How To Wear A Coorgi Saree

As the name suggests, the Coorgi style of draping a saree comes from the small hill-station town of Coorg in Karnataka. The Coorgi style is different from all other styles of draping a saree – thus unique in its own way.

In this style, the pallu comes in front from over the shoulder while the pleats are pushed backwards. Kodagu Style or Kodava Attire are two other names by which the Coorgi style is known. Unlike other styles of draping a saree, the Coorgi has not been changed much since its origin. It allows women to move freely while climbing the hills in Coorg.


According to some beliefs, the style was very useful for women in climbing up trees and other elevated areas during attacks from tigers and other wild animals. Usually some women use a matching piece of cloth as a headband along with this style.

The Mythological Connection

There are many mythological tales about the origin of this style of draping the saree, however the most popular one is of Agastya Muni and his wife Kaveri. According to the story, Kaveri, also known as Lopamudra (daughter of Kavera Muni), had married Agastya Muni on the condition that he would never leave her.

However on one occasion, Agastya Muni goes out for a stroll leaving Kaveri alone at home. Angered and distraught by his action, Kaveri decides to leave her husband and turn into the river Kaveri to serve the people of Kodagu. Kaveri does not stop no matter how many times Agastya Muni begs and pleads. During one of his attempts to stop her from turning into a river, harsh winds blow and push the pleats of her saree towards the back.


The saree usually has three main components –

Kala Kuppya (Jacket)

The traditional jacket or kala kuppya was earlier a plain cloth worn under the saree with long sleeves closed up to the neck. With time and evolution of trends the jacket was replaced with a short-sleeved choli.

Vastra (headscarf)

A vastra is a rectangular piece of cloth which covers the head like a headscarf. The vastra was first worn on the eve of a woman’s marriage and was also worn while going outdoors. It had ornate motifs and designs on it which with time became plain, while the length of the cloth increased.


The undergarment was only introduced during colonial times. It is a piece of a cloth of calf-length which flows in cotton-like material. A petticoat of ankle length is added to give volume to the saree.

For those of you who wish to try on this unique style, here’s a style by step tutorial on how to go about it.


The first step is to start from the back and hold one end of the saree straight in a way that its bottom matches the bottom of your petticoat horizontally. Now start tucking the saree into the waistline of your petticoat from the back. The draping must be done anti-clockwise as you look down at it.


Complete one round of draping and then make around 6 to 7 pleats at the back. It sounds complicated but remember, it is just the opposite of a regular saree. When you have your neat pleats ready, tuck them in the petticoat from the back.


Now continue with the anti-clockwise draping in a way that you pull up the saree from the front keeping it horizontally across your chest. Make another round and bring the saree in front from back over your right shoulder. Pin it nicely over the blouse using a safety pin or a brooch.


There you go! There’s your Coorgi style of draping a saree done step by step. Do write back to us with updates on how you like this style!

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