Western India, being the land of Rajputs, Marathas, Mauryas, and other such powerful kingdoms, has been endowed with a rich cultural heritage. This is reflected in different elements of cultures and traditions, including wedding jewelry.
Indian Wedding Jewelry for Brides from the West
Along with necklaces, chooda forms an important of Indian wedding jewelry in the west. Let’s take a look at some of the unique wedding jewelry of some of the states of West India.
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The Kundan butti is a popular earring style among Marwari and Rajasthani brides. Similar to jhumkas, Kundan buttis are massive and lengthy enough to cover the entire area between the shoulders and the earlobes.
Aadh Bridal Necklace
The Aadh necklace is a staple of Rajasthani wedding jewelry, which was originally created to suit the opulent taste of Rajasthani queens. This Indian wedding necklace consists of two major parts: a mesh curtain and a choker-like centerpiece.
Rajasthan is highly known for its bracelets, particularly the lac bracelets, which form part of the Rajasthani Chooda/Chuda. The bangles in the Rajasthani chooda are of some of the brightest hues, including blue, pink, gold, red, and yellow, enhancing the beauty of the entire set. Leheriya art is also used in these bangles to highlight Rajasthan's incredibly rich cultural heritage.
The name “borla” was originally derived from the word "bor," which described a jujube fruit with a round form that was historically most common in various parts of Rajasthan. Since then, it has been given the name of this stunning piece of jewelry. Rajasthani brides wear the borla at their weddings—it has been worn by brides for hundreds of years as an ethnic ornament.
One of the most important pieces of Rajasthani bridal jewelry are pacheli bangles, sometimes referred to as gokhru. These bangles, whose outside width can reach 10 cm, include a number of tiny projections that are frequently adorned with seed pearl or diamond clusters. Meenakari-adorned metal bangles are exquisite pieces of jewelry on their own but are typically worn in pairs with other bracelets or bangles in between them.
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Kaliganthi is a traditional Gujarati necklace. The term refers to the necklace's amulet-like shape and meaning, made of discrete gold filigree units that are strung together as a necklace and embellished with pearls and precious stones.
The Gujarati brides also wear a chooda on the day of their wedding. The bangles of the Gujarati chooda are red and ivory. The bangles can be worn for anywhere between 45 days and 1.5 years.
The Shinka is heavily embellished with gemstones and is made of gold. The brides in Gujarati culture wear this distinctive headpiece on their forehead. Shinka differs slightly from contemporary matha tika in that it mostly consists of gold and gemstones as opposed to contemporary pearls and Kundan.
The Damani, a version of the common matha patti that rests on the bride's head, is a distinctive piece of wedding jewelry for Gujarati brides. This item often has loops with central chains that connect back to the hair and is covered in precious stones.
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The Bugadi is a piece of Maharashtrian wedding jewelry that the bride wears on the upper helix portion of the ear. Traditionally, Bugadi was only available in pearls, but modern versions feature massive diamonds and other decoration motifs.
The Maharashtrian Nath is different from the traditional nose rings from other Indian regions, such as Punjabi, Uttar Pradesh, etc. This nosepiece is constructed with pearls that have been woven into paisley patterns. Originally made of pearls and other precious stones, Nath has since undergone several silversmithing experiments. The Maharashtrian Nath is available in many different patterns and styles, such as the Banu Nath, Peshwai Nath, Pachu Nath, and others.
The Mundavlya is a quintessential Maharashtrian wedding jewelry piece. It is a string of pearls that hangs vertically down the sides of the face from the temples of the forehead. Both the bride and the groom wear it on their wedding day.
Ambada is a hair ornament that Marathi women, especially brides, wear on their hair buns to adorn them. It is adorned with lovely stones and diamonds that highlight the bun. The sunflower with jowar beads is the most widely used motif.
Thussi is perhaps the quintessential Maharashtrian bridal necklace. Both married women and newlyweds don this Indian wedding jewelry piece during weddings, festivals, and other important occasions. This choker-style Indian bridal necklace pairs well with their traditional attire thanks to its unique design.
Mohan Mala is yet another stunning piece of Indian wedding jewelry that forms an important part of Maharashtrian bridal jewelry. It is a lengthy necklace made of numerous layers of tiny, golden, spherical beads. The Mohan Mala can be worn as a standalone piece or layered with other necklaces or Mohan Malas of various lengths.
The bridal attire of a Maharashtrian bride is incomplete without the symbolic green chooda. These glass bangles, which are a sign of fertility and good fortune, are worn on both hands in odd numbers. The bride and newlywed women also wear patlis (or patlyas), which are gold bracelets embellished with traditional designs.