Is Shalwar Kameez a Punjabi dress?

sorry i want to make few amendments here

the above painting dont really show baggy pants, but they do show loose pants and leggings like churidar.

when it comes to baggy pants, both pajamas and shalwar can vary in their ''bagginess''

here are pajamas which are clearly baggy, if they are loose then shalwars clearly resemble these types of pajamas


maybe we have been wearing pajamas all along while calling them shalwar kameez and the balochs only wearing the true shalwars as baggy pants.

until there is evidence of such types of pajamas from pre islamic periods, one may assume that baggy trousers didn't exist in india, there are some paintings which depict loose garments like dhoti but its hard to distinguish if they are stitched or unstitched. So there is a chance that shalwar may have arrived and got tailored in south asia, where as i think kameez is strictly of south asian origins.


11th century AD, alchi monastry paining.

here you go, probably rajputs or kashmiris or punjabis wearing shalwar even before islamic conquest.

so in short, it is pretty dumb to suppose that afghans wore shalwars, while their eastern neighbours followed totally different customs. The north western india, the afghanistan/kabul region was even ruled by the same dynasty for a certain time called hindu shahis

discriminating iranic afghans and non iranic indo aryan Punjabis or rajputs seems to be pretty dumb, as linguistics were not enough reasons for declaring a particular group of people such as Punjabis, kashmiris, rajputs adhering to completely different customs.

shalwar which is a perian word seems to be a general word for ''pants'' which may not be baggy, the original word sirwal comes from arabic which is semitic. Arabs/semites also knew shalwars and it is also proven through bronze age carvings like this one. Its also assumed that pants were introduced to arabia by the iranians jut because a lot of south arabian carving depicts dhoti wearers.


so shalwars might not even be an iranic dress to begin with as scythians were not known for wearing ''shalwars''

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Kanishka statue wearing shalwar, excavated from afghanistan


this is the baloch type shalwar we are talking about and not the preent day afghani shalwar


Kanishka statue mathura which shows typical indian dressing, this shows that he is not wearing scythian clothing but typically indian one, as indian kings used to wear, this resembles the achkan dressing


ujjain coin



kanishka shalwar vs afghani shalwar in present day afghanistan feel the difference?

this looks more like the turk dressing which is quoted



Ad Honorem
Jun 2014
New Delhi, India
It is a Central Asian steppe dress. Probably Aryans brought it here. Must have come to India millenniums before Muslims.
Baggy or tight, fashions change. :)