Types of Mangalsutra: An Inside Look at The Indian Marriage Tradition

by Francis Alukkas | 30 June 2022 | GOLD JEWELLERY

We Indians are popular around the globe for our rich culture and tradition. Especially, in our marriage ceremonies, it will always be grand and colorful. The style of extravagant marriage ceremonies are changing recently. But, mangalsutra is still a piece of unavoidable and sacred jewellery that can never be replaced. According to Indian tradition, there are different types of mangalsutra’s, that symbolize the marital status of a woman and the promise made between couples to stay together forever. The word mangalsutra itself is a combination of two words ‘mangal’ which means ‘sacred’ and ‘sutra’ which means ‘thread’.

Marriage is always a dream of every individual. This will be a wonderful memory that every one of us will always remember. You will do many plans in terms of event location, costumes, jewellery, decorations and more. Among all these plannings, identifying a perfect mangalsutra design matters a lot. Because mangalsutra is what you wear frequently on most occasions after marriage. So, is it really complicated to select one from many mangalsutra types? If so, we will share some basic tips for selection.

How to select mangalsutra for a bride? When you are searching, you can find varied types of mangalsutra in India. But what we suggest considering at first is the comfort and convenience of the bride. For that, you need to consider the length and design of the chain, pendant design, metal, and marks of authenticity such as BIS hallmark, purity grade and more. The next consideration needs to be provided to your culture and the style of the bride(traditional or modern). This is just an outline of how to select, the following are popular mangalsutra types. Also, Read: Significance of Mangalsutra

What are the Common Types of Mangalsutra in India?

Mangalsutra types differ depending on the culture and preferences. You can either purchase any design from a store or can customize the mangalsutra design based on your ideas and preferences. The concept of mangalsutra actually originated in South India and it was later adapted to Northern states with some changes in mangalsutra design and styles. Mostly, the south Indians use long yellow thread or gold chain with a golden pendant as mangalsutra. But, in northern states, the mangalsutra design is mostly a black beads thread with a silver pendant in middle. Based on the culture or traditions, these mangalsutra types are popular by different names.

Types of Mangalsutra in North India

Dejhooor (Kashmir): Dejhoor is an ear ornament worn by married Kashmiri Hindu brides. According to their custom, this ornament will be in hexagonal (Shatkon) shape with a dot (Chunne), that is given to the bride-to-be by her mother at a ceremony called Devegoan, held one day before the marriage. The Kashmiri tradition represents this ornament as a yantra that denotes the union of Shiva and Shakti.

Sindhi Mangalsutra: In the Sindhi community, mangalsutra is presented to the bride by the groom on the wedding day. Usually, the design includes a designed golden pendant worn on a black and gold beaded chain.

Taagpaag (Bihar): Married women in Bihar wear mangalsutra and a toe ring called ‘bichwa’ to symbolize their marriage. In Bihar, mangalsutra is called ‘Taagpaag’ or ‘Taagpag’. This sacred jewellery with an elegant look mostly uses arc-shaped pendants with various designs, worn on a black beaded chain.

Vati Mangalsutra (Maharastra): This mangalsutra is popular in Maharastra, Gujarath and Northern Karnataka. This mangalsutra includes small gold cup-like pendants worn on black and gold beaded chains. The widely used two vati design denotes the union of the male and female. Generally, no additional designs are included on the surface of the vatis. Also, Read: Latest Trends in South Indian Bridal Jewellery

Types of Mangalsutra in South India

Thaali Kodi (Tamil Nadu): In Tamil Nadu, mangalsutra is called Thirumangalayam, Mangalyam, Thaaly, Kodi. Tamil mangalsutra can have different shapes and forms. It mostly imprints designs of the Tulsi plant, Goddess Meenakshi, family deity, or Lord Shiva. During the wedding ceremony, the groom ties the thali around the bride's neck on a gold chain or “Manja Kayiru.”(yellow thread).

Thaali, Minnu (Kerala): Among Kerala Hindu customs, a mangalsutra is called Thaali or Ela Thaali, which bears the shape of a leaf. The Ela Thaali design imprints an Om symbol on a gold leaf-shaped gold pendant. But, Syrian Christians in Kerala call mangalsutra as Minnu and this pendant contains a cross symbol on the gold medallion shaped like a heart. These pendants are mostly worn on a gold chain.

Mangalasutramu, Pustelu (Telugu - Andra Pradesh): The Telugu mangalsutra is known as Pustelu, Ramar Thaali, Mangalasutramu, Bottu, and Maangalyamu. This mangalsutra contains two round-shaped coins or discs. Both bride and groom side will give a disc on a yellow thread and during the ritual, the groom ties each of these discs with its corresponding yellow thread around the bride’s neck. The yellow thread will be replaced with a black and coral beaded chain after sixteen days of marriage. Also, Read: 2022 Indian Trending Bridal Jewelry List

When analysing the mangalsutra designs, based on culture and tradition, what you can find is, that most Indian cultures prefer black and gold beaded or black and coral beaded chain designs. So, why mangalsutra have black beads? And what is the importance of black beads in mangalsutra? Black beads not only provide an elegant look on the women, but it also symbolizes the bond between Lord Shiva and his wife Parvathy. Gold represents Goddess Parvathy and black beads represent Lord shiva. According to our tradition, black beads are meant to protect the couples from evil energies and to make the bond stronger. It is also believed that wearing mangalsutra is believed to have different health benefits such as improving the immune system, regulating blood pressure, regularizing blood circulation and more.

The above-mentioned are some of the Indian mangalsutra types based on the culture and tradition of various states. Other than the listed, there are other types of mangalsutra designs such as peacock mangalsutra, floral design mangalsutra, temple mangalsutra, dholna mangalsutra, chandbali mangalsutra, and more. After reading this article, we believe that you must have understood the significance of mangalsutra according to Indian tradition, and analyzed the design aspects of various mangalsutra types. So, your mangalsutra selection won’t be confusing. Right?

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