The cultural breakdown of Jewellery for South Indian Brides

Did somebody say South Indian brides? When we hear someone talk about South Indian weddings, we can’t help but think about the colorful sarees, traditional music, and of course, the ornate South Indian bridal jewelry. 

Starting from those grand earrings and necklaces to a Kamarband and Bajuband. Since they have a lot of ceremonies, and each one of them requires the bride to wear different jewelry. Just imagine the amount of gold the bride gets to buy for her big day (Sigh!), and yes we are reminded of Deepika Padukone from “Deewani Mastaani” too.

The most intriguing part? There is a large variation among the different cultures in the southern states, leading to a sea difference in the bridal looks here. This means a difference in dressing styles, different ceremonies, and different kinds of south Indian bridal jewelry.

Even though the Gajra is a common hair accessory among all of them, it is the real gold jewelry that makes the distinction. This is our guide to the rich, heritage pieces found among south Indian bridal jewelry.

The one with the Telugu bride:

The weddings in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana have a lot of ceremonies, including ‘graduation’ and auspicious baths like Snaatakam and Mangalasnaanam, different Aartis (prayers), and Ganesha/Gauri Pooja. The brides from different communities – Nizam, Reddy, and Vyasa – in Andhra Pradesh are also seen adorning completely different kinds of jewelry.

The Passa, the Maang Tikka and a large Nath (nose ring) studded with pearls are the most common pieces of jewelry worn by a Nizami bride. 

The Nizami lavishness:

They ooze elegance and royalty, the bride will also be seen wearing rings and a Kundan choker necklace. You can go for the Satlada necklace, which is a seven-tier chain made of gold and pearls, and the heavy bangles called Kundanmanekchura if you’re planning to add that lavish Nizami hint to your wedding attire. How can you forget a Kamarband emanating the same elegance? It is a must.

Are you ‘REDDY’ to rock n roll?

Usually, the Reddy brides are decked in heavy gold jewelry studded with rubies, diamonds, and sapphires. They will be seen wearing a headgear called Papidibilla, heavy Jhumkas, a choker necklace with layered chains, a nose ring, an armband, and gold bangles. Talk about all the lehenga weight brides keep complaining about! It would be nothing in comparison to what a Reddy bride rocks.

The traditional Vyasya touch:

The Vyasya tradition has a seven-day marriage. Their brides may seem more austere in comparison with the Reddy brides as they don simpler sarees and subtle south Indian bridal jewelry designs. The difference can be seen in the choice of bridal saree colors and patterns.

The one with the Kannada bride:

Karnataka, the land of forests, temples, picturesque hill stations, and waterfalls is also known for its simple and culturally diverse people. Be it the Bunts, Coorgis, or Kannadigas – all provide their own distinct blends to this cultural potpourri. 

The beauty of the bunt brides:

You’d see the bride wearing the Havalakki Sara, which is a long, studded gold chain. Added on top of it is the Lakshmi Balai, a gold bangle with a design of Goddess Lakshmi, the Ungilais, which are traditional plain rings worn in different fingers, and an armband with precious stones and pearls. Is this inspiring enough?

The contemporary coorgi brides:

The most important part of a Coorgi wedding is the Netti Bottu, which is a Matha Patti embellished with jewels. Apart from that, the bride wears gold earrings known as Muthina Vole Jhumka made of rubies, gold, and pearls. Her hands are adorned with a variety of Kaippelli and an assortment of Kadas and bridal bangles.

The klassic Kannadiga bride:

Right from the necklace, to the Mangalsutra, the multiple gold chains, bangles, earrings, toe rings, and Maang Tikka, the jewelry of this bride symbolizes various Gods and Goddesses, Kannadiga brides are covered with gold from head to toes. A perfect example if you’re considering wearing temple jewelry on any of your functions.

The one with the Tamil brides:

Tamil weddings are always seen on the big screen giving us a fair idea of the real South Indian bridal jewelry sets (to give us an idea), the actual amount of gold worn by a Tamilian bride is more than that. Take a bow for carrying all that jewelry weight, Tamil ladies!

To the cheerful Chettiar bride:

The jewelry in a Chettiar wedding is inspired by the different Gods and Goddesses and is worn with a traditional Kanjeevaram saree. You can choose from a host of options including the Kempu Kal Mothiram, which are rings studded with different gemstones, and the Kempu Kal Valai, the heavy gold bangles. You can also pick from the Netti Chutti, which is a long gold chain, and the Mulla Muttu Maalai, a long gold necklace.

The golden Gounder bride:

A Gounder bride is covered in gold. With different kinds of arm jewelry, bangles, and necklaces in different sizes, the designs will just make your heart skip a beat!

To the beautiful Brahmin brides:

The various gold waistbands, necklaces, and armbands studded with precious stones that are worn by the brides are the center of everyone’s attention. Now that’s a whole lot of investment, but you can give the waistbands a thought, right? Another accessory that is so beautifully a part of a bride’s trousseau, the Poola Jada which adorns the bride’s plait to its whole length.

The one with the Mallu brides:

Kerala weddings are nothing less than royal! There are the traditional South Indian bridal jewelry sets that every bride dons and then there’s diamond jewelry too.

The angelic Christian bride:

The Christian brides they show on the screen don’t do enough justice to their beauty, the Kerala Christian brides wear jewelry with designs inspired by nature and various Gods and Goddesses. These are more contemporary and include bangles, armbands, waistbands, Jhumkis, chokers, and anklets as well. 

The nawabi Muslim brides:

Almost the whole of a Muslim bride’s torso is hidden behind precious jewelry, each carrying a different meaning. With three different kinds of necklaces called the Padi Mala, Aalochana Mala, and the Chakrakanni Mala, made from gold and precious stones, earrings called Alicathu, Pachakallu, Mekkath and Jhimiki, headgear like Nettipattam, Mudipoo, Matti and Mudichakram, a waist belt called Arappatta and different kinds of bangles and rings, we tell you, being a bride is no mean feat!

The not-so-subtle Nair brides:

The Kerala Nair bride wears a bright silk saree and loads of south Indian bridal jewelry, which includes a lot of gold necklaces on her wedding day. The bridegroom and bride are wed in a simple ceremony amid grand arrangements.