Solah Sringar

“Jewellery has the power to be this one little thing that can make you feel unique.”
~~ Anonymous

The statement rightly justifies a woman’s fascination with her jewellery and possibly helps us overcome our guilt for wanting more.

While modern life style may associate jewellery as a means to flaunt wealth and uphold the status in society, jewellery for  a woman has a significance above and beyond all this. It is not just a way of adornment but serves a greater purpose than that. Don’t believe me! Read on to find out.

You would have heard of the term ‘Solah Shringaar’, literally translated it means sixteen ways of beautification for a woman; there being a scientific relevance to the number sixteen. Hindu mythology establishes a coherent relation between lunar and menstrual cycle and believes that sixteen phases of moon have a negative effect on the woman’s menstrual cycle. Therefore, as per the tradition, 16 adornments are considered to correspond to the 16 phases of moon and are donned to nullify its negative effects. The word Shringar incorporates ‘Shri’ in it, which is the other name of ‘Laxmi’, the goddess of wealth, luck and beauty. Hence, woman is considered to be the Laxmi of the house, harbinger of good fortune. It is also believed that women have to don gold ornaments above the navel only as gold is very dear to Lord Vishnu, the benefactor of the Universe.

The science of acupuncture also holds the above belief true! The science believes that the body is divided into two opposing forces Yin and Yang, yin denoting feminine energy concentrated in lower half of the body and yang denoting masculine energy concentrated on the upper half of the body. Therefore gold being a more yang metal is worn on the upper body and silver being more yin is worn n the lower part of the body.

In our series Jewellery-The Ultimate Accessory, we shall discuss each of these 16 essential items of adornment and their aesthetic, physiological and traditional significance.

Let’s begin with Maang Tika.  

Traditionally, this is the first ornament that needs to be worn as it provides protection to the ‘sindoor’ that is first applied to the bride by her husband during the wedding ceremony.

Physiologically, a maang tika is so designed that it hangs over the ajna chakra, the home of the body’s mind and intellect. It directly relates to one’s ability to control emotions and the power of concentration.

Aesthetically, it is the prime accessory for the brides as it lends to her an ornate and glamorous look that sets her apart from the rest.  It can, however, be worn by women of all ages for any elaborate occasion that requires splendour and touch of regal exquisiteness. A maang tika on a woman’s forehead gives her an alluring look and ensures she is the cynosure of all eyes. The archaic and vintage appeal of this accessory has made it extremely popular, not only in India but even across Indian borders.

Having understood the Why of the maangtika, now let us explain to you the How of it.

To ensure that one looks resplendent in their jewellery it is essential to wear ornaments as per the face shape. Given below is the description of maang tika designs to choose as per the face shape.

Oblong Face: Oblong faces appear long and narrow , hence a broad and elaborate maang tika can create the width to counter the length.

Round Face: Round faces lack length, hence requires a maang tika that enhances the length of the face. It needs to be thin and less detailed.

Square Face: Square faces have a strong brow bone, cheekbones and jaw bone structure. Pakeezah style maang tika worn by parting the hair on the side creates an asymmetrical look and softens the jaw line.

Rectangle Face: A rectangular face tends to have higher cheekbones and a higher forehead. The face appears to be longer than it is wide. The ideal maang tika for this type of face should cover the forehead a bit, as to make the face look more oval.

Inverted Triangle Face: This face shape has wider forehead and tapering chin. The maang tika has to be slightly broader to cover a part of the broad forehead

Diamond Face: The face is wider at the cheekbones and narrower at the forehead and chin. A wide and detailed maang tika can take the attention away from cheek bones and create the illusion of wider forehead.

Oval Face: Oval face is symmetrical and is considered to be the perfect shape. It is the most  versatile and proportionate of all shapes. Any style of maang tika that cover up the ravishingly beautiful face shape.