11 Type of Bags that India gave the World

Banjara Bag – Made from recycled fabric such as the yokes of dresses, patched up with cross stitches, embroidery, coins, tassels and other embellishments, this bag can be trusted to add a lot of color to your outfit. Pair it with monochromes to create a statement. If the answer to ‘What do you carry in your handbag?’ is ‘Just about Everything!!’; then this bag is for you. They draw their roots from ancient North West India.

Banjara Bag with Coins and Tassles

Pitcher Bag – As the name suggests, this bag looks like a pitcher with a strap. The bag shown is a Jodhpuri leather pitcher bag with Ari embroidery and drawstring. No space for your little black book in this one.


Jhola – The Indian crossbody bag, preferred by many for comfort and just the right amount of space, this bag could be considered a staple. Carry your books and your makeup in this bag with ease. They come in an assortment of colors, composed of patch work, mirror work and embroidered motifs. These are good if you want to create a fusion look.


Potli/Batwa – An Indian classic, this drawstring bag compliments a Traditional Indian Saree with grace. Is is generally made of brightly colored Indian fabrics decorated with embroidery from kutch or banaras, embellished with stones and pearls. They can be traced back to the Vedic period in India, where they were mostly used for utility.


Bracelet Bag – A variation of the Potli Bag, it comes with bracelet-like straps instead of the traditional drawstring. They come embellished with stones and embroidery on the body while beads are used for the bracelet. It is best paired with traditional saris.


Jaipur leather bag – Jaipur is famous for its leather craft industries, especially the leather bags. The camel leather handbags and purses are known for their durability and sturdiness. These bags feature the ari embroidery and feature interesting designs, mostly rajasthani motifs. These bags have an air of understated elegance, and can be used for casual daily wear with kurtis and chudidars.


Shantiniketan Bags – Originating from West Bengal, these leather bags come in all sizes, allowing us to choose one according to the functionality. They bear beautiful designs of animals, people and flowers. Batik can also be seen as a prominent characteristic of these bags. These bags go well with almost anything.


Coir Bags – Mostly found in Kerala, these bags are made of fiber from the outer husk of a coconut. These are best used for a casual look, as they don’t have the grandeur of same of the bags above. They come mostly in white, with prints and dyes. With the concept of sustainable fashion growing, coir bags stand a chance of getting an increased popularity.


Indian Hobo – A slouchy, crescent-shaped bag with a single compartment that has a voluminous appearance. The straps and the body seem to be all of single fabric. It’s best to not use these bags for a formal occasion, while you can surely take them out for a casual day out.


Shabnam Bags – Usually handmade, these bags are small cross-body bags with a flap or a zip and a long strap. They would just be enough for a phone and a wallet, and are best suited when you need to go out for some quick errands around the house. The fabric called ‘khan’ is used in the bag shown.


The Mobile Purse – This kind thing allows you to dance freely at a wedding, as it comes with a clip that you can attach to your saree or lehenga. It can hold only your phone and some currency notes, but that suffices at such occasions. It is a modern creation, but retains all the rich embellishments of India.


The best place to shop for these bags would be your local markets, but you can also find them at brands like Holii, Mother Earth, Fab India and in even more varieties online.



  1. This was so informative and well structured! You may just as well become the Wikipedia of Indian fashion going forward if you keep doling out such pieces! Keep up the excellent work Manasi. Looking forward to more.

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