Marriage is the most attractive partnership, and the rich culture and traditions contribute to its beauty. Chants, traditional attire, food, family time, and gift exchange all contribute to the fiesta. Indian weddings are famous around the world for their extravagant and loud gatherings packed with music and dance. In terms of culture and heritage, India is a rich country. Every culture has its own style of carrying out wedding ceremonies. India is a spiritual land with diverse cultures, including Hinduism, Sikhism, Jainism, and Buddhism, among others. These civilizations are defined not only by their ideas but also by their rituals, ceremonies, and life values.
One such tradition includes typing of mangalsutra. Mangalsutra, which literally translates as “holy thread,” is an integral part of Hindu bridal jewellery and wedding traditions. Almost every community and location in the country has their own mangalsutra, albeit with a different name, form, or design. The significant use of gold, a custom deemed auspicious beyond regional borders, connects these various styles of mangalsutras. In India, the sanctity of the mangalsutra transcends all language, culture, and even religious barriers.
Let’s look closely at some of the different types of mangalsutra in India from other states and traditions:
States in the South
It is usually assumed that mangalsutra originated in India’s southern states and spread to other regions gradually. In the South, this sacred thread is known by many names based on community and caste. The thaali or thirumangalyam, a long golden thread and a gold pendant representing the ultimate deity, is among the most popular.
Various states in South India have diverse mangalsutra styles, names, and designs widely known as Thali or Thirumangalayam or Mangalyam or Thaaly or Kodi. Thali shapes and forms are mythologically derived or based on family rituals.
A typical Tamil mangalsutra or Thali Kodi includes symbolic images of the family deity, Tulsi plant, Lord Shiva, or Goddess Meenakshi, and is often embellished with gold coins, diamonds, gems, black beads, and other items in addition to the primary Thali. They are hung from a gold chain or “Manja Kayiru,” or golden thread.
Mangalsutra is worn by both Hindus and Christians in Kerala. While Hindus refer to it as Thali, a leaf-shaped pendant, Christians refer to it as Minnu, a cross-shaped pendant. The Thali is traditionally worn on a gold chain.
In Telugu traditions, there are various forms of mangalsutra, each with its own names, such as Mangalasutramu, Pustelu, Maangalyamu, Ramar Thaali, and Bottu, depending on the community, caste, and locality. A typical Telugu Mangalsutra consists of two round discs or coins linked on a yellow thread and is unified on the sixteenth day of marriage, signifying the union and harmony between the two families. Various sorts of mangalsutra designs are followed in accordance with the community’s traditional and cultural values.
Mangalsutra is known as “Karthamani Pathak” in Karnataka, particularly in the Coorg region, where Karthamani and Pathak are two independent jewellery pieces. The Karthamani is made of corals and gold beads strung together on a thread or gold chain and worn with the Pathak, a gold pendant with a huge gold coin with Lakshmi inscription and little round rubies scattered around the perimeter.
Other States of India
The other states of India also have a wide variety of customs regarding gold mangalsutra.
The Maharashtrian mangalsutra is well-known for its double line of black and gold beads with a central pendant of two gold vats or cups. This vati design represents Shiva and Shakti, and the holy union is symbolized by two strands of gold beads fused together. The black and gold beads in the mangalsutra strand are thought to fend off evil and bring happiness into a marriage. Younger brides frequently wear the mangalsutra pendant flipped to the front for the first year of marriage to demonstrate their newlywed status.
Gujarati brides used to wear a diamond nose stud to represent their marital status. They also don the customary mangalsutra, which is made up of black beads and delicate gold pendants. Modern mangalsutra designs combine a shorter chain with a modern gold or diamond pendant for increased wearability.
The bichua, or toe-ring, is one of the most important emblems of bridal jewellery in the Bihari tradition. Bihari brides also wear the ‘Taagpaag’ mangalsutra. This is a one-of-a-kind piece of jewellery with twin strands and a gold pendant.
Kashmir has distinctive bridal jewellery known as Dijhor or Dehjoor, which consists of multiple gold earrings strung together with a plain red thread. Soon after the wedding, the groom’s family replaces the thread with a gold chain. The aath, which literally translates to a little golden ornament, is the term given to this chain.
Modern Day Mangalsutra
Contemporary mangalsutra sets the trend and represents a fashion statement. Wearing a mangalsutra has grown fashionable in recent years. Seeing the expanding movement and demand, jewellers are creating a variety of styles, including the mangalsutra, with a hint of colour utilizing gemstones. Mangalsutra is traditionally worn in chains. Mangalsutra bracelets have recently been developed in chain form.
Although many sorts of mangalsutra designs and styles are increasingly popular nowadays, the significance of mangalsutra remains the same, even among young brides who choose something stylish and classy.
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