Bringing to you the infamous “Jimmiki Kammal” song attire . The Kerela Kasavu saree, from God’s own Country. Kerela, a state in Indua, is famous for its rich culture and food, they have their own name for the sarees in that region. Traditional kerela kasavu saree, is adorned for every special occasion of all religions which emphasise on the essence of elegance and beauty of every Kerela women. Their own name for the Kerela Kasavu saree in Malayalam (traditional language of Kerela), is, Mundum Nereyathum.

Onam festival in Kerela


Kerela kasavu saree is a handloom material which enhances its glamour through the intrinsic border soaked in the colour of pure gold. The grace and appeal of the golden borders contrasting with the otherwise plain white mundum neryathum kasavu saree enhances the charm of every Keralite women. The Kasavu saree is a hot favourite during Onam festival (New Year in Kerela), not only in kerela but all over the world every women who celebrate Onam festival barring religion or culture tend to wear only the Kasavu Saree .
It all began in the beautiful land of Kerala under the kingdom of the His Highness Maharaja Balaramavarma and his chief minister Ummini Thampi who brought about the revolution of handloom industry. So soon the hand woven sarees and mundus became popular among the Dutch and the portuguese who exported them in shiploads. Soon the handloom industry was spread to different areas like that of the Chendamangalam in Ernakulam district and Koothampalli in Thrissur district, India. The invade of Vasco da Gama, unaware of the success of the handwoven industry in the future bartered gold in return of the spices. The amount of gold dumped on the shores of kerala was cleverly utilised by the upper class to be woven on the Mundu and the Neriyadu which is today popularly known as Kasavu. What, intellectual people has our Indians have been even in earlier time period !!!! The kerala kasavu originally known as the Mundum Neriyathum has its trace of origin from the buddhist era where it was segregated as Antariya and Uttariya while the style of the cloth is known to be adopted from the Graeco-Roman which was known as Palmyrene.



The weaving design on the sari symbolize and define the personality and the cultural aspect of women who had their cultural roots deep in the soil of Kerala. The original essence of this fabric felt a noticeable presence depicted through the remarkable sketches of Painter Raja Ravi Verma. The design of this fabric also found its popularity in the mythological epics like Mahabharata which portrayed Shakuntala in many Kerala Kasavu attires. The golden borders i.e the kasavu has been replaced by different kinds and colors of Zari and the designs which represent the tradition and culture has been transformed in a reshmi style to enhance the appeal of the sari. The designs woven on the kasavu saree revealed the cultural and traditional aspect of women in Kerela.

Raja Ravi Varman painting of a Kerelite women in her traditional Kasavu attire

Mundam Nereyathum

The Kasavu saree is categorised into two pieces; one is, “Kara” , which represents the coloured bit of the design which is what imprinted on the borders of the saree. The second part of the saree is the “Mundu” which is the lower part of the saree. As the Border and lower part is spoken about, so the upper part of the saree is called as “Neriyathu“. Hence, the name, “Mundam Neriyathum”.

Kasavu saree

Changing Fashions

Kasavu embroidery has gone beyond saris by imprinting themselves onto garments like salwar kameez, trendy ‘Onakodi’ attire, which is a blend of modern and traditional look, skirts, kurtas, even Kurtis for men and many more. Traditional kasavu borders have also been creatively replaced by Diamonds like Swarovski stones or customised with names on gold or silver thread zari’s and check shaped motifs and designs. Golden borders have added more colors like Green and Red or Blue to them, thus enhancing the appeal of the saree to wide range of saree lovers. The Kasavu saree can be worn for traditional festivities and also for casual as the material it is weaved on is breathable cotton. Regular Kasavu blouses have now paved the way for designer blouses, which are more in sync with today’s generation and modern fashionable tastes and trends. The upper clothing of the mundu is no longer traditionally tucked inside the Kasavu blouses, since now as per the modern trends these pallus go over the left shoulder which gives the entire attire a sophisticated look.

Actress Amala Paul in Traditional Kasavu Saree
Traditional attire of South Indian young girls- Pavadai Sattai
Bollywood Actress In traditional Kasavu Pavadai Thavani

Sonam Kapoor, in the film Ayesha wore the Kasavu saree for a scene in the movie showcasing a Kerelite wedding.

Sonam Kapoor’s fun chick flick “Ayesha” wearing Kasavu Saree with her ensemble


The kerela Kasavu saree has it’s own traditional way of styling . A hair load of mallipoo, Jimmiki Kammal, glass bangles and the saree brings out the inner beauty of every women of Kerela. Traditional copper jewellery or even gold jewellery with Ruby stones or emerald stones also gives an ethereal look to the Saree. Mohini Attam, the traditional dance of Kerala is incomplete without the Kasavu look. Today, the kerala kasavu saree have become the tradition and trademark highly practised in Kerela.

Kerela’s traditional dance – Mohini Attam
The infamous Jimmiki kammal dancers in kerela’s Kasavu saree
Premam movie fame Sai Pallavi for Onam Festival



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