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Tamil girl dressed in ravike and langa, ca. 1907

A Langa Voni (Langa Voni Telugu: లంగా ఓణీ, Pavadai Daavani Tamil: பாவாடை, Langa Davani Kannada: ಲಂಗ ದಾವಣಿ) is a traditional dress worn mainly in South India by young girls between puberty and marriage. It is also known as the two-piece saree or half saree.[1] Young girls between puberty and marriage wear this dress. Girls younger than this may wear it on special occasions.

It comprises a Langa or Paavadai, a skirt which is tied around the waist using string, and a Voni, Oni, or Davani, which is a cloth usually 2 to 2.5 metres in length. The voni is draped diagonally over a choli (a tight fitting blouse, same as worn for saree). Usually, the garment is woven with cotton or silk. A variant of this is the Gagra choli of North India (the difference between the two being the direction of draping the voni or dupatta). The modern day "lengha-style sari," worn by Indians across the subcontinent mainly for special occasions, is inspired by the Langa Voni.


The half saree facilitates the transition from the childhood paavadai (skirt) sattai (blouse) to the saree, the more complicated drape worn by adult women. Usually the langa (paavadai) and voni are brightly colored and contrasting to each other. At a glance, the half saree outfit can look similar to southern styles of saree because the drape travels in the same direction: tucked into the front of the skirt, then wrapped around the waist, and then draped over the opposite shoulder. However, the voni is shorter, and the wearer is not required to manually pleat the cloth, as is done when draping the saree. In addition, the voni is less restrictive, allowing the wearer to move her legs freely.

Modern day[edit]

The influence of western culture and the perception of the dress as inconvenient has led to the decline of the half saree as daily wear, in favor of the Shalwar kameez or western clothes. However, the langa voni has inspired the modern day "lengha-style sari" and has seen a comeback.

In recent years, however, the langa oni is gaining popularity among girls and young women as occasional wear due to attention in media and fashion. Once very simple, they can now be seen with extravagant embroidery, mirror or zari work, and bold colors like black and grey which were once considered inauspicious. There is also a greater diversity of fabrics being used in addition to the usual silk or cotton, including chiffon, georgette, crepe and nylon. Full sarees are sometimes woven so that the fabric, when worn, changes color or pattern at the hip, in order to give the visual effect of a langa voni.

Significance in Coming of age ceremony[edit]

Main article: Half-Sari Ceremony

In South India Coming of age ceremony or rites of passage (Langa Voni Telugu: లంగా వోని, Pattu Pavadai Tamil: பட்டு பாவாடை, Langa Davani Kannada: ಲಂಗ ದಾವಣಿ) is celebrated when a girl reaches puberty. She wears a Langa Voni given by her maternal grandparents, which is worn during the first part of the ceremony and then she is given her first Sari by her paternal grandparents, which she wears during the second half of the ceremony. This marks her transition into womanhood.

The tradition of presenting Langa Vonis from the maternal grandparents in some communities begins with the girl's first naming ceremony Namakaran and her first rice feeding ceremony called Annaprashana. She receives her last one at her coming of age ceremony.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Pavadai Dhavani". Tamilnadu.com. 26 January 2013. 

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Langa_Voni — Please support Wikipedia.
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24 news items

The Hindu

The Hindu
Fri, 06 Nov 2015 16:22:30 -0800

Not every day one would wear an impeccable white shirt and wrap around an equally immaculate dhoti to the college; or, for that matter, invest in a designer 'langa-voni' (half-sari) or a sari for an occasion to throw up a pleasant surprise. This was ...

International Business Times, India Edition

International Business Times, India Edition
Sun, 10 Jan 2016 23:38:40 -0800

Ritu Kala Samskara Ceremony or Ritusuddhi is known as Langa Voni in Telugu, Pattu Pavadai in Tamil and Langa Davani in Kannada. After a girl's first menstruation, she is deemed to have become a young woman both physically and spiritually and she is ...

The Hindu

The Hindu
Tue, 20 Oct 2015 17:36:19 -0700

The women, particularly the bashful young girls sported the long forgotten traditional dress – 'langa, voni, and also the ornaments such as anklets, armlets, braids, girdles and what not. The women vied with each other with long plaits beautifully ...


Wed, 15 Jul 2015 05:56:12 -0700

Anasuya felt why anyone from mega family becomes hero after watching Bunny's act in langa voni in his debut movie 'Gangothri'. But after watching his transformation in 'Arya', she was quite thrilled and became his ardent fan. She added that she did not ...

Times of India

Times of India
Sun, 25 Oct 2015 11:36:28 -0700

"Reyyy! Nee history lo blood undemo...na bloodke history undi," (loosely translates to, your history might have a lot of blood, but my blood has a history of its own) thunders Balayya in the recently released teaser of Dictator, that has gone viral ...

Times of India

Times of India
Tue, 28 Jul 2015 05:56:55 -0700

In his imagination, she always wore a sari or a langa voni! So, in broad daylight he decides to disrobe her; he strips her off her uniform and drapes her in a sari, just so she becomes the woman of his dreams. Tell me, how many of you think this is ...

The Hans India

The Hans India
Mon, 30 Nov 2015 00:53:17 -0800

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Fri, 26 Jun 2015 18:52:30 -0700

Recently, the posters of Swathi's upcoming film 'Tripura' were released in which she was seen in traditional 'Langa-Voni' attire. What was remarkable about her appearance was that she seemed to have put on weight and her face also looked more mature ...

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