Gamcha – the multi-purpose sweat towel


What’s this?

Does this gamcha belong to one of the men of this household and has been hung outside, ready to be used when he next goes out? Or has it been dropped by someone else on the road, and has been hung up in view so that the owner may reclaim it?

gamcha is a piece of thin, coarse cotton, often checked, used to dry off the body after bathing or to wipe off sweat.  It’s worn by men, draped over one shoulder, ready to go.  It can also be used to tie up a package of food, sit on or lie on, pick up a hot cooking pot with, wrap around your head to protect it from the sun, swat mosquitoes with, play cards on, wear as a dhoti (a knee-length loin cloth worn by men) or whatever you like – it’s multi-purpose!

Of course, when I saw this gamcha, I wasn’t admiring its versatility, I was simply noticing how lovely its turquoise blue looked against the two tones of yellow on this house.

Where’s this?

Pushkar, Rajasthan – very hot for much of the year, the gamcha is very useful here!



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