How ALTBalaji's Magnum Opus Web Series Paurashpur Conjures The Past Through its Magnificent Costumes!


Costumes play a key role in any visual narrative. It helps actors transform into larger-than-life characters on-screen. That is especially true when the story is an epic drama where the costumes express not only the social and cultural bearings but also the mood and personality of the characters portrayed. Something the creators of ALTBalaji’s Paurashpur understood very early on when they embarked on creating this period drama.

Set in medieval India, the narrative of Paurashpur demands costumes that do justice to the medieval characters and the well-known heritage of Indian textile craft. This is perhaps why the creators of this epic series sought out the late Leena Daru to design the costumes for this show. A veteran of the Bollywood industry, Leena Daru has worked with well-known actors like Hema Malini, Sridevi, Rekha, and Madhuri Dixit.


Famous for designing costumes for classics such as Umrao Jaan, Leena Daru was the perfect choice for creating the otherworldly look that still resonates with the modern audience. Considering the wide range of characters in the series, the creators of Paurashpur had to collaborate with a designer who could bring out the grand narrative they had in mind through powerful and time-appropriate costumes. And that is exactly what the national award-winning costume designer did!

Paurashpur director, Shachindra Vats, revealed how excited he was when he learned that a legend such as Leena Daru would be a part of the Paurashpur team. In an interview, he added, “She [Leena Daru] worked on individual character sketches in terms of their characterization and traits, and eventually created wonderful costumes for them. She had personally sketched every character beautifully. The costumes are very relatable yet stylish. Every character’s frame is stylish enough to attract you. Leena Ji is the soul of ‘Paurashpur’.”

Detailed and intricate, each of the designed costumes in Paurashpur portrays the journey of the character themselves. From the trailer itself, one can perceive how the grandiose costumes, luxurious sets, and rich frames set the tone for this epic narrative. Each character is carefully dressed in bearings that symbolize their status, personality, thought process, and sometimes even their intentions.

Let’s look at the two main female characters of the series — Queen Meerawati and Kala. We see the queen dressed in luxurious, colorful silks and decked in jewels as she walks around the palace and encourages Boris to join her rebellion. On the other hand, Kala, the maid, is seen in monochrome clothes, with minimal jewelry. The contrast between these two women living in the same palace is evident from their chosen costumes. Boris, played by Milind Soman, is a trans character and looks every bit glorious in the series. We see him sporting nose-pins and studs along with simple dhotis, shifting effortlessly between the roles of a warrior and an entertainer.


In the show, while Boris fights to be accepted as an individual, he also realizes the discrimination against women. So, Boris takes up the fight for them to be treated as human beings, at the least. This especially comes to light when Shinde and Soman’s character discusses the future of the kingdom. “Humara khwaab hai ki Paurashpur aur hum isse aazaad dekhna chahte hain,” says the Queen, and Boris questions the rules of the kingdom, saying, “Paurashpur zimmedaari hai humari… isse uthaane ke liye kandhe aur iraade dono mazboot chhaiye!

Paurashpur is one of the last ventures of Leena Daru, as the legend passed away last July. That gives us one more reason to appreciate the beautiful costumes she designed for the characters of Paurashpur. Her legacy lives on in the towering characters like Boris, Queen Meerawati, and Kala.

After the anticipation following the release of trailers, Paurashpur premiered on 29 December 2020. Though set in medieval India, Paurashpur stays relevant today for its commentary on gender politics, political conspiracies, and greed for power. The fictional drama series promises to be a ride packed with adventure, action, romance, betrayal, and intrigue. It features seasoned actors such as Annu Kapoor, Shilpa Shinde, Milind Soman, Shaheer Sheikh, Sahil Salathia, Anantvijay Joshi, Poulomi Das, Aditya Lal, Ashmita Bakshi, Kashish Rai, and Flora Saini. Watch all episodes of Paurashpur on ALTBalaji to experience an epic unfurl from the comfort of your living room!

Share your thoughts with us in the comments below, and let us know what you loved most about the costumes of Paurashpur.