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Five yards of grace

The sari, which was first worn more than 5,000 years ago, is easily one of the most elegant garments a woman can drape around herself.

Ranging in length from 5 yards to over 9 yards, it can be worn in hundreds of different styles and is created from innumerable varieties of fabric.

It has dozens of names -- dhoti, cheera, sadi, podavai -- but the word sari or saree is said to have been derived from the Sanskrit word sati or strip of cloth.

Saris are common in India's villages, towns and cities, but a woman who can carry off a sari with special elegance stands out in the crowd.

rediff.com presents a list of wellknown women who wear a sari with great style.

We begin with India's Italian-born bahu. Sonia Gandhi started life wearing skirts and dresses and only started wearing saris after she married Rajiv Gandhi in the late 1960s.

Today, she is only seen in Indian attire, occasionally salwar kameezes, but more often the sari.

And wow can she wear a sari!

Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

Also See: Mother's Day: Gift her your love,care and joy

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