Jewellery is like the perfect Spice- it always complemenst what’s already there | Mangalsutra
Just like a ring in the west, wearing a mangalsutra in India symbolizes a woman’s married status. A mangalsutra is not only a jewel but a pride of India woman’s ‘saubhagya’. In Indian customs, a woman wears a mangalsutra on the day of her wedding and removes it only if widowed! This jewel has the highest significance in a married woman’s life.
There is a special ritual in every Hindu wedding where the groom ties the mangalsutra around the bride’s neck. The literal meaning of the word ‘mangal’ is auspicious and the word ‘sutra’ means bond. Mangalsutra thus means an auspicious bond of marriage. During the advent of Hinduism, a mangalsutra was a yellow thread, with black beads and a pendant of two circular plates at the center. The yellow thread was then replaced by gold strings and black beads were embedded in it and the pendant is now available in every shape, studded with diamonds or pearls, or made of heavy gold designs.
A mangalsutra as known by all is like a necklace worn by married women, around their neck. But there is a difference between a mangalsutra and other necklaces. The length of other necklaces is not restricted. They can be of any length. But a mangalsutra is supposed to be of a length that it touched the woman’s heart. There is a legend in Hinduism that states that when the mangalsutra of a woman, touches the woman’s heart, she holds her husband close to her heart. All her prayers and accomplishment’s she has in her heart will pass on to her husband and both of them will share all the worldly pleasures and joys together.
In different states of the country, there are different varieties of mangalsutra which hold different significance. However, the sanctity and significance remain the same.
In the north, some Sikh communities have a ritual in which the bride’s father and brother presents a gold kada and coin or mohres to the groom. These coins or mohres are then woven into a black thread and then ties around the bride’s neck.
In the Bihari community, a married woman wears a chain of black beads with a gold pendant. This ornament is called as a ‘Taagpaag’ which ultimately represents a mangalsutra.
‘Thaali’ or ‘Thirumangalyam’ is a mangalsutra equivalent worn by married Tamil woman. It is basically a unique pendant, different for different sub castes in Tamil Nadu worn in a gold chain.
Maharashtrians pose mangalsutra with a very specific bowl-shaped pendant. There is a variety of chains used to hold the pendant, the pure gold ones as well as the black beaded chain.
Similar to Tamil communities’ design of mangalsutra, the Telugu communities wear a mangalsutra which they call as ‘Mangalasutramu’ or ‘Pustelu’ or ‘Bhottu’ or ‘Ramar Thaali’. The only difference is that, in Telugu communities, the pendant is usually studded with precious stones, diamonds and even corals and pearls.
The Sindhi community also regards a mangalsutra as an ornament of greatest importance for a married woman. A mangalsutra is not just an ornament, it is a jewel of utmost importance to a married woman. With time, a mangalsutra has been representing not only the sacred bond between a husband and a wife but has become a woman’s style statement. Every woman holds more than one malgalsutra to match with the occasion and surrondings. Mangalsutras are available in many varieties, pendant studded with diamonds, pendants with matt finish, shine, or a sequence, pendants holding a rare precious stone or multiple stones. There are pendants with traditional touch for different communities or even for office wear. There are malgalsutra available with different chains, gold, silver, white gold, platinum, only black beads, or beads with multiple colors, or even in temple jewelry.
There is so much to choose from. So go ahead and find the piece that suits you the best!