An Anarkali Shalwar suit is a form of women's dress. The anarkali suit is made up of a long, frock-style top and features a slim fitted bottom.The anarkali is an extremely elegant style that is worn by women in Pakistan and other countries in South Asia. 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.
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 India 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 Anarakali suit finds its roots in the Mughal and Persian cultures. The various forms of 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 to the Indian classical dance-form Kathak. In fact, Anarakali tends to be the regular costume of the dancers, practicing the Kathak form of the Lucknow Gharana.