By Hemant Chauhan
Shimla, Jan 24 : The caps of Himachal Pradesh have become a source of livelihood for thousands in the hill state.
These bright and colourful woollen caps have become the identity of the State and are generally called 'Himachali Topi'.
They are popularly known as Bushehri, Kinnauri and Kulluwi cap's conforming to the particular areas of the state.
"Himachali Cap has been a royal identity for us and it is still the same and will always be. The cap making industry has attracted a lot of people and almost 10per cent to 12 per cent of the youth are involved in it," said Raghunandan, Cap Maker, Shimla.
The colourful borders with beautiful patterns are separately woven on small looms by artisans across the State.
The traditional cap is available at the price of fifty to three hundred rupees.
Maroon, green and multi-coloured caps are preferably used on occasions like marriage and also as a gift to guests.
Cap making business has become the secondary business after farming and horticulture in the state.
"It's a scattered business or you may say scattered industry. People are making it in homes and selling in domestic markets, to the locals. It's very difficult to tell how many people are making or doing this business. No study has been taken on this point as far as my knowledge goes," said Ravinder Sood, Manager, Himachal Emporium.
The government is also providing financial assistance to these cottage industry workers to set up their own businesses.
Himachali caps form an integral part of local fairs and festivals where people, mostly men, flaunt the resplendent headgear as part of their traditional attire.