Bangles play a significant role in Indian women's lives. Here, wearing bangles is a part of the tradition and culture of the land. Indian bangles are typically round and rigid and made of different materials from glass to plastic. But there are more non-conventional designs in bangles as well; ones that are not necessarily round in shape.
The Palakka Bangle is one such variety favoured by the women of Malabar in Kerala. People believe that women wore these bangles during the times of Lord Krishna, the Dwapara Yuga. The name is said to have come from the Paala tree which had green, blue, and red seeds.
In the southern state of Kerala, the Palakka bangles are famous. This type of bangle was famous mostly in the Malabar region of the north of Kerala. The Palakka bangles pair well with the Palakka necklace. Girls and ladies wear these Palakka ornaments for traditional ceremonies and weddings.
These bangles have intricate and elaborate designs in gold. Green coloured Palakka stones usually adorn these bangles. Sometimes, you can also see blue or red stones instead of green.
The Palakka bangles have green coloured leaf-shaped motifs adorning the bangle along the centre. These are usually nature-inspired. It is the green-coloured Palakka stones that bear the shape of leaves.
Bangle designs are now more modern, following the latest trends, but their role has not changed. Palakka bangles that are open at the ends like bracelets are also available these days. Some of them have firm clasps at the ends to lock them in the wrists.
The leaf-shaped patterns in the centre of the bangles are lined with two rims on either side. The leaf shapes typically have gemstones fitted in, but they can also be enamel-work or glass pieces of the same colour. These days, the colours can also be blue or red. The Palakka mango vala or bangle is a variant of the traditional Palakka bangle. Only the motifs in the centre of the bangle are different. They are mango-shaped.