Dating back to the 6th century AD, the mangalsutra is one of the most important pieces of jewellery in a Hindu married woman’s life. Literally, it can be broken down into two words “mangal”, meaning holy or auspicious and “sutra”, meaning thread. Historically, a thread smeared with yellow turmeric was tied around the bride’s wrist and this signified that she was now officially married to the man who tied it around her wrist.
Through time the thread evolved and became a neckpiece. The base was still made with yellow thread and black beads were strung on. These little black beads were supposed to protect the married couple from evil spirits or ill wishes that could threaten their happiness. In many parts of the country according to varying customs, gold, red and even white beads could be used along with the black beads. Eventually a pendant began to be incorporated in the design and it would be made of gold. Today, many people use a diamond pendant which is completely ornamental and has no religious significance.
Different states have different designs for the gold pendant. Many use the engraved image of a reigning deity, the Telugus use two gold disc, some use the temple structure design, some create a vessel or bowl shape and some keep it purely ornamental. It is also called thaali in the Southern states. The Konkanis wear three necklaces around their neck called dhaaremani or muhurtmani (big golden bead), mangalasutra with one or two gold discs and kasithaali with gold and coral beads. The common designs are the Lakshmi thaali worn by the Telugus, ela thaali or minnu worn by the Malayalees and the kumbha thaali worn by the tamilians of the Kshatriya caste. The design is chosen by the groom's family according to prevalent customs. In many customs, the groom ties one knot and his sister is supposed to tie the other two knots.
The mangalsutra, though a mandatory piece of ornament for a married woman today is not worn continuously. Many reserve it for special occasions and do not wear it on a daily work basis. Accordingly, designs too have been modified to make them suited for a more urban wear. At Craftsvilla, we cater to both traditional and modern tastes. Master craftsmen from around the country have designed a wide variety of mangalsutras — a range of designs that are not only beautiful, but also functional. Monsoon brides can find special mangalsutras that won’t lose their shine to the rain. Each design is a celebration of a new beginning in your life.
Log onto Craftsvilla and buy mangalsutras online as you are about to begin a new chapter in your life. We wish you the very best ahead.