Indian jewellery always has an interesting emergence story to it. Our jewellery is not only immaculately designed, it’s equally pristine when it comes to holding cultural significance.
What has become a sensation globally today was earlier an ornament of the married Indian woman. From households to the ramps for fashion weeks, the Indian maang tikka’s progression in all these years is nothing short of a legacy.
Maang Tikka is in fact one of the most distinguishing attributes of an Indian bridal look.
A maang tikka usually is a small chain that is hooked on to the woman’s hair at one end and has a dangling pendant at the other end that rests beautifully on the forehead.
Primarily, the maang tikka was adorned by the brides because it is believed that wearing the tikka imparts wisdom and a strong will to the bride. This gives her the strength to start of the new journey of her life.
Also, the centre of the forehead is believed to house the ajna chakra which stands for preservation. This chakra resides the half-male, half-female androgyne which is the ultimate representative of the union of love. It also signified the blissfully coming together of the husband and the wife.
The maang tikka is also believed to ward off any evil that may harm the new bride and prevent her from any negative energy.
Our traditional scriptures and historic, valuable paintings will bear witness to the maang tikka being a highly valued ornament for the women, masses and royal blood alike. The celestially beautiful women of ancient India which were quite the crowd puller were seen sporting this piece of jewellery. Not only was the tikka an asset of the married woman, it was indicative of the royal lineage the woman came from.
Quickly, women, married or not, began sporting this jewellery. Various dance forms, theatre looks were incomplete without the mesmerizing maang tikka.
Today, the bridal jewellery is incomplete without a maang tikka. It has become the sacrosanct of the Indian bride!
The Many Styles of the Maang Tikka
Maatha-Patti- single line
This famous style of maang tikka has the conventional chain and the pendant and in addition has two lines on either side running like a river’s tributary. These chains on either sides too have a hook at their far ends which keeps the patti in place. This is a signature bride ornament and comes in various fascinating designs.
Maatha-Patti – Multi-Tier
This is a much heavier and fuller version of the single line maatha-patti. Other than the two chains running on either side of the centre forehead, there are more chains cascading. These chains could either be simple gold chains or decked with pearls or gem stones.
This variation gives out a very heavy and royal bridal look. A little piece of advice though, this style looks good only on lonf faces or faces with a broad forehead otherwise you might end up looking like an excessively decked up fancy dress participant!
This style has the regular chain with a dangling pendant that rests on the forehead. This is amongst the most stylish and fashionable of the tikkas because it is traditional yet modern in its look and design.
These have oversized pendants attached to the chain which cover most of the forehead. Again, for these, they are best suited on large foreheads or on faces with elongated cheekbones.
These are maang tikkas worn by the Muslim brides. They are intricately designes and are worn on the side of the hair running down till the ear cartilage. Ancient Mughal paintings also depict the jhoomar style maang tikka.
These are worn by the rural Rajasthani and Haryana wom. It is also a signature ornament in their folk dances. This variation of the tikka has the regular chain but instead of a pendant,
there is a tassel hanging from it which rests on the upper forehead a little down where the partition begins.
The borla looks very similar to the Indian fruit ber or bor and hence the name.
The borla had become a fashion statement post Aishwarya Rai’s portrayal of Jodha Bai in the magnum opus Jodha Akbar.
The Style Icon
The Maang Tikka is reflective of the culturally rich and aristocratic heritage our country takes pride in. what had come into existence as the essential ornament for solah-shringar of the Indian married woman took many improvisations over the years. It is no longer restricted to the married woman’s jewellery but has become a funky accessory. It very subtly adds a dash of bold sand sensuous to your look.
Bollywood has a fascination for maang tikkas with our top actresses opting for the tikka not just in movies but in their movie promotion appearances and Diwali parties or Bollywood weddings too.
And not just in India, the maang tikka is a rage world over too. It has been the iots of various celebrated fashion shows with iconic figures like Kim Kardarshian , Beyonce, Paris Hilton and many other starlets sporting it.
Yet again, this piece of Indian jewellery has taken the world by storm and we Indians should take immense pride in it.