Cosmetics, Costumes and Ornaments in Ancient India

by Remadevi. O. | 2009 | 54,177 words

This page relates ‘Kambala (Blanket)’ of the study on cosmetics, costumes and ornaments of ancient India based on Sanskrit sources. Chapter one deals with cosmetics and methods of enhancing beauty; Chapter two deals with costumes, garments and dresses; Chapter three deals with ornaments for humans and animals. Each chapter deals with their respective materials, types, preparation and trade, as prevalent in ancient Indian society.

2.4. Kambala (Blanket)

Blankets were used even at an early period. We have reference to them in the Dharmasūtras, Śrautasūtras, Purāṇas and in the epics. Usually blankets were of wool or hair of goat. They were printed and painted also.

Amarakośa[1] gives the name Rallaka for blankets. Āpastamba-dharmasūtra[2] insists on wearing woollen blankets by Snātakas of all castes. In Baudhāyana-dharmasūtra[3], a blanket made of the hair of mountain goat is termed as Kutapa. In Purāṇas[4], we have reference to fine Nepal blankets. Citrarallaka, mentioned in Skandapurāṇa[5] indicates the printed or painted blankets. Mārkaṇḍeyapurāṇa[6] mentions Kambala as a gift article. In Vālmīki-rāmāyaṇa[7] also we read of Kekayarāja presenting coloured blankets to Bharata along with other gift articles. Ladies of harem usually wore a fine variety of thin blankets. The expression [...] in Mahābhārata[8], indicates soft and thin blankets worn.

Footnotes and references:








Skandapurāṇa, 5.3.90; Mārkaṇḍeyapurāṇa, 22.86


4.1, 3.13






EI, p.236

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