Fashion & Beauty

The Traditional 16 Love Charms of an Indian Bride | Sixteen Adornements / Solah Shringar

By TGB Desk / On July 25th, 2016

It’s pretty much a given that every bride wants to look gorgeous, beautiful, radiant and stunning on the day of her wedding. In addition, all the eyes would be on the bride on the most important day of her life. The bridal jewelry imparts a touch of royalty to the bride. Traditionally, an Indian bride has to adorn herself with 16 different types of ornaments called “Solah Shingar” or “Padhahaaru KaLalu” or “16 adornments”.

Solah Shingar means an Indian bride/married woman has to beautify herself with 16 important ornaments from head to toe. It is an ancient ritual which when followed enhances the beauty of the bride by highlighting her features. It is said that the 16 adornments nullify the negative vibes of the 16 phases of the moon which is believed to affect the menstruation cycle of a woman. All these adornments also signify Goddess Lakshmi who is an embodiment of beauty, fertility, luck, wealth and prosperity. A married woman is expected to follow this ritual on all major religious festivals and activities.

Mangala Snanam
This ritual is preceded by a “holy Bath” or “Mangala Snanam”. As part of this ritual, firstly the bride’s hair is properly oiled by married women of the house. Then the hair of the bride is washed with natural ingredients like shikakai or soapnuts. The bride is given organic bath powder/scrub called “Nalugu pindi” made of natural and aromatic ingredients like gram flour, rose petals, herbs, turmeric powder etc which is mixed with milk and water. These natural ingredients impart healthy and flawless skin to the bride.
Sixteen Adornments of a South Indian Bride
Hair do and flowers

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It is customary for a South Indian bride to adorn her hair with a floral ornament called Poola jada. Now a days, it has become trendy for the South Indian brides to wear a poola jada that is colour coordinated with her wedding ensemble. This one adornment imparts a touch of royalty to the beautiful bride.

Maangtika (Nethi Chutti / Papita Billa)

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This hair accessory is very beautiful and is worn in the parting of the hair. A sparkling and dazzling maang tikka gives the bride that perfect look.

Sindhoor (Vermilion)

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Sindhoor is traditionally called “Kumkuma” (red colored powder) in South India. It’s one of the important symbols of married women and is applied on the parting of the hair by the husband for the first time on their wedding day. This is applied for the long life of the husband.
Kalyana Tilakam or bindi

             PC: Gorgeous bride “Manasa”

 Traditionally, kumkuma is applied in a circular dot on the forehead between the eyebrows. It’s called bottu or bindi. But a Telugu bride applies it in a different fashion during wedding and is called “Kalyana thilakam”.
Kaatuka or Kaajal
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This is black kohl that’s applied to the waterline of the eyes of the bride to enhance the beauty of her eyes. It’s believed that home made kaajal has cooling effect on the eyes.
Mukkera or Nose ring
A mukkera or nose ring gives the bride a beautiful ethnic look. It’s usually made of gold, pearls and precious stones. A few brides wear a stud (which is called mukku pudaka) and a few prefer elaborate ones.
Jhumkis or Ear rings
A lot of South Indian brides prefers jhumkis on their wedding day. A bride looks stunning in these classic traditional ear rings.
Mangal Sutr (Mangala Sutram)
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A bride and a groom become a man and wife once the groom ties the sacred Mangala sutram around the neck of his bride. This is the most important and sacred symbols of a married woman. It’s said that the practice of wearing the mangala sutram enhances the well-being of the husband.
Wedding saree (Pelli Pattu Cheera)
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The moment the dates of the wedding are finalised the hunt for the perfect wedding saree begins. This is very important as the wedding saree clinches the whole look of the bride on the wedding day. Traditionally, a South Indian bride drapes a gorgeous Kanjeevaram saree for the wedding. Usually a red or green saree is preferred but of late the brides are experimenting with the colours.
Armlets are worn on the upper arm of the bride. It’s believed that armlets ward off the evil eye.
Every Indian girl applies mehendi on important occassions. And applying mehendi to a bride is a ritual and is celebrated by all the women of the household. It’s one of the important pre-wedding rituals. There is a saying which correlates the color of the mehendi on the hands of the bride with the love her husband would have for her. The darker the color, the deeper his love for her.
In South India, apart from mehendi a red colored liquid called “Paaraani” is also applied to the feet. This is considered auspicious and is applied during the bridal shower and wedding as well.
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I am sure every Indian girl loves bangles. These bangles are made of gold, glass, laakh, metal and of late plastic too. But for the wedding, a South Indian bride wears gold bangles combined with glass bangles.
Finger rings 
A bride is expected to wear rings on eight fingers and all the eight rings are attached to the circular ornament that covers the back side of the palm.
Waist Belt ( Kamar Bandh)
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An Indian bride wears a beautifully designed belt made of gold, pearls and precious tones around her waist. This accentuates her figure and also helps in holding the saree in place.
Anklets & Toe Rings
A bride wears beautiful anklets made of silver. A cluster of tiny bells are attached to these anklets which make beautiful sound as the bride moves. Whatever be the color of the wedding ensemble, these silver anklets complement and accentuate it.
In South Indian marriages the groom adorns the bride with these silver toe rings. Generally, these rings are worn on the 2nd toe of both the feet.
Itar or Perfume
A bride is expected to stay fresh and smell good through the wedding which makes a woman more attractive to her man. Therefore, a bride applies special fragrance on the most important day of her life.
I, personally, feel there is another important ornament for a bride – Smile!
Yes, it may sound little cheesy, but girls wear your brilliant smile on your wedding day. Please make a conscious effort to do so. Remember that your wedding pics are forever and so don’t forget to smile!!!
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Have a wonderful week ahead!
Stay Happy!!

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