Largest online directory of Mehndi designs, stories,apparels and accessories.
Mehndi forms an integral part of festivals in India. It is an important aspect of Solah Shringar. The application of henna on hands and feet during special occasions such as Karva Chauth is as old as the festival itself. Married women celebrate Karva Chauth for the longevity and the good health of their husbands. Women […]Read More...
Mehndi or henna has been used for centuries by women to ornament their hands and legs on different occasions. Mehndi has been applied not only in India but also in Pakistan, Africa and the Middle Eastern countries for centuries now. Ancient pieces of art and scripture are proof that women, for many centuries have been […]Read More...
The art of Mehndi, otherwise known as henna, has been practiced in India, Pakistan, Africa and Saudi Arabia for more than 5000 years now. In India, we apply Mehndi to commemorate every festival and occasion. There are different types of Mehndi to suit every occasion in our country. One of the most popular among these […]Read More...
Mehandi mere jo dilo mein rang bhar jate hai, Mehandi mere jo Krishna Radha aur phir Krishana Rukmani ke rishte ko darshate hai, Mehandi mere jo mere sayain mere hone wale patidev ke naam ko motiyoon se sajate hai, Mehandi mere jo dilo mein rang bhar jate hai. Anjali Gureja Trived ***
Mehendi mari aevi friend chhe je ki na karva chheta ghanu bdhu kri jay chhe. Hu jyare pn koi kam ma narvas feel kru, tyare mahendi karta j maro confidence vadhi jay chhe,mahendi karvathi maro mood hmesha fresh rahe chhe.mari karkidi nu pratham sopan j mahendi chhe. aapdi best friend vise kheva mate jem koi […]
Mehndi is one of my fav things. When ever I feel low or sad my hubby takes me to the mehndi wala. When ever I see mehndi…the smell makes me feelÂ refreshed and good. My favourite was my bridal mehndi- it was so deep in colour. Poonam Kamra. ***
When one thinks of a typical Indian festivities bazaar, one can almost never rule out the many mehendi tattoo artists lining the sidewalk. Thinking of a wedding, the aroma of freshly applied mehendi on the ladies of the house perhaps adds that extra element of magic, which always seems to surround wedding parties.
An auspicious Vedic symbol that predominates all Hindu weddings, mehendi is essentially henna paste that is ground from freshly plucked leaves of the henna plant. While mehendi cones are readily available in the market nowadays, traditionally, the leaves are soaked overnight and ground over stone the next day. The paste might be mixed with various other products like turmeric, tea leaves, reetha, shikakai, depending on the usage. Henna has many medicinal and palliative properties and has been used as a home remedy for rashes and boils for centuries. Till date, it is popularly used as a hair and skin conditioner. The henna plant grows easily in hot, arid climates and hence is one of the most accessible forms of natural cosmetology.
Considering its popularity in the Indian subcontinent, one naturally assumes that the henna plant is native to India. Interestingly, the earliest evidence of the use of mehendi comes from Egypt in 700 AD. The aristocracy would paint their finger nails and hair with mehendi as orange and red were the signs of sophistication. What’s more, even their mummies were painted with henna! As trade flourished between the Asian subcontinent and Egypt, the practice of applying mehendi was brought back to India.
The art of applying mehendi designs should be credited to the Mughals. Classically, mehendi was applied as an even paste all over the arms and legs during weddings and other occasions. Alternately, simple dot and circle designs would be created. Both men and women applied mehendi, not just occasionally but also on a daily basis. With the mass conversion of Hindus to Islam, this practice was translated to them and was refined by them. Intricate designs, from floral to abstract patterns were created and it soon became a norm to apply mehendi as designs.
Today, mehendi has evolved into four major schools of design. The Middle Eastern style is made up majorly of floral patterns akin to Arabic paintings. In North Africa, artists follow the flow of the hands and legs in beautiful floral designs. The Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi designs include lines and teardrops that can depict a story or make up interesting patterns like peacocks, birds, etc. The Indonesian and Southern Asian styles were a mix of Middle Eastern and Indian designs using blocks of colour on the very tips of their toes and fingers.
Mehendi is strongly associated with marital fortune and sexual desire according to Indian mythology. It is said that Shiva’s consort, Parvati, used mehendi to please and seduce Shiva. Hence, it is popularly believed that the “Mehendi ka rasam” or the ritual of applying mehendi, is one of the most important events in a big fat Indian wedding. The bride chooses from a style of mehendi design that she likes, be it Arabic, Indian or anything else and the mehendi artist proceeds to decorate her hands and feet in elaborate designs. The artist is also supposed to hide the groom’s name or initials cleverly within the design so that the bride can later challenge the groom to find it. The more lost the groom gets, the more brownie points to the artist, and of course the girl!
The colour of the mehendi design is also meant to serve as an oracle. The deeper the colour, the happier and more prosperous will their married life be. The darkness or lightness of the colour also reveals the level of protection that the gods will give the couple during their union. Once the mehendi paste starts cracking after application in 15 to 20 minutes, a solution of white sugar and lemon juice is applied over it to help in remoistening and darkening. The painted area is then wrapped with tissue, plastic, or medical tape to lock in body heat, creating a more intense colour on the skin. This is kept for about four to six hours or even overnight and then removed. When first washed, the designs are in pale orange, which gradually darkens to reddish brown due to oxidation over a period of 24 to 72 hours. This colour can remain upto three weeks depending on the type of henna used, on the body part used and the maintenance. Thicker skin stains longer and darker than thinner skin. Moisturising regularly with coconut oil, sesame oil or any other natural oil helps to prolong the lifetime of the henna. Due to the desire for a tattoo black effect of mehendi, many people add dye p-Phenylenediamine, a synthetic agent to the mehendi. However, such preparations should be avoided as they can cause severe allergic reactions. The best mehendi is natural mehendi, obtained by the use of hand ground leaves, mixed with oil, tea extracts and turmeric. Though home grinding doesn’t produce a very smooth paste, it is much safer and gives a darker, longer lasting stain.
It is also believed that if a dot of henna stains a man’s or woman’s forehead, that person is going to be very fortunate. There are many many myths and superstitions attached to mehendi that differs from region to religion, but the thing that remains constant, is the universal love for the beautiful mehendi designs that are accompanied by a beautiful fragrance.
The practice of applying mehendi is quickly spreading to the West for the sheer intricacy and beauty of it. Many women of foreign origin have been spotted wearing mehendi to not just Indian weddings but on a normal day too. While it is termed as a ‘mehendi tattoo’, technically it has no properties of a tattoo as the dye is not being injected into the skin. Perhaps the practice has caught on because of the sheer ease of application. Anyone with a mehendi cone can apply mehendi designs as there is no restriction on designs. One can totally freeball and use all of their artistic bend to design as they please. What’s best is once it comes off in a few weeks, you can re-design and create a masterpiece. Mehendi designs are virtually un-reproducible as they are created by hand individually every time. With experience the designs become more and more elaborate and the procedure becomes faster. Skilled mehendi artists have thousands of designs to their credit and can closely reproduce a particular design if shown. While it may not be the exact replica, it will be gorgeous for sure.
For the really lazy ones out there, mehendi stickers are also available. These come in Arabic, Indian or even contemporary designs that look exactly like hours of preparation and sitting have gone into it. Many new age artists use a number of mehendi accessories to brighten up mehendi designs. Mehendi accessories come mostly in gold or silver stickers that can be strategically placed to enhance the design. Such designs have also been nicknamed ‘designer mehendi’!
Be it designer mehendi or mehendi applied by our sister at home, most of us have an innate love for this beautiful craft. One can almost never think of an Indian wedding without mehendi and one can almost never think of India without mehendi. Grab yourself a mehendi cone from our store and see the beautiful world of mehendi designs unravel in front of you.