craftsmanship and ingenuity of Ladakhi artists. The Perak, which is constructed of lavishly coloured silk or velvet and decorated with complex motifs, is often worn throughout special occasions and celebrations.

2. Skerag or Skerma

Over the Goncha or Perak, a vest-like item known as the Skerag is worn. The fabric is made of silk or brocade, and it is embellished with bright hues, intricate stitching, and occasionally even semi-precious stones. The Skerag gives the traditional clothing worn by Ladakhi women a sense of grandeur and regality.

3. Sulma

Sulma is worn by married Ladakhi women. This vibrantly coloured Ladakhi traditional garment is constructed of silk, brocade, or velvet. Skerag is knotted around the waist in a vibrant hue. Sulma is constructed in a way that resembles a ball gown almost. It may be worn with a nylon, silk, or cotton blouse. It has puffy sleeves and a less-than-fitted dress. To maintain Ladakh’s culture, the local administration has mandated that all government employees dress in traditional Ladakhi attire once a week.

4. Kos Kar – Nomads wear

Changpas are semi-nomadic people that live close to the Chinese border. It refers to a tribe in Ladakh which has numerous distinctive customs, garb, and languages. Kos Kar makes it simple to tell them apart from the others. It shields from extreme weather and is constructed of inside-out sheepskin and wool.

Additional Wear for Men and Women

Yogar and Lokpa – Traditional Cape

Women wear the square-shaped yogar and lokpa around their shoulders. While Lokpa is just made of sheepskin, Yogar is embellished with rainbow tassels, cotton or brocade, and sheep wool.

Pabu – Ladakhi Footwear

Amazing shoes by Ladkahi. In addition to keeping your feet warm, they also make a fashion statement. You have never seen anything like these sneakers before. Thikma pabu are pabu shoes with a thikma stripes painted and pointed toes on them. Jute is used to make the insole and yak or buffalo skin is used to make the outsole. They are constructed from Thima cloth and dyed with wool in shades of black, blue, white, and mustard over a maroon background.


Ladakhi women accessorize their traditional attire with a wide variety of items, such as hefty silver jewellery, elaborate headdresses, and elaborate necklaces. These accessories indicate the wearer’s social standing and cultural identity in addition to enhancing the aesthetic appeal of the ensemble.


The distinctive customs and traditions of Ladakh are visually represented by the traditional clothing worn by both men and women, which is a monument to the region’s rich cultural legacy. The brilliant colours, detailed patterns, and superb craftsmanship of these magnificent clothes inspire a sense of belonging and pride in the Ladakhi people. Ladakh remains to honour its cultural uniqueness and enchant the globe with its timeless charm by adopting and conserving its traditional attire.

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