An Introductory tale about the sacred thread
We all know that marriage plays a very important role in everyone's life, whether it is the bride or the groom. Being married is a very beautiful feeling and the marriage functions are more beautiful than the after-marriage life because of the amazing wedding outfits, delicious meals, the whole family getting together, so many gifts, etc. That is what our Indian weddings are known for.
Whenever someone discusses India, the first thing they say “it is a country of tradition and culture.” Every Indian culture has its own unique wedding rituals which they perform. The wedding rituals differ from culture to culture.
For Hindu marriages, it is not just the marriage of two individuals coming together in a bond, but a ritual in which the families of both bride and groom come together in a bond of commitment and understanding.
According to the Hindu culture, there are five kinds of wedding ornaments or we can say five signs through which a woman can be called a married woman - the Mangalsutra, Toe-rings, nose-rings, bangles, and kumkum.
As our culture is going through the phase of modernization, where women are scaling the heights of success giving tough competition to men. As we are seeing a tremendous increase in the number of working women, the concept and belief of wearing the Mangalsutra every day has changed quite well. Women do not believe in wearing Mangalsutras every day, they prefer wearing them during any festive season or on special occasions only. In professional working space, women choose modern designed Mangalsutras over the deep cultured traditional Mangalsutras.
Here in this article, we are going to learn about the various types of Mangalsutra designs from different states in India.
Let us start from,
The northern part of our country
In the north, if we talk about the Kashmiri culture, the Kashmiri bridal Mangalsutras are in reality earrings made up of gold and are threaded using a plain red thread. The groom’s parents give those earrings to the bride before marriage and after marriage, the red thread is replaced with a gold chain. That gold chain is known as “Aath” or “Aathoru” which is called a small golden ornament.
The Sindhi Culture
Not only in the Sindhi culture but in almost every Indian culture the Mangalsutra is a very important part of wedding rituals. The Mangalsutra design is depended on the groom and the bride. But in the Sindhi culture also the ideal design of Mangalsutra is the same.
Mangalsutra from Bihar
In Bihari culture, their main wedding ornaments are the Mangalsutra and toe rings, which the Mangalsutra is known as “Taagpaag”, and toe rings are known as “Bichwa.”
Not just in the Bihari culture, but according to many cultures wearing a toe ring is very beneficial for a woman’s reproductive system. The Bihari Mangalsutras also have black beaded thread with the pendant design of their choice.
Mangalsutras from Gujarat
In Gujarati culture, their main wedding ornaments are the Mangalsutra, nose rings, and toe rings as well. The Gujaratis have the same standard Mangalsutra design, the same black beaded chain with the gold pendant of their choice.
Mangalsutras from Maharashtra
The Mangalsutras from Maharashtra again contain the same black beaded thread, but… buttery… buttery… but, they have 2 gold Vatis (bowl-shaped). According to the Marathi culture, these Vatis symbolize Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati, this also symbolizes the pure relation of the husband and wife just like Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati.
The Maharashtrian Mangalsutra is mainly made from two types of beads, black beads and golden beads which are known as “Nirgun” and “Shagun”. The Nirgun are black beads that are in a set of nine and the Shagun beads are the golden beads that separate the nine sets of Nirgun from the other nine sets of Nirgun.
Mangalsutras from Karnataka
The brides of Karnataka are known as Kodava brides and their wedding ornament is known as “Karthamani Pathak” which is equivalent to Mangalsutra in their culture. Karthamani and Pathak are two different words for two different parts of the wedding ornament. The Pathak is for the large gold coin with the engraving of Goddess Lakshmi and that gold coin has small rubies around it.
The most interesting part of Kannada wedding culture is, the wedding ornament; “Karthamani Pathak” which is not tied by the groom around the bride’s neck, but the ornament is tied by the bride’s mother before the wedding day.
Mangalsutras from Tamil Nadu
The Tamil Mangalsutra is known as Thaali and the ceremony of tying the ornament around the bride’s neck is called “Mangala Dharanam.” The Thaali comes in a variety of different shapes, but its shape mainly depends on the particular family deity. Some Thaalis have an engraving of plant tulsi, some have Lord Shiva, and some are engraved with Goddess Meenakshi.
The Thaalis are worn with the gold chain or yellow thread called “Manja Kayiru” which can be replaced with only a gold chain or black beaded chain called “Nallapusalu.”
You would be surprised to hear that the Keralian Christians also wear Mangalsutras which they call “Minnu.” The “Minnu” is a heart-shaped pendant with a crucifix studded with diamonds or pearls. This design symbolizes respect for Lord Jesus and the heart symbolizes the love between the couple.
The crucifix is made by engraving five to seven dots only and then the Minnu is passed across the seven strands of thread. The number seven symbolizes the church, the bride, the groom, and the couple’s parents.
The Telugu Mangalsutras have two-round coins, one coin is from the groom’s side and the other coin is from the bride’s side, and as in all the South-Indian traditions the coins are tied together on a yellow thread. Later on, the groom ties three knots to the Mangalsutra around the bride’s neck.
These coins are later united by an elder of the family after sixteen days of the wedding. This ritual defines the unity between both the families and the Mangalsutra depicts the balance in the physical and mental health of the bride.
The Mangalsutra is a very important ornament for every Indian married woman just like the western countries have wedding rings. This article was to give you readers a quick view of the different types of Mangalsutras and their interesting names with interesting ritual names.