Traditionally married Hindu women in India are accustomed to 16 Shringar or Ornaments. These ornamental jeweleries are not meant for just beauty, rather they are worn by Hindu women to show marital bliss in a more profound spiritual sense. Apart from bridal makeup, Solah Shringar is a Hindu tradition and serves the purpose of strong marital bond between bride and groom.
As per Hindu rituals, here we are giving the significance of the following Solah Sringar or 16 Ornaments. Starting from the hair we will gradually move down to the toe.
Hair of the bride after bath is decorated with Keshapasharachana. It is made with either natural flowers or jewelery for hair that runs down through the hair.
2. Maang Tikka
This piece of jewelery is worn in the maang i.e. the middle of hair above forehead. It is usually a 5 inch long piece that covers the maang, hence the name Maang Tikka.
It is a kind of red sacred vermillion (not Abir). Sindoor is put in the maang similar to Maang Tikka. In traditional Hindu marriages, Sindoor is put on the maang of the bride for the first time by her husband. It is considered very sacred and is worn only by married women with alive husbands. It is spiritually associated with long life of the husband.
Down the Sindoor, in the middle of forehead is worn Bindi, a tiny piece attached through glue. A traditional Bindi is circular in shape and of deep red color, but today modern Bindis come with various shapes and colors are available.
Kajal is a black eyeliner to shade the lower borders of eyelids to give a sense of depth to the eyes. It is traditionally prepared from lamp black.
Nath or Nose Ring is worn on pierced nose usually on the left nostril. It usually has embedded pearls, gems or diamond engraved in gold.
Jumka or Karnphool are a type of earrings which are worn on pierced ears. The are usually heavier than usual earrings and are hanged through the piercing in the lower soft part of the ear.
8. Mangal Sutra
Mangal Sutra is a type of necklace worn by only married women. Traditional Mangal Sutras are usually made of gold and black beads.
Bajubands are armbands worn on both biceps. They are usually made of gold with some engraved pearls. The look very beautiful and are worn on naked arms.
Choodiyan are sets of bracelets and bangles. Usually made of ivory, glass or metal. There are several varieties of bangles available including Kangans made of gold.
Mehendi or Henna is a form of natural tattoo and is applied on the palms, hands and feet. Natural Mehendi gives bright red shade. Dark red and black shades are also available and widely used.
Hathphool (Hand Flowers) is worn on both the hands on the part opposite to palms. There is a central flower in the middle that is connected through chains to bracelet and rings on fingers. In some cases, the left hand thumb ring has a mirror called Aarsi, which we will discuss next.
Aarsi is a ring with mirror assembled in it and is worn by bride on her left thumb. The bride can use the mirror to look her face as well her husband’s. This is so because, traditionally the bride use to has a veil and can’t see her husband directly.
It is a gold or silver belt worn around the waist. It is put over the saree around the waist. It is quite heavy and holds the wedding saree in its place.
Payal (Pajeb or Anklet) is a silver chain which is worn around feet. It produces “Chham Chham” sound and catches attention as the bride walks around.
Bichua is the toe ring worn by a bride. Usually it is worn in the second toe of left feet. It is also a strong symbol of marriage and is worn by the bride as long as her husband is alive.
I hope you enjoy reading this article about Hindu tradition of Bridal makeup. If something is left, let me know in the comments section.