There is no Indian bride without bangles and when it comes to South India, bangles are one of the most loved wedding jewellery ornaments. Malayali brides, even as women from all walks of life, still hold a passion for traditional gold ornaments at their weddings. Kerala traditional gold bangles are always in vogue in Kerala weddings. Kerala design bangles are very popular among South India brides. There are many traditional designs that have outlived traditions and rituals.
Even when modern designs and metals are taking over the wedding scenes, Kerala style gold bangles still hold the heart of Malayalis. There are some immensely popular Kerala traditional gold bangles named as per their designs and style. Brides are often found asking for Kerala design bangles when shopping for wedding bangles.
Women also love to keep Kerala traditional ornament collection and the variety of bangles is impressive. Kerala traditional gold bangles flaunt intricate designs with attractive craftsmanship. The row after row of gold bangles to choose from creates a stunning picture of art, tradition and creativity. There is a shift of interest from Kerala traditional ornament collections to simpler works in platinum, diamonds, and rhodium. Christian brides may prefer platinum and diamonds to go with their white wedding gown. However, the traditional Muslim and Hindu weddings still go for yellow gold ornaments. Kerala style bangles are a part and parcel of Kerala traditional ornament collection.
Let’s skim through a few varieties of Kerala traditional gold bangles because sometimes all you need to spice up your day is a well-chosen and meaningful bangle.
Complementary to the Palakka mala (necklace), Palakka vala is a bangle with leaf-shaped patterns having a bluish or green gemstones or coloured enamel or glass works. Nowadays, this design is also made with blue or red centres. The design pattern has some mythological sources, too. The Palakka necklace was believed to have been worn during the Dwapara Yuga of Shree Krishna, the name derived from the Paala tree and its red, green and blue seeds represented by gemstones of similar shades.
See more: Bridal Gold Bangles Design
As its name reveals, the Nagapadam vala is a Kerala traditional gold bangle design similar to the Nagapadam mala, resembling a snake’s hood. This is a popular design among Hindu brides owing to the mythological fame as one among Lord Krishna’s jewels when choosing Kerala traditional ornament collections.
Navratna Vala, as the name denotes, uses the nine gemstones and is a popular item among Kerala traditional gold bangles. The cultural significance of navratna jewelleries are high in Indian traditions, with reference in Vedas and Astrology. The nine stones represent the planets, the sun and the moon. The Navratna gemstones are Ruby, Natural Pearl, Red Coral, Emerald, Yellow Sapphire, Diamond, Blue Sapphire, Hessonite, Cat’s Eye Chrysoberyl.
Palakka manga Vala is another popular design in Kerala traditional gold bangles. It has a similar design to palakka vala, but with mango motifs.
Lakshmi Vala is another mythology-inspired Kerala traditional gold bangle design.
Ashta Lakshmi bangles and necklaces flaunt the eight forms of the Goddess Lakshmi in its designs.
Another traditional design hailing from mythology is the Dasavatharam Vala and Mala, with Lord Vishnu’s ten avatars.
The thick Thadavala, also called kada bangles often flank the various designs of bangles on the Malayali bride’s forearm. Kerala style gold bangles are often worn in a pattern in which the thinner Ottavala are bounded by thadavalas. Thadavala maybe round and thick bracelets, with simple plain finish. Or they maybe broad flat kadas with intricate patterns and designs etched into them.
Some brides choose to wear only the kada bangles and others the thinner models. However, when it comes to Kerala traditional gold bangles, there are several designs which cater to both the traditional bridal attires and the millennials. Modern bangle designs include gold or platinum bangles with pearls, diamonds, gemstones, Rhodium etc. There are fusion designs, blending traditional designs with modern choices of metals, finishing and stones.
Find more: Indian Wedding Jewellery Traditions
Bangles will never go out of fashion because love for them goes beyond the arm and there is a bangle for every occasion. If you are a casual office-goer, you can choose simple thin bangles with or without studded stones or pearls. There are also chic-designed bangles with plain finish, without intricate patterns, if you are not keen about traditional bangle designs. However, traditional attires go better with heavy works and nuances that have mesmerizing antiquity in traditional wedding bangles.
Bangles add life to your hands and transform your overall look. If you are slim-wristed, you can explore the thick kada bangles to bring some substance to your wedding appearance or party attire. Chubby-wristed beauties can avoid looking overdone with medium-thick bangles which are not too thin. Either way, the decision lies in your hands!