Mangalsutra is an integral part of a Hindu married woman’s life in India. It is a pendant necklace with black beads into a gold chain along with a gold plate dangling as the centrepiece.
It is tied around the Hindu bride’s neck by the hands of the groom. It is done so during the holy wedding ceremony and symbolizes the unification of bride and groom into a holy marriage and are responsible now to take care of each other and each other’s families.
Mangalsutra tied around the bride’s neck represents auspiciousness, and prosperity and is regarded to act as an amulet for her and her husband against evil forces.
Brides are supposed to wear their mangalsutra religiously 24×7 in their ensemble if they are married as it is considered a part of their identity as married women.
Meaning Of Mangalsutra & Why It Is Important?
Mangalsutra is derived from the Sanskrit word “mangalsutram”. “Mangal” means auspicious or fortunate and “sutra” means a thread. So, the basic meaning derived from the word is that it is an auspicious thread that bounds the groom and bride in holy matrimony to have a blessed and prosperous future together.
Mangalsutra represents the union of Lord Mahadev (Shiva) and Goddess Parvati (Shakti). This shows the purest bond shared by a man and a woman in a marriage and their commitment towards each other like the one Mahadev and Parvati shared.
Also, mangalsutra designs or mangalsutra design gold consists of black beads beaded into a gold chain or wire. The black beads are believed to destroy the destressing vibrations and attract cosmic vibes towards the women to protect them against the evil eye. The gold has healing properties and when worn in proximity to the heart leads to her overall well-being of her.
Mangalsutra is also worn by married women to enhance the well-being and health of their husbands and bless them with a long and happy life.
History of Mangalsutra
The origin of mangalsutra can be dated back to the 6th century AD. With time, there have been changes in mangalsutra designs due to cultural and regional variations. Initially, mangalsutra designs comprised a yellow thread which is prepared with turmeric along with black and sometimes gold or red or both beads beaded into the thread.
Turmeric or Haldi have antiseptic and healing properties and is well regarded as an auspicious ingredient in marriage customs. Black beads are to spirit away the evil eye over the bride and groom and their relationship. Red beads are associated with the planet mars, also called Mangal. The colour of mars is red which is considered a sacred colour in the life of a Hindu married woman.
This yellow thread bathed in a turmeric paste was ceremonially tied around the bride’s neck by the groom’s hands by securing it with three knots, with mantras being chanted by the priest. The significance of these knots was that they represented three important aspects of the marriage for the wife. The first knot signified the obedience of the wife towards her husband. The second knot depicted her respect and commitment towards her husband’s parents. And the third knot signified her devotion towards God
Conspicuously, as time went by, yellow-threaded mangalsutras are replaced by mangalsutra gold design. Nowadays, you can find mangalsutra gold design conveniently including one in a gold chain and a gold or diamond centrepiece with black beads.
Mangalsutras first originated in South India where the Hindu brides wore the turmeric painted yellow thread with a silver pendant at the centre. It was called “thali” because its centrepiece looked like one.
From the southern region, later on, the mangalsutra was adopted by North India with its cultural variations and version, such as mangalsutra design gold, where mangalsutra designs were made of gold centrepiece instead of silver. Countries like Sri Lanka and Nepal also came to adopt this tradition in their ways.
Sri Lanka’s religious roots are linked to the Tamil immigration into the country and Nepal comprises more than 80% of its population as Hindus.
Why does the mangalsutra have black beads?
As already stated, the mangalsutra represents the union and bond shared by Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. It is considered that a gold pendant or thali represents the Goddess Parvati while the black beads signify Lord Shiva.
Traditionally, there are 9 beads in a mangalsutra which are believed to possess 9 different forms of energies to protect the husband and wife and their relationship from evil powers. These beads are also regarded to hold the power of five elements of nature, namely, air, water, earth, fire, and wind. These five elements help to strengthen the bond and love shared by husband and wife.
Can We Wear Mangalsutra Before Marriage?
Mangalsutra means marriage. Mangalsutra is a piece of the signification of a married woman. It is a part of her identity of being married. Mangalsutra is given during the wedding ritual by the groom to the bride, and thus it in no way justifies being an ornament of an unmarried woman. According to Hindu Vedas too, it is restricted for a woman to adorn mangalsutra or any such identity trinket exclusive for married women.
Though, with the changing times, the value of rituals and traditions starts to wear off. Customs and practices, like everything else, have been revamped to be made more inclusive and flexible according to times. Mangalsutra, like that, has become equal to a fashion accessory as an ornament of huge value for the identity of a married woman.
So, if for you mangalsutra is just another piece of fashion statement which attracts you for its looks rather than the cultural and sentimental values that it represents, then you can choose to adorn one from the plethora of mangalsutra modern design even before marriage as a piece of fancy jewellery.
When Should You Wear Mangalsutra?
According to traditions, married women are supposed to wear mangalsutra every day, all the time at any cost. In ancient times, it was rare to see a woman taking off her mangalsutra without extreme circumstances, such as the death of her husband. But then women of ancient India had a habit of adorning kilos of jewellery on them.
There is no such trend nowadays. Women only adorn heavy jewellery or any sort of jewellery for that matter of fact on occasions, including mangalsutra. Besides that, the mangalsutra given to the bride by the groom is usually a little heavy to wear daily, so the wives after marriage tend to get dainty mangalsutra design gold or mangalsutra designs diamond.
Which Type Of Mangalsutra Is The Best? Can It Be Worn In A Hand?
Mangalsutra is traditionally worn on the neck of the bride, and tied around by the groom. But nowadays, it is not just a ritual of marriage, it is a piece of jewellery for a modern-day woman closest to her heart.
It is a world of minimalism. Not every woman who believes in the sentimental values and core values of the mangalsutra might like wearing a piece of jewellery around her neck all the time, especially working women who are expected to dress professionally in the working environment. But what if you still wish to wear your magalsutra daily?
To solve the problem at hand, there are a plethora of mangalsutra modern design available today. These are contemporary and vogue in style along with being super convenient at the same time for you to style anywhere and everywhere.
There has also been a trend of wearing mangalsutras on hand as it is more convenient and looks chic. There are Mangalsutra rings, Mangalsutra bracelets, and even Mangalsutra watch charms available in the market for all the married women out there looking for something stylish other than the traditional neck mangalsutras. And they are much more affordable on the pocket as well.
So, if you had any doubts regarding wearing it on hand, here is your answer. Besides, as it is said, the customs and traditions, are made for people and not the other way around. There is no hard and fast rule mandatory to be followed to embrace your culture. You can celebrate it traditionally, or yours, or maybe someone else’s as long as you believe in it in your heart.
Therefore, there is no particular answer to the question, “Which type of mangalsutra designs are the best?” It depends from person to person. The mangalsutra which makes you comfortable and reassures you of your happy marriage with the person you love is the best kind of mangalsutra.
But here’s a list of a bunch of different mangalsutra designs for you to look at and choose your pick:
With this, this blog is concluded here. We hope to have helped clear your doubts and queries. Which mangalsutra designs are your favourite? Tell us in the comments below.