Mangalsutra is a necklace used in traditional Indian marriage ceremonies, with a rich history and powerful message of partnership, love, and devotion behind it.

In this article, we’re going to be discussing the cultural significance of mangalsutra; what it symbolizes, why women wear it, and what to look out for if you want to buy a mangalsutra necklace for yourself.

Let’s take a look!


Mangalsutra – which translates literally to “an auspicious thread” – is a type of necklace that is placed on the bride during traditional Indian marriage ceremonies. Per tradition, the groom places the mangalsutra around the bride’s neck during the ceremony, which, according to Hindu tradition, is worn to safeguard the groom’s health and safety throughout the duration of their marriage. Once placed around the bride’s neck, it’s considered a bad omen to remove the mangalsutra.

Mangalsutra is also worn to symbolize an Indian woman’s marriage status, and is traditionally tied three times during the marriage ceremony to demonstrate three important vows: the first knot is said to represent the bride’s loyalty to her new husband, the second knot demonstrates her devotion to her husband’s family, and the third knot asks God to protect the new married couple in their sacred union.

Mangalsutra also had a practical use in ancient times: before women were allowed to own property, mangalsutra was kept by widowed women as a means of financial security. To this day, the process and symbolism of mangalsutra remains incredibly sacred in many parts of India. While couples from all over the world involve mangalsutra in their marriage ceremonies, it is thought to have its origins in southern India.


Mangalsutra should typically only be worn by brides. Mangalsutra represents a sacred Hindu tradition, and some even believe it to be bad luck to wear a mangalsutra if you’re not married.


If you’re planning your wedding and on the lookout for your mangalsutra, here are a few things to keep in mind before settling on a choice:


Given that you’re going to be wearing the mangalsutra permanently, it’s essential that you pick a design that you really love. Spend time comparing different styles and designs, and take lots of time to do your research on the various metals and beads used to craft mangalsutra necklaces. You don’t need to opt for the most traditional necklace; many brides opt for styles that combine the practicality of western fine jewelry with the classic black beads and yellow gold of traditional mangalsutra.


If you often alternate between traditional Indian clothing and western-style clothing, it can be a good idea to pick a mangalsutra that can be worn with both types of outfit. You’ll want to pick a design that stands out during your wedding ceremony, but also won’t be encumbering on the days you wear t-shirts and jeans. The key to nailing this duality is picking something versatile and contemporary.


Traditional mangalsutra necklaces were long and typically reached the chest area, but there’s no obligation to buy a long necklace if you’d find it uncomfortable or inconvenient to wear. As times change, mangalsutra necklaces have also evolved and changed to reflect contemporary society, with practical considerations being made in mangalsutra designs. That being said, if you love the idea of a longer, traditional mangalsutra necklace, there’s no reason why you need to opt for something more contemporary.


Traditional mangalsutra always included a gold or diamond pendant, as will most contemporary designs. You can choose a gold pendant or a diamond pendant, depending on your aesthetic preferences. When choosing a pendant, you might want to consider your usual everyday fashion choices; after all, you’re going to be wearing your mangalsutra for a long time, so you’ll want to ensure the pendant you choose goes with your preferred fashion style.


One of the most important things to consider when buying mangalsutra is quality. This is because in Hindu traditions, it’s considered a bad omen if your mangalsutra breaks while you’re still married. To avoid this, make sure to opt for a high quality gold or diamond karat where possible. 22k gold mangalsutra is the best option, as it combines a high percentage of real gold with enhanced durability for everyday wear.