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What are the bracelets in Indian culture?

What are the bracelets in Indian culture?

Bracelets have been an important part of Indian culture and tradition for thousands of years. From simple threads tied around the wrist to elaborate jeweled ornaments, bracelets have carried deep symbolic meaning and been integral to rituals and customs across religions in India.

Significance and Symbolism

Bracelets have had many layers of cultural meaning and significance in India:

  • Protection – Bracelets are believed to have protective powers and ward off evil spirits or bad luck.
  • Healing – Certain bracelets made from crystals or metals are thought to have healing properties according to ancient Ayurvedic principles.
  • Spirituality – Bracelets made from rudraksha beads or with symbols like the om are worn for spiritual purposes.
  • Prosperity – Gems like diamonds on bracelets signify wealth and prosperity.
  • Fertility – Bangles worn by married women symbolize fertility and the confirmation of marital status.
  • Bond – Exchange of bracelets can represent a bond between people, like friendship bands.
  • Status – Precious metal and stone bracelets denote social status and affluence.

So bracelets go beyond mere ornamentation and are deeply woven into beliefs around wellbeing, values and identity in Indian culture. Their significance is highlighted through various customs and rituals.

Customs and Traditions

Bracelets have a special role to play in traditions and customs practised by Hindu, Muslim and tribal communities in India:

Hindu Customs

  • Mangalsutra – A black beaded necklace with two gold pendants worn by married women as a symbol of marriage.
  • Kada – A steel bangle worn by Sikhs, considered a mandatory article of faith.
  • Rakhi – A thread bracelet tied by sisters on brothers on the festival of Raksha Bandhan to symbolize their bond.
  • Bangles – Glass and gold bangles are considered signs of marriage for Hindu women in many parts of India.

Muslim Traditions

  • Taviz – Bracelets with prayers and Quranic verses used as talismans among Muslims for protection and luck.
  • Kada – Worn by some Muslim communities like Dawoodi Bohras for spiritual reasons.

Tribal Adornments

  • Silvery ankle bracelets – Worn by married women in tribes like Santhals, Mundas, Oraon, etc.
  • Beaded bracelets – Used by tribes across India made from materials like lac, clay, wood, shells, etc.

So we see how bracelets are integral from birth to marriage to death among diverse communities in India.

Types of Indian Bracelets

Bracelets worn in India come in many styles and types depending on the materials used, techniques of crafting, and the region they originate from:

Type Description
Kada/Bangle Heavy round bracelets, often made of steel, silver or gold.
Charm bracelets Delicate silver chains with hanging pendants and charms.
Gemstone bracelets Made using crystals, diamonds, rubies, emeralds, etc. Believed to be lucky.
Beaded bracelets Intricate patterns created by weaving and stringing beads together.
Meenakari bracelets Colorful enameling artwork on silver or gold bracelets.
Lac bracelets Made from natural lac resin and handpainted. Tribal specialty.
Thewa bracelets Gold jewelry with colorful glass or gemstones fused together.

The regional diversity of India is beautifully reflected in the myriad designs and techniques used to make these bracelets across the country.

Famous Bracelets from Indian States

Different states and cities have become renowned for distinctive bracelet designs and craftsmanship:


  • Meenakari – Jaipur is famous for colorful enameled bracelets.
  • Gemstone – Emerald and crystal bracelets crafted in Jaipur.
  • Lac bangles – From tribes of Udaipur region.


  • Thewa – Delicate gold braclets with glass fusion from Pratapgarh.
  • Silver charm bracelets – Specialty of Sankheda.

West Bengal

  • Sholapith – Milky white bracelets of vegetable ivory from Murshidabad.
  • Dokra – Tribal metal bracelets cast using lost-wax technique.


  • Nashik – Traditional gold and silver bracelets.
  • Kolhapuri saaj – Beautiful lac bracelets.


  • Lampsuri – Intricate gold bangles from Gulbarga.
  • Sandur – Iron bracelets crafted using ancient methods.


  • Gold chains – Popular export for ornamental bracelets.
  • Glass bangles – Unique bracelets made from recycled glass.


  • Silver filigree – Cuttack is known for delicate silver threadwork bracelets.
  • Tribal – Bracelets made from horn, shell and beads.


  • Kasu mala – Traditional gold and coral bead bracelets.
  • Elephant hair – Bracelets woven from elephant tail hair strands.

This shows the diversity and uniqueness of bracelets crafted across different Indian states using specialized materials and techniques passed down over generations.

Significance of Indian Bracelets Today

While bracelets are not as commonly worn today as traditional jewellery like necklaces and earrings, they still hold importance in Indian culture:

  • Religious significance – Many people wear rudraksha or taviz bracelets for spiritual purposes and protection.
  • Wedding traditions – Bangles hold their place in wedding rituals across religions.
  • Fashion statement – Beaded and gemstone bracelets add style and color to modern outfits.
  • Support artisans – Buying handcrafted bracelets helps sustain local artisans and crafts.
  • Cultural pride – Often passed down generations as heirlooms, connecting Indians to their roots.
  • Gifting – Bracelets make meaningful gifts at festivals, weddings and other occasions.

So bracelets are still woven into the cultural consciousness of Indians today. They signify heritage, beliefs, status, style and self-expression. The variety reflects the diversity of Indian culture.


Bracelets have a long history of symbolizing deeper meaning in Indian culture – from simple sacred threads to elaborate ornaments representing marriage, wealth and power. The wide range across regions demonstrates India’s rich artistic heritage and craftsmanship. While their significance has evolved over the ages, bracelets continue to be part of traditions, fashion and identity for Indians connecting them to their ethnic roots and values.