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Karnataka Wedding Jewellery - Kannadiga Bride

The age old traditions that vary through the different parts of the seventh largest state, Karnataka have the people following diverse wedding styles in keeping with the rich diversity of the region. The weddings ceremonies are relatively short and are similar to those followed in Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh. However, the wedding celebrations in Karnataka extend for a week including pre-wedding, wedding and post-wedding ritual

The traditional Kannadiga bride wears a beautiful, traditional 9 yards long Nauvari saree. Green glass bangles are must for this bride very much similar to a Maharashtrian bride and a typical sign of the married woman. The saree is white or cream with a red border and a tinge of gold for a stunning yet serene look. With cities turning cosmopolitan, people have also begun adopting customs from the rest of the country leading to Kannada weddings becoming even more colourful!

A bride is the centre of attraction, the showstopper at every wedding! Jewellery is an essential element that enhances the bride’s charm and beauty. Traditional wedding jewellery is a dream for a Kannadiga bride. Traditional wedding jewellery has Goddess Lakshmi’s image engraved in many designs. The studded items have ruby, coral and emerald as frequently used precious stones.

The Kannadiga bride is adorned with a Netri Chutti or Maang Tika on the forehead to enhance the beauty of her eyes and forehead. The traditional craftsmanship with jewellery embellished lavishly in colourful red, white and other precious stones in varied colours make each piece unique. Muthina Vale Jhimki is a long or short or medium-sized ear embellishment crafted with red and white stones, ruby, pearls or diamonds. Many Kannadiga brides wear Entele Sara; a layered chain that is made of gold beads.

Another ornament to adorn the neckline is Haaram, a creation of gold in heavy long and thin chains that has intricate detailing in its design.

Mavinakayi Addigai is another Kannada style traditional jewellery similar to the Manga Mala found in Kerala, and is an inevitable element in any Kerala or Karnataka wedding. This is a necklace that has mango shaped motifs in gold, beautiful and ethnic in appearance with green stones, red stones and pearls in the pendant for a Kannadiga twist. The ornament Lakshmi Sara is made of a series of small gold coins that has the Goddess of Wealth, Lakshmi engraved on every coin. These neck pieces give a traditional striking look.

Navilu Daabu crafted with traditional temple designs with red stones is worn by the bride around the waist to keep the saree borders and garlands in place, though some Kannadiga families prefer a designer waistband now. The Kannadiga bride wears heavy traditionally crafted bangles like Guruvina Kada with red stones, antique finished Kettu Bale, Kasina Bale having an intricate design with coins and Pacha Kampina Bale designed with green and red stones. To beautify her fingers, she wears Pacha Kempina Ungaru which is a finger ring crafted with rubies and emeralds. An ornament shaped like a snake or arch, finely crafted with stones and pearls, an amulet which is called Tholu Bandhi is worn on the arms.

Coorg brides wear unique and distinctive pieces of jewellery which are influenced by natural forms like fruits and flowers as well as the Sun, Moon and the Stars. Pathak and Karthamani are mandatory for any Coorg wedding. The Pathak is worn to mark the status of the bride which is a chain of gold, coral and black beads with a pendant framed by rubies and cobra’s hood figure at the top. She wears another unique ornament which is a must called Jomale. Jomale consists of grooved hollow beads filled with lac, strung on a black thread cord. With changing trends, the black threads are being replaced by coloured threads.

Another ornament that adorns a Coorg bride’s neck is Kokkethathi which is a traditional crescent-shaped pendant with a serpent at the helm, and an image of Goddess Lakshmi. Part of this ornament is made of silver, then dipped in gold. The goddess symbolises wealth and prosperity and the serpent fertility. The pendant rim is crafted with pearls. The necklace string is made of unique shaped hollow silver bead woven in silver wire.

In Kannadiga custom, the Mangalsutra design made up of gold and black beads, which is the protection of the wearer, varies from one caste to another. The Hebbat or toe ring made of silver, worn by Kannadiga married women on the fourth toe. Of late, the toe rings are made more colourful according to their taste to make the bride’s feet look attractive. The Coorg bride has a variety of traditional bangles to choose from. The Kadagas are solid or hollow gold bangles embellished with rubies or precious stones or even plain.

This can be single or double or even triple tiered, with a screw to open and close, making it a tight-fitting wrap around the wrist. The Paunchi is a Vajrachudi with an intricate design and has gold grains in two or three recurrent rows, representing a jackfruit. Pimbale and Piribale are simpler gold bangles having the same designs.

On her ears, the Coorg bride wears Jhumkis, Muravu or Bogadi made of gold, rubies and pearls. The Coorg brides drape her saree in a different style that has to be pinned with a brooch. The exclusive silver jewellery with intricate craftsmanship worn on her feet is special to Coorg. These are individual toe rings linked to ankle chains with finely designed chains. Peeche Kathis and Odikathis are the ornamental knives worn by men on special occasions. Christian brides prefer platinum or diamonds to match the white gown or saree to appear like an ethereal princess!
The headpiece ornament worn by the Coorg bride has Lord Shiva and Parvathy with Lord Ganapathy. Through a slit in the jewel, three strands are woven, to make the ornament stay firm. The Jadaenagara includes the Chandramukhi, Suryamukhi, and the Kutchu of 3 black strings. It is ornamented with gold to hold the plaited hair in place.
Among Muslims, the bride wears larger ornaments made of gold, gems and precious stones in the form of necklaces, earrings and bangles. An essential ornament which is very common among Muslim brides is a Jhoomar or Pasa which is a triangular fan-shaped ornament similar to Maang Tika, but put on the left side instead of the central part of the hair. An exclusive floor “Muhurat” has been launched by Kalyan Jewellers that showcases exquisite collections of different kinds of bridal jewellery including the jewellery described above as well as much more to make the bride a showstopper on her special day!