Dhaka Topi Of The Nepalese

Megha Rana
Megha Rana
Megha Rana is a third year student pursuing BA Prog from Jesus and Mary College. She is a researcher in the Indigenous. She belong to the Gorkha community. She is passionate about diplomacy and international relations.

In one of the superhit Nepali songs of Kunti Moktan titled "Choli Ramro Palpali Dhaka Ko," it is no less clear that there exists a special bond between Palpali and Dhaka. Palpa is a district in Nepal and Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh. Dhaka here also signifies the hand-spun cotton inlay-pattern weaving style designed to create intricately patterned, colourful panels for the fabric. With the recent Bollywood film song "Keti Ko," this hat has gained popularity.

The Dhaka topi or Nepali topi is a hat that is popular in Nepal and among the Nepalese-speaking population all around the world and is worn by men in administrative work and celebrations.


Numerous stories entail the origin and introduction of this topi to mainstream culture. However, it is widely accepted and administered that the fabric was initially imported from Dhaka and is similar to Bangladesh's Jamdani Style.The cloth was highly lavish and of high cost; it was only within the reach of the monarchs and other royals and remained exclusive to the aristocratic Ranas and other rich people for many years. The credit for introducing this to the common people goes to Ganesh Man Maharjan.

The Palpa district, his native place, became a hub of Dhaka weaving in Nepal. Currently, the fabric is completely manufactured and produced in Nepal. In the early 1950s, Maharjan travelled to India in an effort to make money. In addition to learning to weave Dhaka cloth while working in a factory, he later made the decision to go back and establish his own weaving business in his hometown. He returned to Nepal in 1957, carrying one spool and one hand-operated taan (a loom, or charkha) with him. He and his wife persevered at their Palpa District house to produce Dhaka fabric. It is stated that Ganesh Man Maharjan trained and supported almost all of the individuals who worked at the Dhaka production facility in Palpa. His effort laid the foundation for the propagation of the Dhaka topi and other clothes like blouses, bags, and more.

The greatest advantage of Palpa district is the availability of the pine trees that were used for the traditional weaving machines. These hand-spun woven fabrics are of finer quality and elucidate the art of superior craftsmanship with varying designs.

Currently, the Darjeeling and Sikkim regions of India also contribute to its production and market.

Way to wear

The topi is round at the base, has a height of 3 to 4 inches, and is attired in multiple ways. First, the top of the cap is folded in with a trough in the middle and the sides are raised a little higher. The second way is that the middle portion is slightly lifted in comparison to the two pointed extremes. In either of the methods, the cap is moderately tilted towards the left forehead, above the eyebrow.

1st and 2nd ways of wearing respectively

Popularity and Significance

King Mahendra of Nepal, who reigned from 1955 to 1972, is credited with popularising the cap by having all official portraits for passports and other documents taken while wearing a Dhaka topi.The national dress of Nepal consisted of the Daura Suruwal and the Dhaka topi.

During the festivals of Dashain and Tihar, Dhaka topis are distributed as presents and are a visual delight during marriage ceremonies.

Culturally, the Dhaka Topi illustrates the mountains and the Himalayas. The topi is said to portray the mountain after the glacial melting. Melted ice encourages the growth of greenery and vibrantly coloured flowers in the mountain's lower terrains.

Dhaka topi forms a crucial expression of Nepalese identity, culturally and politically as well.


  1. Dhaka's Palpali HistoryPalpali Dhaka Association, 2021 (April 18). https://pda.org.np/2021/04/18/history-of-palpali-dhaka-association/
  2. Dented Pride: The Story of Daura Suruwal and Dhaka Topi (n.d.) ECS NEPAL. http://ecs.com.np/features/dented-pride-the-story-of-daura-suruwal-and-dhaka-topi
  3. Palpali dhaka is to be branded to protect local industry. 2021, November 15). https://kathmandupost.com/money/2021/11/15/palpali-dhaka-to-be-branded-to-protect-local-industry
  4. Palpali Dhaka (n.d.) ECS NEPAL. http://ecs.com.np/features/palpali-dhaka
  5. Parajuli, R. (2019, December 12). Dhaka Topi: The Symbol of Nepalese Nationality—Handicrafts in Nepal Handicrafts in Nepal https://handicraftsinnepal.com/dhaka-topi
  6. Nepali Dhaka topi (2012, July 20) Internet Archive. https://web.archive.org/web/20160219093219/ http://www.nepalabout.com/nepali-dhaka-topi/
  7. Dhaka topi is losing appeal among younger Nepalis. (2016, August 27). The Himalayan Times https://thehimalayantimes.com/kathmandu/dhaka-topi-losing-appeal-among-younger-nepalis/