The mangalsutra is the most important of the five signs of marital status of a woman, the others being toe rings, kumkum, bangles and a nose ring. In a Telugu Matrimonial the ‘pustelu’ is also referred to as ‘thaali’, ‘thaaly’, ‘maangalyam’ or ‘mangalsutram’.
Traditional Mangalsutras: The traditional mangalsutra consists of black beads strung on a gold thread. Telugu brides wear two thaalis. One is a plain gold chain with a semi-circular pendant while the other is a chain with black beads. The older generation Telugu women chose to add some gold every year to their original mangalsutra; the increased length and weight of which would showthe number of years they had been married.
Traditional Designs: The design of the mangalsutra in a Telugu Matrimonial varies from family to family. In Shivite families the design of the tulasi goddess is highlighted while some have the Shiva lingam. For Vaishnavites the design consists of U or Y pattern thiruman (tilak) with sanku and chakram on both sides. There are different forms of this jewellery called Pottuthaali, Lakshmi thaali, Kumbhathaali, Elathaali etc.
Modern Trends: With changing times and varying needs of women the concept of wearing the traditional mangalsutra has undergone a lot of change. These days one can find a dramatic transformation in the style and make of the mangalsutras. The modern day mangalsutra is more of a fashion statement than a symbol of marriage. Seldom does a working woman don a mangalsutra over her stylish business suit. The trend is to wear short, sleek and single string mangalsutras with or without a pendant. Some women try to match the mangalsutra with the type of clothes and other jewellery accessories worn by them.
Diamond Mangalsutras: It is the dream of every bride to own a mangalsutra with a stunning diamond pendant. Cast in platinum and white gold a diamond mangalsutra is a very popular choice and gives the bride a very feminine touch. Designs vary from exquisite diamond pendants to intricately designed filigree work studded with diamonds and precious stones like rubies and emeralds.
Layered Chains: Nowadays two layered chains beaded with gold balls and black beads is a new trend. A 22 carat gold mangalsutra designed with detailed filigree patterns and alternative gold and black beads in a double layered fashion is very much in vogue.
Fancy Mangalsutras: The old fashion single chain mangalsutras are being exchanged for the more fancy ones. A fashionable 22 carat gold mangalsutra in three layers with alternate patch style in black cylindrical beads and gold cup chain is an eye catcher. Another popular choice these days is a 22 carat fancy gold mangalsutra of contemporary design with colored stones and beautiful meenakari work.
Gone are the days when Telugu brides wore a single gold chain with black and gold beads as their mangalsutras. Nowadays they are going in for the latest trends in mangalsutras- making a fashion statement for themselves!