himachal pradesh,  thoughts

Himachali cap – Know all about Pahari Topi

If you’ve ever been to Himachal, you’ve must have seen local people donning the colorful Wollen caps- The Himachali cap ,also called as Pahari topi. Every Himachali have at least one Himachali Cap in their wardrobe. The Pahadi Topi is not merely a headgear for Pahari people, rather it is a symbol of pride. It holds a very special place in the heart of people. The Himachali cap is admired for its craftsmanship, stitching & blend of colors on its exteriors. This cap is probably the most bought souvenir by the tourists visiting Shimla, Manali or any hill station in Himachal. In this post I’ve penned down some information and thoughts about the cap.

Himachali cap
Image of Kinnauri topi with flower – A Himachali topi with flower

The History of the Himachali Cap (Pahadi Topi)

The Himachali cap has its roots in the hills of present day Himachal and Uttrakhand. It’s believed that the people in Kinnaur region used to wear this cap, known as Kinnauri Topi. Slowly, it reached different parts of himachal, but with variation in design patterns and the color. The bone-chilling cold on the hills of Himachal needs no introduction. The temperature in some parts goes down to – 20°c. and people need to cover up in order to keep ourselves warm, and these woolen caps do their job well.

Types of Himachali Cap (Pahadi Topi)

Broadly speaking, there are 3 types of Himachali topi (caps). These are basically round woolen caps, with a colorful flap on the front side. The color of the flap of these caps lands them into the following three categories.
– Bushehri (from Bushehr, Rampur region of Himachal). In case of Bushehri cap the flap, color is maroon
– Kinnauri (from Kinnaur district of Himachal). The flap color of this type of cap is green
– kulluvi (from Kullu & Manali region of Himachal). The flap of kulluvi topi is multicolored

However, with the changing times’ new designs and color patterns of these caps have come up and it’s all mixed up now. However, for fashion enthusiasts it a Himachali cap, be it any color. They just pick according to their color preferences and what suits them. Below are some of the most commonly worn colors

Images of the types of Himachali caps (topi)

Himachali cap with flowers

The first picture of this post displays a Himachali cap with a flower. The flower is also called chamka. These white-colored flowers add to the beauty of the Himachali cap. To be precise these are not flowers. These look like flowers but actually are the seeds of the flower namely Oroxylum Indicum. Earlier people also used Kalgi, the crest of Monal bird. However using kalgi is banned now. Also, Some people also use crafted silver crest as well.

The political significance

Generally, a person wearing maroon colored cap is perceived to be a BJP supporter and a person wearing green colored cap is said to be a congress supporter. Once, Virbhadra Singh (congress leader) threw away the maroon-colored cap during a facilitation ceremony of a function. This incident is sufficient enough to tell the cap color politics in Himachal. The color politics was more prevalent when Virbhadra Singh and Prem Kumar Dhumal were in active politics.

How to wear a pahadi cap?

The Himachali cap has a colored flap on half of the area of the cap. While wearing the cap you can put the start of the color flap, in line with the temple of your forehead. This way the cap looks really good on the person just as shown below.

Himachali cap
How to wear a pahadi cap – The elegance of Himachali cap

Himachali Cap Online Shopping

The price of Himachali caps depends on the quality of the material used. The price varies from ₹ 300 – ₹ 1000. You can purchase them from government emporiums as well as private shops throughout the state of Himachal. However, if you want to buy them online. You can buy it online from amazon.


  • Irminsul

    I bought a Kulluvi topi recently from an ethnic/fairtrade store in England. The proprietor said that whether one wore it flap-to-front, to the back or sideways told other people your marital status. Can you confirm that or give more information on which way means which? Thanks and blessings

  • Akhil Rohal

    Hello, thanks for visiting. I'm not aware of any such custom. But, I'll definitely try to find if there's something like this.

  • Lalit

    Good article about our beloved pahadi topi. Thanks for writing this. Please write more such articles about our culture

  • Abhay

    This cap is (either red or green) Crown of bushahri people and people are attached to it emotionally. Thanks for writing this article 🙂

  • Shrikant

    he Himachali cap has its roots in the hills of Himachal and u did a quite job in writing it down.

  • daksh

    Himachali topi hamari shan hai. jai himachal

  • Sunny

    Very well discribed. Thanks for sharing and good picture.

  • Ishan

    Wonderful post. I can’t wait to read far more from you.
    This is actually a wonderful site.

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