The South Indian bride cuts a uniquely pretty picture in her bridal finery. Unlike some of her counterparts from other Indian regions, she cannot rely much on her clothes to make her look the bride distinguishably. Draped in 6 or 9 yards of sarees in varying degrees of grandeur, the south Indian bride makes her mark solely with her unique jewellery. Traditionally, the south Indian bride showcases the magnificent temple jewellery characteristic of the region and popularized by temple dancers of yore.
Nethi Chutti- Chandran- Suryan:
The Nethi Chutti is the crowning glory of the South-Indian bride’s wedding jewels. Worn along the parting of the hair, it is usually 3 lines of gold encrusted with precious stones such as rubies, emeralds, and uncut diamonds that frame the bride’s pretty face. The three bejeweled lines come together in a large a pendant that kisses the forehead. The simpler version, ideal for brides with smaller heads, has a single line that runs only along the middle parting. Experimentation in design offers the bride myriad choices that range from simple lines to repetitive motifs in increasing size.
The Nethi Chutti is incomplete without the accompanying sun and moon patterns that are placed on the left and right sides of the head. These signify the ida and pingla energy centers and bring together the divine forces of the sun and moon.
Rakkodi- Thirugupoo-Jada Billai:
The adornment of the hair is completed with a rakkodi, placed exactly on the crown of the head or the sahsrara chakra. A disc of gold with rubies, emeralds, uncut diamonds and pearls, the rakkodi sits pretty atop a floral arrangement that sets it in focus.
The thirigupoo is a smaller rakkodi that may be placed either at the nape of the neck, or anywhere along the bride’s braid. The flowing tresses of the bride are braided with flowers and the braid is further beautified with the jada billai. This is either a strung set of decorative pieces attached to the braid, or individual pieces that are placed strategically along the braid.
These pieces find little to no use for non-dancers, and hence are either borrowed from friends and taken on hire just for the wedding.
Vaira Todu – Jimikki-Maattal:
The south Indian bride is easily identified by the traditional diamond earrings and beautiful jimikkis that dangle off her ears. The vaira thodu or diamond studs were originally conceptualized with seven stones of equal size arranged as a flower. But with time, the studs have found new expression and innovation. Shaped like an umbrella, and studded with precious stones of all kinds, the jimikki is supported by a maattal that is strung along with the jimikki and hooks on to the hair. The versatility of the jimikki makes it a popular ear ornament and brides indulge in pairs they can call their own. Be it in plain gold, or studded with rubies, emeralds, and diamonds, no south indian bride is complete without a pair of beautiful jimikkis in her trousseau.
Mookuthi or Nose Pin:
It is widely believed that the bride’s breath must touch the purity of a diamond before it reaches her groom. Thus, in several south Indian families, it is imperative for the bride to pierce her nose and wear a diamond nose pin.
Necklaces and Haarams:
Though not much is visible through the heavy flower garlands around the bride’s neck, no bride lets go of the opportunity to invest in a beautiful wedding necklace and/or a haaram. The diamond choker is a popular choice as its sparkle cannot be masked even by the several layers of garlands. The long haaram usually in gold, with or without a splendid pendant in precious stones is also an important member of the bride’s jewellery.
The south Indian bride decorates her upper arms with unique arm-bands called Vankis. These U shaped armlets are either in plain gold or encrusted with precious stones.
How can the pretty wrists of a bride go unadorned? Bangles in gold, bangles with diamonds, bangles with rubies and emeralds, the typical wedding colours bedeck the bride’s arms adding to her splendor.
Oddiyanam or the hip belt serves a dual purpose. While cinching the bride’s waist in a corset like manner, it also holds the pallu and the heavy braid in place.
Anklets or Golusu and Metti:
The bride finally beautifies her feet with anklets and toe rings, the latter being the mark of a married woman. These are traditionally made in silver as it is considered irreverent to wear gold on the feet.
The most important wedding jewellery of all is the thaali, without which no marriage is solemnized. The thaali is a pendant that the groom ties around the bride’s neck. Initially strung along a thread made auspicious by turmeric paste, the thaali is eventually transferred to a long chain and must ideally rest alongside the heart as a mark of a husband’s love for his wife. Each family has its own unique thaali design and is perhaps the most romantic of all the bride’s fine jewels.
The bride is undoubtedly the most special person at any wedding and we at Gehna, respect and celebrate that. Visit us and meet our extremely talented team of designers so that every dream you have ever had about your bridal jewellery needs can be realized with consummate perfection. Customize bangles to your taste, design your masterpiece of a necklace with our team, do not shy away from conceptualizing the perfect Jimikki or from experimenting with the mandatory diamond studs, and perhaps indulge yourself with a pair of Vankis, a Rakkodi, or any other piece that may grab your fancy!