Guide to Indian Bridal Jewelry

Whether it’s intricate enamel designs or bold, show-stopping collar necklaces – Indian Bridal jewelry spans a spectrum of tastes, styles and symbolism. Here are some of the types of bridal jewelry that adorn Indian brides:

Mangal Sutra – This is a type of necklace which is placed around the birde’s neck by the groom during ther Hindu marriage ceremony. It is significant since it symbolizes the marriage and also the bride’s wish for her husband’s long life. Traditionally, this type of necklace comprised jet beads with gold but modern- day Mangal Sutras can now also feature diamonds, other precious stones and lighter single strands.

Nath – These circular or half moon nose rings can either be pierced or clip-on. The traditional nath is a big ring that partially covers the mouth. It was worn as a sign of being married. There is also the “nathni” which features a chain that connects from the nose ring to the hair.

Tikka or  Mang Tikka (also called a Maatha Patti)  – a Tikka is a drop or pendant that has a chain and a hook at the end. This hook attaches to the brides hair along the centre path, so that the pendant drops neatly on the middle of the forehead. There is also the Mang Tikka, which consists of chains that attach from the main strand on the centre. The Mang Tikka can be a double strand or a statement-making multi-strand which covers the bride’s entire hair.

Jhumar – This Pakistani-styled tikka (drop) is worn to the side of the bride’s hair.

PayalThis is an anklet and is a traditional piece. It holds special significance since its sound is meant to announce the bride’s arrival to her husband’s house  

Earrings – These can vary in design from the Jhumka (umbrella or bell –shaped) earrings to the Chandbali earrings – which look like jeweled drops or chandelier styled earrings. These may have enamel work called “meenakari” or like the tikka and necklaces, earrings may be designed in the Kundan style (gold foil used to fuse glass tones together) or Polki style (gold foil used to fuse uncut/rough diamonds together)

Bangles or baju band – bangles are worn on the arms and are an essential part of Indian bridal jewellery. Baju bands are bracelets that are worn on the upper part of the arm.

Kamarbandh – This is a belt that is worn around the waist. It is often designed in a way that it will hold a bunch of keys, to signify authority at the bride’s new home.

Haathphool – This word roughly translates to the English ‘hand-flower’ and is an accessory that adorns the back of the bride’s palm. It comprises finger ring(s) that are connected to a bracelet via chains.

Bichiyas – These are small, metal bands worn on the toes. They are a traditional symbol of marriage, particularly in Southern India. They are usually made of silver and are worn in pairs on the second toe of each foot.

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