Indian bangles are one of the most popular types of jewelry in India. Bangles are traditional in India and, as a custom, brides have to wear bangles during their wedding. The significance of bangles can differ depending on the region, but generally, bangles signify marriage and purity. Younger women wear bangles even if they are not married because of the tradition and local customs. Today, Indian bangles have become very fashionable around the word and you can find them in different colors, sizes, and designs. In this article, you will discover the meaning of bangles according to their region in India and also what they signify according to their design.

Indian bangles – From past to present

Indian bangles have been a constant tradition ever since Hindu religion came into existence. India has a very diverse culture, wedding customs and rituals in its different states. Classic examples of Indian bangles are the copper bangles that were excavated from Mahurjari, the gold bangles from Taxila and the ornate bangles from the time of the Mauryan Empire. Every goddess idol discovered so far is wearing bangles. Over time, people have created bangles from bronze, copper, shell, lac, terra cotta, glass, silver, and gold.

The importance of Indian Bangles for married women

Married women must wear bangles, especially glass, shell or lac bangles. These accessories symbolize marriage and are a powerful expression in the Hindu culture. Symbols like pola, shankha, and toe rings are full of old-age traditions. Even though culture is always developing, traditions such as gold bangles and silver bangles will never fade while Hindu religion is still here. The desires and dreams of contemporary Indian women may wary, but the tradition will always be there to define their persona. This includes weddings (as well as other ceremonies).

The significance of material and color

The color of the bangles is very important, and full of significance, just as the material oft he bracelet. Some of the most popular types of bangles can include:

  • Red and green Indian bangles. Women wear these bangles in the southern parts of India and they signify fertility and prosperity.
  • Gold bangles. This type of gold bracelet is very popular. Even though there is no religious or traditional significance to the gold bangle, they are a great fashion statement. The gold bangles usually signify wealth and prosperity.
  • Ivory bangles. These are usually given to newlywed brides and are traditionally called chooda. This type of bangles are a must-have for all brides-to-be and must be worn on the wedding day and after for a specific period of time.
  • Iron bangles. While in some cultures the bride receives from the family of the groom an ivory bangle, in some parts of India the brides receives a gold plated iron bangle. Usually, gold plated iron bangles are accompanied by shell bangles or red coral bangles.

The culture and variety of Indian Bangles

These types of bracelets come in many varieties, ranging from expensive gold-diamond jewelry and colorful bracelets to delicate and attractive turquoise or glass bangles.

  • In the southern states of India, gold is considered very auspicious. That is why in some communities, the brides wear gold bangles along green-colored glass bangles. Green is thought to signify prosperity and fertility.
  • In Bengal, new brides wear conch shell bangles and red coral bangles. It is a tradition for the mother-in-law to gift the bride with a plated bangle when she enters the new household.
  • In Gujarat and Rajasthan, the brides usually wear chooda or ivory bangle. The maternal uncle of the bride will gift her a chooda in the famous mameru ceremony in Gujarat.
  • In Bihar, brides wear lac bangles, which are considered a sign of luck and good omen.
  • In Punjab, brides wear red and ivory bangles, known as chooda. These bangles are worn for a period of time, usually for forty days.
  • In Maharashtra, the chooda have a totally different signification. Brides wear an odd number of green glass bangles. In this region, green signifies new life, creativity, and Brides-to-be also wear solid gold bangles or silver bangles called patlya. The groom’s family traditionally gives this type of gold bracelet to the bride.

Each ritual can depend on the region where the wedding is taking place. Each moment is entertaining and delightful and full of cultural significance.

Contemporary bangles traditions

Today, women from all over India (indifferent of their marital status) wear bangles of various types and styles. Some women from India, but mostly from other countries wear Indian bangles as a fashion statement, not necessarily as a tradition. For Indian women, bangles are not a simple ornament, but they love them. It is a tradition to wear these bracelets after marriage as well, for the sake of luck, health, and prosperity. One of the most popular types of bangles aside from the gold and silver bangles are the turquoise bangles.

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Ruxandra is a fashion blogger who teaches fashion stumped twenty to thirty somethings how to shop their jewelry boxes for polished new ensembles. Her work has been featured in Vogue, Fashionista, Nylon, and Refinery29.