indian wedding jewellery

Chuda

Chuda

Chuda:

Chuda is the set of red and ivory bangles worn by the bride especially in North Indian weddings.

Usage

  • A set of 21 bangles are worn on each hand of the bride.
  • It is a custom to wear the chuda for at least 40 days post wedding, and on the 40th day the groom would remove them for her.
  • Chuda signifies that the girl is newly married.
  • Chuda comes with lot of blessings and is believed to bring good luck in terms of fertility and prosperity into the lives of newly wedded couple.
  • Chuda is different from other bangles, as it just can’t be worn by anyone. Only the newly wedded bride can wear it in the initial days post-wedding.

When does it happen?
This ceremony takes place in the morning of the wedding day.

How to source?
It can be purchased in fancy shops and can be ordered online too for a particular size.

How is it performed?
Chudas are soaked in buttermilk overnight. The ritual starts with a havan that is conducted by a pundit. The girl’s parents and her maternal aunt and uncle (oldest available) usually fast throughout the day or till the completion of the chuda ceremony.
Post havan, chuda are blessed by all the family members and guests present during this ritual. Once everyone touches and conveys their good luck to the bangles, the girl gets to wear them through her uncle.

ChudaImage Courtesy: Jalaj Panth Photography

In addition, she gets gifts like lehenga from him, which she wears during the wedding. During the ceremony, the bride’s friends and cousins sing and dance around her.

Fresh flowers are showered on the bride and sweets are distributed amongst all to commemorate the beginning of all the wedding rituals.

Trivia
Traditionally, the chuda would be worn for one year post wedding, though it can be worn for lesser duration depending on the family’s tradition.

MangalSutra

MangalSutra

MangalSutra:

The term Mangalsutra is derived from two words, Mangal meaning auspicious and Sutra meaning thread. The Mangalsutra denotes the mark of Marriage for any woman. It is Strongly believed to be the indivisible attachment between the wife and the husband.

Also Called

In Northern India, people call it the Mangalsutra.  Down south, the ‘thaali’, ‘pustelu’ or ‘Nallapoosalu’, ‘minnu’ etc. is used for a similar purpose.

When is it used?

‘On the wedding day, the bride’s father puts a ring on the boy’s finger and then gives his daughter to the boy. This ritual is known as the Kanyaadaan. After kanyadaan, the pheras begin. The agni is encircled seven times by the couple. After this the groom applies Sindoor (vermilion) to the girl’s hair partition and the Mangalsutra ritual takes place where the groom ties the mangalsutra to the girl’s neck.

On the Wedding day, the groom wears it to the bride’s neck. That is just the first time.  Most women wear them throughout their lives, while some wear them only to grace  occasions and festivals like Diwali, Theej etc.

What are they made from?

The Mangalsutra basically comprises of the kantha-mani and a few gold beads. The black bead is popularly known as kantha-mani. The two strands of black beads of mangalsutra symbolise Shiva and Shakti. The length of the mangalsutra should reach the centre of the chest  or Anahat-chakra. There could be a small pendant right in the center of the Mangalsutra. It could be made of Gold embellished with diamonds or other precious stones.

Where would you find them?

Available in all Jewellery shops and fancy Stores.

Trivia

According to the Indian scriptures and traditions, the sacred mangalsutra binds the lives of husband and wife. While wearing it, the woman is enhancing the happiness and comfort of her husband and family. The marriage is said to be protected from all evil, if the wife wears the mangalsutra with trust and dedication. Gujaratis and Marwaris use a diamond pendant. Maharashtrians wear a pendant of one or two vatis which is very similar to that of the Kannadigas. The Bengali, Oriya and Assamese don’t have the custom of Mangalsutra.

Armlet

Armlet

Armlet:

An Ornamental Bracelet worn on the Upper Arm of the Bride.

Also Called

Bajuband in Hindi, Vanki in Tamil.

When is it used?

Generally worn by brides as part of their Solah Shringar. Else, it could also be sported with Western Wear for a Funky Look.

Worn on the Upper Arm and forms part of the Solah Shringar of the Bride. Used on festive occasions such as weddings and family functions.

Also, used by Classical dancers to complete their look, for instance the Bharat Natyam & Kathak Dancers.

What are they made from?

Could be made of Silver or Gold and encrusted with precious gems.

They are available as a string of Pearls or other stones and can be tied around the arm.

armlet

Image Courtesy: TejesNayakPhotography

South Indian Brides generally adorn the Gold Vankis for their Wedding Ceremonies.

Where would you find them?

Usually available in Jewelry shops or Fancy Stores.

Trivia

As is the case with the rest of the Solah Shringar, the usage of this ornament dates back to pre-historic times with references in the sacred scripts. It used to be worn by both Men & Women in Asian Countries.

Used even in the army in the form of a cloth or a Badge that is tied to the upper-arm, it carries the army camp’s symbol or the ranking of the official.

Very often, Armlets are given away in Temples, believed to ward off ill-luck or provide protection.

Hathphool

Hathphool

Hathphool:

Hathphool or literally translated flowers of the hand, is worn on the back of the palm worn by Brides as part of the Solah Shringar.

It consists of a string/chain with a ring to the center finger, that is joined to a bracelet around the wrist.

HaathPhool

Image Courtesy: Jalaj Panth Photography

Sometimes, there could be up to four such strings with rings on the fingers that join the bracelet. It would like a Spider’s web.

hathphool

Image Courtesy: Wedding Bells

When is it used?

Generally worn by brides as part of their Solah Shringar. Worn on hennaed hands by the bride to complete her look for D-day. Else, it could also be sported with Western Wear for a Funky Look. It could be combined with a Ring for the Thumb called the Arsi.

What are they made from?

The simpler ones are made from Gold or Silver. The ornate ones with Kundan/Polki are favored by most Brides.

Where would you find them?

Usually available in Jewellery shops or Fancy Stores.

Trivia

  • As is the case with the rest of the Solah Shringar, the usage of this ornament dates back to pre-historic times.
  • The Hathphool enhances the beauty of the hennaed hands.
  • Along with the Arsi, the rings and the bangles, it draws everyone’s attention.
  • The Hathphool design could also be drawn on tha back of the palm in a Mehendi design.
  • Commonly spotted on Models walking the ramp, teamed with the Nosering to add ‘Oomph’ to their Look.
Necklace

Necklace

Necklace:

Necklace/Haar/Aaram/Mala/Malai is integral part of the entire jewellery set worn by the bride on her wedding.

Also Called

Haar in Hindi, Aaram in Tamil, Mala in Telugu

When is it used?

Worn by young girls and women of all ages for any festive occasion. Adorned around the neck, it is the most talked about piece of jewellery at a wedding.

necklace

Image Courtesy: The Picturist

What are they made from?

Depending on the region and the community the bride belongs to, it could be a Gold (South) or Kundan/Polki/Diamond (North) one.  There are beautiful imitation ones also being used by several brides.

necklace

Image Courtesy: The Picturist

Where would you find them?

Usually available in Jewellery stores or Fancy Stores.

Trivia

  • There isn’t any record as to when women began using necklaces.
  • There are of course references in our ancient scriptures.
  • A bride could wear several layers of necklaces on her big day.
  • The Mangalsutra or the Thaali although worn around the neck during the wedding does not constitute part of the Solah Shringar.
  • Heavy Kundan ones could be teamed with Western Wear for a Chic Look.
  • Men too indulge in neck pieces to complement their Outfits.
Waist belt

Waist belt

Waist Belt:

Waist-belt, Kamarbandh, Oddiyanam  worn by Brides as part of the Solah Shringar.

Also Called

Kamarbandh in Hindi, Oddiyanam in Tamil, Vaddanam in Telegu, Kardhani  in Rajasthan.

When is it used?

Used by women of all ages on festive occasions, worn with sarees or Ethnic Indian wear. Gold or Silver Belt encrusted with precious stones, originally used to keep the garment in place. Worn at the waist or just below, it is perhaps the sexiest accessory. Accentuates the woman’s curves by highlighting the waist.

What are they made from?

Made from Gold, Silver or any other metal. Depending on the region, brides wear them combined with Precious stones, Diamonds, Kundan or Polki.

waist belt

Image Courtesy: The Picturist

Where would you find them?

Usually available in Jewellery shops or Fancy Stores.

Trivia

  • The practice of adorning the waist belt dates back to the Vedic times with references of it in the Hindu Scriptures.
  • Scriptures show that even Men used them to hold their upper and lower garments together.
  • The earliest usage was that of a Dupatta or a Cloth around the waist.
  • The Richer Folk wore the more ornate ones.
  • It is common to see young girls in the South of India wear them with their half-sarees for family weddings and other festivities.
  • Could be teamed up with Indo-Western Wear for a Chic Look.
Earrings

Earrings

Earrings:

Earrings, Karn Phool or Jhoomars worn by Brides as part of the Solah Shringar.

Also called

Karnphool/Jhumkas in Hindi, Kammal in Tamil, Kadhalitha in Malayalam, Jhumko/Jhumka in Bengali, Kaan/Kudya in Marathi, Kundalas in Kashmiri.

When is it worn? 

Worn on the ears, sometimes covering all of it.  It is worn by women of all age groups, earrings instantly transform one’s overall appearance. The heavier ones are supported with chains that are pinned into the hair. A girl child’s ears are generally pierced at a very young age. So, this isn’t specific to Married Women. The Earrings are generally part of the jewellery set that the bride co-ordinates with her Bridal outfit.

What are they made from?

Made from Gold, Silver or any other metal. Combined with Precious stones, Diamonds, Kundan or Polki.

ear rings

Image Courtesy: Wedding Bells

Where would you find them?

Usually available in Jewellery shops or Fancy Stores.

Trivia

  • The practice of adorning the ears dates back to the Vedic times with references of it in the Hindu Scriptures.
  • It is a popular trend to have the ears pierced more than once.
  • The styles vary across the Indian sub-continent and each has a story with it.
  • The Kashmiri’s have the inner cartilage of their ears pierced signifying that they are married.
  • Men too have one of their ear lobes pierced as a fashion statement. They tend to sport a ring or a stud.
  • Large and ornate earrings are very often the only piece of jewellery required to complete your look.
Nose Rings

Nose Rings

Nose Rings:

The Nose Rings is worn by Brides as part of the Solah Shringar. Generally worn on the left nostril, it is said to have medicinal effects. Widely worn by married women in the Indian sub-continent, it is also worn by the native Australians & Africans too!

nose ring

Image Courtesy: Jalaj Panth Photography

Also called

Nath/Nathni in Hindi, Mookkuthi in Tamil, Naka pina in Bengali, Muugti in Kannada, Mukku Pudaka in Telugu.

When is it worn? 

Used by Married Women signifying that they are married. Also on Weddings, Religious Fasts, Deepawali & other festivals. Some women would wear a simple one everyday too.

With the Beatles visit to India in the 60′s and the Hippies movement thereafter, several Indian accessories such as the Bindi, Mehendi, Maang Tikka and the Nose Ring became popular in the west too.

What are they made from?

They come in various combinations of precious stones. From plain Gold Rings to the Ornate Diamond, Kundan or Polki ones.

nose ring

Image Courtesy: The Picturist

Where would you find them?

Usually available in Jewellery shops or Fancy Stores.

Trivia

  • The practice of wearing the ‘nath’ dates back to the Vedic times with references of it in the Hindu Scriptures.
  • Worn on the left nostril and believed to ease menstrual pains and aid conceiving a baby.
  • Some Rajasthani women wear the “bulaag”, suspended from the partition of the nostrils. Considered auspicious and part of Family heirlooms and passed on from one generation to the next.
  • Nose Piercing is a very popular Fashion Statement and gained popularity with the Hippie Movement of the 70′s.
Maang Tikka

Maang Tikka

Maang Tikka:

Part of the Solah Shringar or the Sixteen Adornments of the Bride, Maang Tikka is worn on the center parting of the hair. It is made of a round center that falls on the forehead, with a string made of stones or metal and a hook at one end to hold it in the hair.

Also called

Maang Tikka in Hindi, Nethichutti in Tamil.

When is it worn? 

Earlier worn by only married women on their wedding day, this piece of jewellery is now used as a fashion statement with celebrities sporting it with western outfits.

Ladies attending a close family/friend’s wedding too adorn it.

It enhances the complete look in just an instant.

Brides tend to use some contemporary ones to snazz-up their look for any of the pre-wedding ceremonies too!

What are they made from?

They come in various combinations of precious stones. The North Indian Bride would mostly use a Kundan or Polki/Jadau one.

The South Indian Brides would go for Gold and Diamond one.

Pearl and other precious stones could also be used.

nethichutti_Ojas

Image Courtesy: Ojas Creative Photography

Where would you find them?

Usually available in Jewellery shops or Fancy Stores.

Trivia

There isn’t a definitive date when Women in India began using this piece of Jewellery.

The Tikka sits on the Third Eye Chakra and signifies the union of the male and female elements of Nature.

maang tikka

Image Courtesy: The Picturist

Traditionally, made from silver as it supposedly has a cooling effect on the bride.

Toe Rings

Toe Rings

Toe Rings:

Part of the Solah Shringar or the Sixteen Adornments of the Bride, Toe Rings are Traditional Ornaments worn by the Indian Women on the Second Toe of both feet and symbolizes that a woman is married.

Also Called

Bichiya in Hindi, Jodavi in Marathi, Mettelu in Telugu, Metti in Tamil, Kaalungura in Kannada.

When is it worn?

Women start wearing them on the Wedding Day and for the rest of their married life.

What are they made from?

Mostly made of Silver or any other metal. Gold & Diamonds are avoided as it is considered inauspicious to wear them on the feet.

Where would you find them?

Usually available in Jewellery shops or Fancy Stores

Trivia

The usage of this ornament dates back to the prehistoric times with mention of it in the epics such as Ramayana and the Mahabharata.

In the Tamil & Telugu communities, the Groom fits the toe-rings for the Bride while her feet are placed on a Stone. Whereas in Kannadiga community, it is the Maternal Uncle of the Bride who fits them for the Bride.

Sthaalipaakam

Image Courtesy: Pranav’s Photography

However, in most North Indian communities, the Bride wears them on even before she enters the Mandap.

Toe Rings could come in sets as well, and may have up to 4 rings for the first four toes.

Minji

Image Courtesy: Arjuns Tryst with the camera