Origins of the Jodhpur Bandhgala
The bandhgala is a band collared jacket that’s structured and designed as the most ideal example of formal dressing. Some of the words that often come to mind when it is mentioned is timelessly classic, powerful and undeniably regal thanks to its incredibly sharp silhouettes. It is a lesser known fact that the bandhgala actually originated from the city of Jodhpur and evolved from a traditionally loose-fitting upper garment known as the angarkha.
As the story goes, the first variations of the bandhgala was said to have first appeared in the princely state of Jodhpur during Colonial India around the 1600s. It was during the rule of the Maharaja of Jodhpur, Sri Sardar Singh, when the classic bandhgala style emerged as a fuse between the traditional and the contemporary at the time.
The Maharaja took the local angarkha attire and combined it with colonial designs to create the knee-length achkan jacket. Using western style elements like padding, lining and tailoring, the anchkan was reimagined again and a sharper, more versatile garment was made. It was here during this period that the bandhgala’s timeless characteristics emerged, forever changing the existing boxy silhouettes.
The harmonious fusion of the Indo-Western style became an instant classic throughout the country thanks to the versatility of the shorter jacket style. The princely appearance of the bandhgala along with its ability to be paired with both western and eastern pants such as the Jodhpuri breeches, made it the perfect ambassador of essential Indian style in the contemporary fashion landscape.
Over the years, the bandhgala has become synonymous with formal dressing and celebrity culture. Its versatility, fit and global appeal has transformed the course of men’s fashion not only locally in India but across the globe internationally.
It is unsurprising today to see the bandhgala being worn at formal events like weddings, on Hollywood and Bollywood red carpets and even during stately affairs – as seen on Prime Minister Narendra Modi! The modernisation of this garment has truly come a long way since its humble beginnings as an angarkha and anchkan.