For centuries, Indian women are known for the unique, traditional way in which they carry themselves. Though, the way a traditional Indian woman dresses and accessorises herself looks overdone sometimes, it reflects the strong values she shares with the society, family and herself. This article includes the Top 8 accessories worn by Indian woman. These accessories may look simple as they are worn by a majority of Indian woman in their day to day life but the reality is that a traditional Indian woman is incomplete without these accessories. These accessories play a great role in showing the grace and beauty of an Indian woman.
1. Toe Ring or Bichhiya :
An Indian woman usually wears a toe ring on the longest toe of both feet but some women like wearing these rings on the other fingers too. The toe ring is always worn in pair and it is a symbol of a married Indian woman. A toe ring is generally made up of silver and it has stone, diamonds, pearl setting, meenakari work etc. on the top. The designs are intricate and have changed a lot in the recent years. In the past Indian women preferred heavy and big toe rings but today light weight, contemporary designs are in trend. However, for special occasions like weddings, the heavy ones are the first choice. Gold is not usually used to make these rings because wearing gold below the waist is considered inauspicious in some parts of India.
2. Anklets or Payal:
Anklets are chains worn around the ankle. They are worn in pair in both the feet. They are generally made up of silver and like the toe rings they too have different settings or works on them to make the design more beautiful. A traditional anklet has a sweet sound associated with it. We can find lots of ‘Ghungroo’ attached to a traditional anklet which produces a sweet sound when an Indian woman sways her feet or walks. Anklets are worn by both married woman and unmarried girls in India. With changing times, anklet made up of colourful strings, crystals, pearls, beads etc. have also become popular amongst the teenagers or college going girls in India and some of the unmarried girls like to wear them on only one foot.
3. Waist- Band or Kamarbandh:
One of the sexiest and graceful accessories adorned by Indian woman is a waist-band popularly known as Kamarbandh. This is a chain worn around the waistline. It highlights the feminine nature of an Indian woman. Traditional waist-bands are made up of both silver and gold and are usually worn over a sari or ghagra-choli. They come in a variety of designs and patterns. Some women like wearing very sleek waist- band while some prefer patterns that start from the waist line and move downwards. Modern waist bands are made up of colourful strings, beads, pearls, crystals, diamonds etc. and are a craze among college going Indian girls for special occasions. They even wear these on low waist jeans.
Bangles are worn by woman all around the world but for majority of Indian women they are a symbol of marriage. However, these are worn by unmarried girls too. These colourful bands worn around the wrist represent the lively spirit of an Indian woman. The glass bangles produce a sweet sound that is associated with femininity of an Indian woman. Bangles are made using wide range of materials such as glass, silver, copper, gold, plastic, fibre etc. In many parts of India, wearing bangles after marriage is a custom.
Mangalsutra is a very auspicious accessory worn by a married Indian woman in some parts of India. It symbolizes marriage. ‘Managla’ means pure and ‘Sutra’ means thread. So, mangalsutra literally means a thread that represents purity. In some states of India, a managlsutra is tied by the groom around the neck of the bride and she only removes it when she is parts with her husband by choice or destiny (death of the spouse). Black beads or pearls are beaded in the magalsutra thread and it usually has a gold or diamond pendant attached to it. For some, it is necessary to wear a mangalsutra after marriage while in other parts, this holy thread is worn by Indian married woman by choice and they can either wear or remove it whenever she likes to do so.
6. Bindiya or bindi
A Bindi is worn on the forehead, just between the eyebrows by an Indian woman. A traditional bindi is a round red coloured dot. In past, married woman used Sindoor to make a dot on their forehead. Sindoor is red coloured powder used to fill the partition in hair that symbolizes marriage in India. With changing times, we have readymadebindis usually made up of thin material with stone and pearls setting over it. They are available in variety of shapes, sizes, designs, patterns and colours. These readymadebindis are popular among both married and unmarried woman in India.
In many parts of India the girls get their ears pierced at a very early age. Earrings are worn by both married woman and unmarried girls in India but for those who are married it is not considered auspicious to keep their ears bare. Ear rings are generally made up of silver and gold with diamonds and stone settings on them. Gold earrings are the most preferred choice among traditional Indian women while college going girls like colourful earrings made up of glass, plastic, copper, bronze, fibre etc. that can be matched with the colours of their attires to suit various occasions.
8. Nose-ring or nath:
A nose ring is a small ring worn over the lower nose on one side. Usually made up of gold, it is also considered an auspicious accessory for married Indian woman in most parts of India. Nose rings are also made with stone and diamond settings on them. Meenakari work over a nose ring is also popular in India.
I hope the description of the value, importance and beauty of these Indian accessories have helped you understand, how these day to day accessories can make an Indian woman look traditional yet stylish. These eight accessories for Indian woman are some very basic and important accessories that not only make an Indian woman look beautiful, but also make her feel attached to her roots. They should be worn by all Indian women. So, what are you waiting for? Adorn yourself with these Indian accessories and show the world that you are a part of a rich and diverse Indian culture.
Vineeta Sinha, the owner and president of Vineeta Constructions Co. is a writer and blogger at heart. An economics graduate, the talented writer has been in the writing industry for years. When asked about how she manages the two very different professions, she says, “Construction business is what me and my husband who is a civil engineer dreamt of together and I am glad we succeeded but writing is something I have been doing years before I stepped into the construction world. I was very young when I realized that there was a hidden passion for writing in me and I unveiled it through my school magazine for the very first time and there has been no looking back since then. Though construction contributes more in running my world, writing is something that completes me.”