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Weddings in India

Mangalsutra - The Sacred Symbol of Marriage

A Hindu marriage symbolizes not just coming together of two individuals, but also the bonding of understanding, commitment, mutual love, oneness and spiritual growth. Traditionally, Hindu marriage is much more than just celebration and fun. It demands sacrifice, companionship, dedication, and devotion from both the partners. Each and every rituals and customs associated with marriage portrays the real essence of wedding. Traditionally, there are five signs of marital status of women, according to Hindu culture- mangalsutra, toe rings, kumkum, bangles and a nose ring. Talking about Mangalsutra, the word denotes a significant meaning. While mangal means aupiscious, sutra can be deciphered as a thread.

Significance Of Mangalsutra In Hindu Marriage
Mangalsutra, as such, is not just a jewelry item, but a sacred thread of love and goodwill worn by married women, as a symbol of their successful marriage. An inevitable part of Hindu marriage ceremony, Mangalsutra refers to a revered symbol of wedlock. India being a land of diversity, different regions in the country have assigned different names for this scared symbol. While it is known as the thaaly or maangalyam in Kannada, Telugu and Tamil in Southern India, people in the northern part of India calls it Mangalsutra. It is believed that the concept of this sacred thread had its roots laid down in South India. Having immense significance and importance, it traveled to North India as well and today, forms an imperative part of the wedding ceremony.

Mangalsutra is the token of dignity and love given to a bride by her groom. On the wedding day, the groom ties the Mangalsutra around the neck of the bride, while the priest recites Vedic hymns and prays. It signifies the union of the bride and the groom, amidst the presence of deities, who are believed to be attending the marriage. In some regions, the groom ties first and his sisters tie the rest. Talking about its appearance, this sacred thread is made of two strings of small black beads with a locket or pendant. Sometimes, it is also made of small beads of gold and black beads, with gold and diamond pendant.

Considered auspicious for married women, mangalsutra is believed to have divine powers. Each of the black beads in the Mangalsutra, signify protection from evil power and are believed to protect the marriage of a couple, essentially the life of the husband. Hindu women feel superstitious, when this scared thread breaks or gets lost. In the present times, mangalsutra are boasts of various designs and patterns. While the Gujaratis and Marwaris often go for a diamond pendant, Maharashtrians have a pendant that consists of one or two vatis and Bengalis in the meanwhile, have coral incorporated in the designing of the Mangalsutra.

Present Scenario
Today, the concept of wearing a mangalsutra has changed considerably. It is more of a fashion statement than a symbol of marriage, thanks to modernization. With the progressive times, the wearing of mangalsutra in working women has considerably reduced. There is also a marked change in the style and making of mangalsutra over the years. Previously, women used to wear simple design mangalsutra, with small pendants, but now, the trend is to wear short length ones, that too with a single string. Instead of gold pendants, they prefer diamond ones. However, the black beads have still managed to remain constant. Whatever may be the reason to adore it, mangalsutra surely symbolizes the real essence and concept of a Hindu marriage.


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Hindu Marriage Rituals
Mangalsutra - The Sacred Symbol of Marriage
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