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What is the maang tikka & its meaning?

Joyti Kumar

Posted on July 05 2020

What is the maang tikka & its meaning?

Everyone loves an eccentric Bollywood movie. As a child, one thing I found intriguing about Indian movies were the beautiful Indian actresses, their class and the way they carried themselves. My absolute favourite and still is the one and only Madhuri Dixit.

Let us be honest; we all desired to look just like them and for me, dance like her too. Indian women have always had a unique way of fashion. From their long feminine hair, attractive wears to their luxurious and intricately designed pieces of jewellery. One of my favourite was the little piece of jewellery usually worn on their foreheads, the maang tikka.

It had a way of accentuating their beauty in a most remarkably perfect way. So, what is the maang tikka?  

What is Maang Tikka?

Maang Tikka is a piece of native Indian jewellery adorned by South Asian women. It is placed in between the middle parting of the hair via a hook. It usually has a pendant that drops down to the forehead (also known as the Agya Chakra). Brides predominantly wear it during their wedding ceremonies. No Indian bridal attire is considered genuinely complete without this piece. As small and intangible as it may seem, it remains an essential part of the traditional Indian attire. It holds substantial physical, cultural, and spiritual implications. Every Indian bride is expected to wear the maang tikka on their wedding day. The maang tikka is usually designed in various shapes, sizes, and patterns. Various subcultures also have their distinctive designs. For the Rajasthan, it is called a Borla (a circular shaped headpiece), others call it jhoomar tikka, although it is placed at the sides of their heads.

Symbolism of Maang Tikka

Agya Chakra earlier mentioned is one of the six elemental chakras, precisely the third eye (the power of the soul). It symbolizes the holy union of matrimony. It is believed to promote spiritual, emotional, and physical connection. According to ancient Hindu Myth, the maang tikka signifies the innate capacity and capability to harness nature, influence feelings, ideas, perceptions, thoughts, and the very essence of humanity. In otherwise, it represents the hidden strength in every woman, one that has the potential to trigger unparalleled change when properly channelled. 

Modern day Maang Tikka

Like everything else in the world, the design, concept, and essence of the maang tikka have evolved. This jewellery that was initially strictly designated for Indian wedding attires is now worn by women of all ages, races, and classes. Although some may consider this a form of cultural appropriation, we all cannot deny that change is a constant aspect of life. And hopefully, a day may come when it is no longer considered wrong for people to embrace or adopt foreign cultures and traditions for as long as we all value and accredit the proper level of appreciation to such traditions.

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