Since ancient times, hair accessories and traditional hair jewelry have been an integral part of the bridal dress up in India. Every girl is different and unique, be it the way she carries herself or the way she dresses up. I have kept this in mind and have come up with ten gorgeous Indian traditional hair jewelry which is each unique in their own way.
Maang tikka, a traditional jeweled headgear, is a must have for an Indian bride. It is a simple
ornament used to decorate the bride’s hairline.
Maang tikka comprises of a simple chain with a hanging pendant. It can be secured at the middle partition of the head by a small hook.
People believe that a bride should wear a maang tikka in order to protect herself from evil eye and negative energy. Traditional maang tikkas are made of pure gold embellished with precious and semi-precious stones of various colors.
You can select the right color to match your bridal outfit. Stylish yet inexpensive maang tikkas made of metals like silver and brass are also in demand.
Though widely used as a bridal ornament, women of any age can pull off this beautiful jewelry. You can glamourize your ethnic wear by sporting a maang tikka. You can also pair it with western attire. It has become a hot favorite of celebrities and highly popular in the global fashion world.
Tiara is a popular headgear worn by brides all over the world. It is a semi-circular or circular band, embedded with precious stones and jewels.
Though tiaras were previously reserved for the royalty, it has become more of a fashion accessory now. Many prominent celebrities have worn lustrous tiaras that has left their marks in the fashion history. Tiaras are also worn on special
occasions like proms, balls, beauty pageants and galas.
Common people prefer fancy yet budget friendly tiaras that are usually made of plastic, rhinestones, Swarovski crystals, or other non-precious materials.
For an Indian bride, wearing a floral tiara can look lovely on your haldi or mehendi functions. Christian brides usually pair up a jeweled tiara with a veil for that soft yet regal look. Whether a bride or not, if you love those fairy tales, a gorgeous tiara will make you feel like a princess.
HEAD CAP FOR KASHMIRI BRIDE
Traditional Kashmiri bridal outfits are quite colorful and glamorous. The traditional headgear, Tarang is an integral part of Kashmiri Hindu wedding. You can never stop admiring the detailed and elaborate embroidery work in a Tarang.
Tarang (Targa in Kashmiri) worn by Kashmiri Hindu brides is made of two elements. The first element is Kalpush, a long cap. Inside of the cap is lined with either silk or cotton. The kalpush is folded three to four times at the level of your forehead. The second element is a white cloth with a glace paper is stitched on top known as zoojhis. It is wrapped over the kalpush in three or four layers. Remaining portion of the zoojh is allowed to extend down towards the heels. A finely crafted Tarang can add vibrance to the whole wedding outfit.
BORLA FOR RAJASTHANI BRIDE
The Borla or “Bor” had been used as a traditional Rajasthani bridal jewelry for many generations. It is a type of maang tikka worn by women on their wedding day as well as on other occasions. Borlas were an integral part of the jewelry owned by the Queens of Rajasthan. But it came into spotlight once Bollywood divas started sporting jeweled borlas in period dramas. Now, these are high in demand.
The Borla is different from other maang tikkas as it has a spherical or bell-shaped pendant. It consists of a single chain that is placed at the middle partition of your hair secured by a small hook at the end. Embellishments with jewels, beads and pearls make the borla rich in detail and quite elegant. Bor is your best friend if you want to be a Padmavati or Jodha on your big day.
MUNDAVALYA FOR MARATHI BRIDE
Mundavali or Mundavalya is a traditional Maharashtrian headgear, worn during a Maharashtrian wedding. Both the bride and groom wear Mundavalya. This simple headgear is made of pearls and has two strings which define the togetherness of the bride and groom. You can tie the mundavalya on your forehead horizontally. It is gifted to the bride along with paithani saree, in Gaurihar puja, pre-wedding ritual.
If you want a modern spin to your look, you can choose any of these fancy mundavalyas.
As the name suggests, it is made of pearl and are the most popular among the lot.
These are made of real gold and preferred mostly by the rich. Artificial golden finished metallic mundavalya can replace the real ones if you are looking for that low budget yet elegant ones.
If you love a floral head gear, go for a fresh flower mundavalya to add a natural charm to your look. You can substitute it with artificial flower mundavalya if you don’t want to worry about those flowers fading after some time.
Mundavalya with Basinga: Some Maharashtrian communities prefer a Mundavalya with basinga for the wedding.
Elegant, classy and rich with intricate designs- Passa is everything a bride wishes for. The Passa is a Mughal inspired head jewelry. It is a variant of Jhoomar, a gorgeous hair jewelry used to complement a Muslim bridal look.
It has a chandelier kind of design and consists of twelve to fourteen rows of pure pearls. Ruby or emerald beads are interspersed between the pearls. These are then attached to a crescent-shaped panel below. The panel is set with rubies, emeralds, and diamonds. Bunches of pearls attached all along the lower margin of the crescent, hang loosely, creating an enthralling look. The panel is fixed into the hair by a gold hook.
Traditionally, a Muslim bride wears Jhoomar on the left side of the head. It is believed that wearing a crescent on left side will help the bride to keep her emotions in check.
Indians adopted this Mughal ornament, slightly altered its characteristics, and converted it to Passa. Passa, unlike Jhoomar, is cast in gold. The lower crescent-shaped panel was redesigned into a row of square blocks. The number of chains used was also reduced. Dangling bunches of pearls were replaced by delicate “gold pattis” so that every time you move your head, the golden pattis shimmer and add charm to your look. The name was changed from Jhoomar (dangler) in Urdu to Passa (side) in Punjabi.
This traditional hair jewelry has been a staple with Punjabi Hindu brides as well as Pakistani brides. Pairing it up with a maangtikka is a fail-safe yet distinguished way to look radiant on your wedding day. Nowadays, all Indian brides irrespective of caste, creed, and religion, wear Jhoomars or Passas.
Unmarried girls can also wear Jhoomars to uplift their looks. 21st century has seen a lot of Indian ornaments conquering the global fashion world and Jhoomar is not an exception. You can wear these with traditional outfits like anarkalis, lehengas, and Indian suits. If worn the right way, it can add oomph to western apparel as well.
Naga jadai is long traditional hair jewelry mostly worn by South Indian brides. Once braided, Naga jadai is placed along the entire length of the bride’s hair. Traditional designs are timeless and intricate, and never fail to add bling to your bridal look.
Many types of Naga jadai are available. Temple naga jadai have divine motifs with top portion resembling the hood of a snake that depicts the story of Krishna and the deadly snake Kaliya. Other widely used traditional designs are floral motifs, images of Goddess Lakshmi, and peacock.
If you want to add a modern twist to this hair accessory, then you should opt for chotlis. It is a variant of naga jadai, decorated with stones and enamel colors. Contemporary brides can opt for embellishments with pearls as well. Wearing a Nagajadai on your wedding day will bring out the goddess in you.
Thalai saman is a traditional temple headgear mostly worn by South Indian brides. It is comprised of three elements. “Nethi chutti” or “Vagupu chutti” is worn on the middle hair partition. A broad belt on either side of the nethi chutti is worn around the forehead to frame your face. This unique headpiece is made of antique gold and studded with kemp stones or other precious
stones like diamonds, pearls, rubies, and emeralds.
You can also opt for a golden thalai saman if you like elegant designs in gold.
If temple jewelry is your thing, then go for a thalai saman to project the traditional side of you.
Billai is a popular South Indian bridal jewelry used to accessorize the bride’s hair. Billai comprises of nine jeweled hair clips of varying sizes. Once you braid the hair, you can add these clips to each row of the braid in descending order.
Red, green and white stones are mostly used in designing billai. They come in wide variety of designs such as floral, raised circular patterns and even spirals. If you want to flaunt your long hair, then accessorize it with billai to make them look fancier.
Chandrasuryan is also a traditional South Indian hair accessory. You can pair it up with thalai saaman to get a more traditional look.
As the name suggests, this ornament has two decorative pieces, the Surya and Chandran.
The Surya, the piece representing the sun, is worn on the left side of the head. It is considered a symbol of health and power.
The other head-piece, Chandran, represents the moon and is considered as a symbol of romance. It is worn on the right side of the head. Antique gold decorated with kemp stones or precious stones makes a perfect Chandrasuryan.