In every Indian wedding, there are different types of ornaments that symbolize marriage. After getting married, it becomes compulsory for an Indian bride to wear traditional gold jewellery. This includes nose pin, bangles, toe ring, anklet, wedding ring, chain, and gold mangalsutra. Mangalsutra is a wedding chain that symbolizes marriage.
The word mangalsutra evolved from the Sanskrit terms “mangal” and “sutram”, where “mangal” means joyful, sacred, prosperous, successful, and “sutram” means cord.
While performing the wedding ceremonies, the groom ties the gold mangalsutra around the bride’s neck while the priest recites mantras. This process of tying mangalsutra denotes that bride and groom are now married and vow for taking care of each other for a lifetime.
The chain of Mangalsutra contains black beads and mostly coral gem is used in the pendant. It is a belief that because of those black beads, mangalsutra secures bride from any evil eye and brings good luck to her.
Every state has its own type of traditional gold jewellery, but all of them include this sacred thread in them. Every state has its own type of mangalsutra pattern with different gold lockets but serves the same purpose.
As in India, we have various states and each has its own tradition. Every state has its own type of traditional gold ornaments designs. As the jewellery design varies from one state to another, every state has its own mangalsutra pattern. Here are some mangalsutra designs of south India.
- Kerala Mangalsutra: In kerala, two types of mangalsutras are used: Minnu and Thaali. Minnu is an auspicious thread used by Syrian Christians whereas Thaali is used by kerala hindus. A Minnu is made of 13 gold beads arranged in the form of a cross on a heart-shaped medallion. Thali comprises of om symbol embossed on the leaf-shaped gold sheet.
- Andhra Pradesh Mangalsutra: Telugu mangalsutra contains two discs (coins) made of gold parted by beads. Between the beads, you will find corals, pearls, etc.
- Maharashtra Mangalsutra: Maharashtrian jewellery has its own unique beauty. The marathi mangalsutra has black beads with two bowl-shaped vatis on either side. The central pendant is made up of gold. The two strands of gold and black beads chain stand for Shiva & Shakti. The Maharashtrian mangalsutra has two types of black beaded chain: A complete black bead chain known as “Nirgun” and a chain in which every 9 beads are separated by 2 golden beads known as “Shagun”.
- Karnataka Mangalsutra: The name of kannadigas mangalsutra is Maanglya-sutra. It consists of two hollow vatis.
North India has its own traditional ornament designs. There are various communities that have their own mangalsutra design patterns. For e.g., the Gujarati mangalsutra has black beads with intricate gold pendants, but not all wear mangalsutras. They have their other traditional ways of following the sacred traditions of marriage. Like:
- Bengali married women wear Shakha Paula Bangles mandatorily.
- Sikh women have “Chuda” (Wedding bangles) as the most important symbol of a wedding.
- Sindhi’s wear gold mangalsutra – black and gold beaded chain.
- Marwari’s also have their “Chuda” (wedding bangles) as a symbol of wedding.
- Kashmiri’s wear “dejhoor”, similar to hindu mangalsutra.