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.It is a sacred necklace that the groom ties around the bride’s neck on the day of the wedding in a ceremony called Mangalya dharanam (meaning – wearing the auspicious), thereby giving her the status of his wife and life mate. Thereafter, the wife wears the mangalsutra all her life or till the time the husband is alive as a sign of their marriage, mutual love and goodwill, understanding and faithful commitment to one another.
The mangalsutra, worn by most married Hindu women across India, is known differently in different parts of the country – ‘thaali’, ‘thaaly’, ‘pustelu’, ‘maangalyam’ or ‘mangalsutram’ in the southern states of India and ‘mangalsutra’ in the northern states. Each black bead in the mangalsutra is believed to have divine powers that protect the married couple from the evil eye and is believed to safeguard the life of the husband. Hindu women are extremely superstitious about the mangalsutra.
If it breaks or gets lost it is considered ominous. Therefore, the Mangalsutra is much more than a piece of fancy jewelry, but a sacred necklace of love, trust and marital happiness of a Hindu couple – a vital symbol of wedlock.
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.