A Dhaka topi or Nepali topi is a type of hat, popular in Nepal. Nepali Dhaka topi/ the hat is made of a fabric called dhaka, which is also used for a type of blouse, a dhaka-ko-cholo. The word topi means “hat” in the Nepali language. Men wear a long kurta dawra suruyal and patuka instead of a belt. Patuka, is a piece of cloth or linen that is made like a rope and worn around the waist, sometimes to act as a belt and sometimes as a place to hold utensils/knife. As you might imagine, Dhaka topi is worn almost always by men and its very unusual to see females wearing Dhaka topi in Nepal. Dhaka topi is also seen very commonly by politicians and government officials as a part of National uniform.As seen in the picture aside, Dhaka topi is available in variety of colors and patterns and different types are worn based on the function and the person wearing the hat. Tourists are usually fond of these hats due to they unique origin/connection to Nepal.
Dhaka topi can be purchased in Nepal at most fabric store. Dhaka topis are also available in most souvenir or handicraft stores. Western town of Palpa is known for its quality dhaka topis.
Dhaka topi(Nepali Dhaka topi) got its name as the fabric used to be manufactured mostly in the Bangladeshi capital of Dhaka in the past. With the adoption of Dhaka topi in Nepali culture, Nepal not produces most of the Dhaka fabric all around Nepal.
The Dhaka topi is so called because the design of the print can be traced to a traditional weaving and design style originating in Dhaka, Bangladesh. This is evident when comparing Nepali Dhaka topi designs with Jamdani sari designs from Bangladesh.
Nepalis consider Dhaka topi as a pride, and it is very much attached to the culture. It is widely worn by government employees, and forms a part of national dress.
Though the history of Dhaka topi is still debated, it is believed to be used by the Nepali people since at least last two hundred years, and is the replica of Bhadgaunle topi ( a black round hat, used in nepal) made from dhaka fabric.
By- Bikul Koirala