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Various Mangalsutra Designs From Different States Of India
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Indian Weddings are the most sacred and elaborate interpretation of the rich culture of India. From decorations to food, every step leading to the wedding has a valuable custom representing different Indian heritage. Mangalsutra is one such valuable custom in the form of an adornment.
Mangalsutra is a necklace with a combination of gold pendant and black beads which symbolizes the strong bond between the couple and graces them with happiness and positivity. Further below, we will talk about the different mangalsutra from around India, their designs, names they are known by and the belief it carries in each state.
Mangalsutra in North
Mangalsutra is known as TaagPaag in Bihar. The design of this mangalsutra is a gold pendant with black beads that is similar to that of Maharashtra but with more intrication and thickness of the pendant. Brides in bihar also wear toe rings known as “Bichwa” which is equally important ornamentation of the weddings there & is believed to help reproduction in women.
This mangalsutra design is a traditional patent mangalsutra design with gold and black beads with intricate gold design being the main attraction of the chain. Now-a-days, women adorn a diamond pendant with a short mangalsutra length. Gujurati Brides also adorn a nose stud to represent their marital status.
Marwaris don’t have the tradition of mangalsutra but is similar to the Sikh tradition, wearing a Chuda is very important for a Marwari bride. Some marwaris do incorporate the ritual of mangalsutra in their weddings and adorn a mangalsutra design that is a very royal and stately with intricate embellishment of studs on the pendant and a black and diamond beads on the chain.
Sindhi mangalsutra is generally a gold and black beaded chain design that is picked up by the groom’s side of the family or either ideated by both the groom and the bride themselves. With more evolved designs, the brides are leaning towards a more contemporary style of mangalsutra design that can be adorned every day.
A mangalsutra in Kashmiri weddings are in fact earrings hanging by a red thread with gold pendant woven in between, known as Dijhor or Dejhoor. The gold pendant is the size of an almond and is long in length striking the collar bones of the bride. This length of the mangalsutra is kept so wishing the long life of the groom. The red thread on the mangalsutra is later on replaced by a gold chain which is gifted by bride’s in-laws after the wedding. It is considered a bad omen to lose a mangalsutra as it is symbolized a token of love.
Before the wedding, Sikhs arrange an intimate engagement ceremony only among close family and friends where the groom’s family carries gifts that include sweets, clothes and jewellery. There are certain rituals during this ceremony including one where the bride’s father gifts the groom a gold ring, kada & gold coins. The same gold coins are then looped in a black thread and then presented to the bride as mangalsutra. Chuda (Wedding Bangles) has a lot more importance than that of a mangalsutra to a Sikh Bride. Mangalsutra is to be worn only during special occasions.
Mangalsutra in South
The whole concept of mangalsutra was first found and adapted from the rich culture of south Indian weddings itself. From Tamil Nadu to Karnataka, mangalsutra are termed differently in each state. We have listed down a few below.
Tamil Nadu – Thaali
Famous for its Dravidian style temples, the same divine embrace can also be seen in their mangalsutra as well, called the Thaali. As a mangalsutra is a very important piece of ornament for them culturally, almost around 30 designs are found symbolizing different beliefs, sub-caste, caste of the bride and groom. A Thaali is adorned with a gold chain or with a yellow thread (Manja Kayiru) representing different deities – Goddess Meenakshi, Lord Sundareshwara, Tulsi plant & Lord Shiva. Generally, it is gifted by the groom’s family to the bride and weighs between 4 to 8 grams and is made of 22K or 18K Gold. A piece of turmeric is an affordable substitute to a Gold Thaali & can be used as Mangalsutra/Thaali.
Kerala – Minnu/Thaali
The most wonderful thing about Kerala is how the concept of Mangalsutra has been accepted from Hindu Keraliate to Christian Keraliate weddings and termed differently by each religion. The Syrian Christians in Kerala call it Minnu and the Hindus in Kerala call it Thaali or Ela Thaali. Muslims do not have a tradition of mangalsutra but the same can be seen in their weddings in Kerala. There is one similar tradition known as Manthrakodi that are sarees specially bought by the groom’s family and are elegantly embroidered with gold and silver threads. 21 threads carefully taken from this Manthrakodi are intertwined in seven sets, 3 threads each and it is these threads that are tied around the bride’s neck as a ‘thali’ (mangalsutra).
Andhra Pradesh – Mangalsutramu
Mangalsutramu/Pustelu/ Maangalyamu/Ramar Thaali/Bottu, a Telugu mangalsutra is very similar to that of Tamil Nadu. The design of Mangalsutra in Andhra consists of two discs (Bottu),
each from the family of the bride and groom. There may or may not be a design carving on the bottu depending on the preferences of the respective families. It is usually worn with coral and pearl beads necklace or gold chains.
Karnataka – Maangalya-Sutra
Known as Maangalya-Sutra, the mangalsutra in Karnataka has a very similar design as that of the maharastrian with two hollow vatis. It is made of two round golden plates along with corals, freshwater pearls, semi-precious stones and black stones/beads. Karthamani Pathak are two separate jewellery that are equally precious ornamentation as the mangalsutra. Pathak is a gold pendant which usually has a large gold coin with Lakshmi or Queen Victoria engraving and has small round rubies studded on the circumference of the coin.
This coin pendant is surmounted by a cobra that stands for fertility. It may sometimes also have freshwater pearls hanging from it. The Karthamani is the necklace that is used with this Pathak and is made of corals and gold beads sewn on a thread or black beads. Sometimes, the thread may also be replaced with a gold chain.
The maharastrian mangalsutra has two cup-shaped vatis that are strung by double line chain made of black and gold beads. The idea behind the design has a very ritualistic belief. The double line chain stands for Shiva & Shakti and the gold mangalsutra i.e the cup-shaped vatis are considered the holy union of Shiva & Shakti. The beads that are hung in the middle symbolize the unbreakable bond of the husband and wife.
Also, they believe that the black beads drive away any negativity and help keep the bond between the two intact. Konkanis have three vatis in their mangalsutra keeping the third one devoting her commitment to the sea god.
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