Andhra brides, resplendent in heavy gold and precious stones
Each of India’s 29 states has its own distinct traditions, culture and customs. The wedding ceremonies of each region is different and is a true representative of the state it originates from. Like the wedding ceremonies, the brides of each state also have their unique styles and jewellery. Here is a look at the wedding ceremony and trousseau of a bride from Andhra Pradesh.
Weddings in Andhra Pradesh are known for being extravagant with elaborate rituals. The wedding ceremony consists of many events like engagement, snaatakam (graduation bath) and a trip to Kashi, alongside rituals like mangalasnaanam (auspicious bath), aarti (prayers) and Ganesha/Gowripooja. All these events finally culminate with the marriage ceremony on the final day.
Telugu wedding ceremonies require several outfit changes including 5.5 yard cotton/silk sarees. The most common type of sarees used are the Dharmavaram sarees, which are famous for their gold plating. Other popular sarees are Gadwal sarees, made in the Gadwal province of Telangana. These sarees are well-known for their silk borders and extensively designed pallus. Nowadays, Telugu brides are also looking at other types of sarees like Ikkat, Mangalgiri and Kalamkari, all of which are popular for their detailed workmanship.
The jewellery collection
In Andhra Pradesh itself, brides from different communities have their own bridal attire and jewellery. The main jewellery from the state is made for the Reddy, Nizam and Arya Vysya brides. Let us now take a closer look at the bridal jewellery of these three communities:
Reddy bride: The jewellery of the bride from this community includes mainly heavy gold ornaments fitted with stones like ruby, diamonds and sapphire, among others. The main items of the jewellery collection include papidibilla (headwear), buttalu (jhumkas), kantaabhushanam (choker necklace), mukkupodaka (nose ring), aravanki/vanki (an arm band), gundla haram (layered chain), pathakala haram (another long chain), gold bangles and stone studded bangles like kanganalu and kadiyalu. The most important ornament, however, is the sutralagolusu (the mangalsutra).
Arya Vysya bride: The Arya Vysya bride wears simple designs and heavy pure gold jewellery. The community’s bridal collection includes the standard papidibilla, buttalu and aravanki. The most important jewellery items include the kandabaranam (a gold and gemstone studded choker necklace) and the nakshi haram (a heavy gold chain adorned with mostly uncut diamonds). Bangles are almost similar to the Reddy bride.
Nizam bride: The Nizams are an integral part of Andhra community and their bridal jewellery is a true representation of their culture. Their main ornaments include the maangtika and jhoomer (both hair ornaments) and the large round nose ring or nath, which is usually studded with gold or pearls. Other ornaments include kundan choker necklace, Victorian finger rings and the Almas Manek rings (rings in the shape of flowers). The most unique jewellery pieces are the saatlada (a seven-tier chain made of gold and pearls) and the kundanmanekchura (heavy bangles). Other hand ornaments are the Almaskada, kundankangan and meenakangan.
The present-day Andhra bride draws the best from traditional and modern bridal jewellery trends and creates her own exclusive bridal fashion statement. Jos Alukkas has two outlets in Andhra Pradesh and customers can check out a range of traditional and other jewellery collections here.