A to Z Challenge 2016

The best sun hat to fight the sun #atozchallenge

Image for sola topee from the top

Image for Sola TopeeIsn’t it strange that the sun is still shining but people have stopped wearing the  sun hat.  At one time, everyone covered their heads, when they stepped out as this was the best way to fight the sun . In  the days of the Raj, the Safari Helmet or Sola Topee any gentleman going out during the day wore a sun hat.  Thus the sola topee was commonly seen hanging in many Indian homes, particularly those of Military Officers, Tea planters, Government officials or just those who just liked to keep themselves insulated from the sun.

What is a sun hat made of?

Made out of the pith of an Indian swamp plant Aeschynomene aspera and covered with either white or khaki coloured fabric,  it started out as a military hat but was soon adopted by several civilians working/ living in the tropics.

About 30 years ago, I was looking around for a birthday present for Hubby Dear in Mumbai’s  Crawford Market area and came upon a hat shop. Rather hesitantly I asked for a Sola Topee and was quite amazed when the shopkeeper actually showed me one! I immediately bought it and a very thrilled Hubby Dear  proudly wore it every morning on his walk. But over time, his walks stopped (surprised?)and the hat sat out its days on our piano as a decorative piece.

One day, P, my daughter’s class mate decided it was a great way to annoy her and grabbed it and ran around the house,like a mad hatter, wearing it till it was dripping with sweat.  Naturally, I kept it away, especially since I couldn’t replace it easily.H for Hat

However, those really interested,can buy one from China or Vietnam where they are still manufactured. Or, if you want 5000 and more, call up Popular Sola Hat Works at Lohar Chawl who will gladly make them for you!

Image for BellyBytes




I’m participating with over 1000 bloggers in the 7th  A to Z Challenge  and will be blogging the whole of April about the ‘ Things around My House’, from A to Z. Today I take you back to the days of the Raj when a Sun Hat was seen on every gentleman’s head. 

Do visit the A to Z Challenge posts on Facebook.

Author: Bellybytes

Proud Mumbai gal who always sees the humour in life. The mum who made banana fritters when all the other mums made cupcakes.

14 Comments on “The best sun hat to fight the sun #atozchallenge

  1. I’ve never seen a hat quite like this one.

    I live in Northern California and try to always wear a hat outside. I do it so I don’t get wrinkles from squinting. I’m 46, soon to be 47 and so far my plan is working.

    Great post!
    Shelly recently posted…Garden Vegetable DipMy Profile

    1. Thanks for stopping by! Another tip to avoid squinting in the sun is to stay away from it 😉

  2. Sunita, I never knew that the insides of the hat were of plant base. In a country of over-abundant sunshine I always wonder why people don’t take to wearing hats for protection and also as chic style statements!
    An informative post! Truly its amazing, the things you can get at Crawford market!
    @KalaRavi16 from

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