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Indian Bindi

Updated on June 9, 2015

What is a Bindi?

Bindi - a decorative enhancement of the forehead - is a powerul medium of body decoration, adding definition to the female face. Hindus attach religious significance to the Bindi and in India, it is often referred to as kumkum, tilak or sindoor and is an integral symbol of a married Hindu lady.

Traditionally vermilion is used to mark a large circle in the middle of the forehead as an adornment. However Bindis have now integrated into the fashion world with a wide range of shapes and intricate designs, available in sticker Bindis, finding their way to women's foreheads all over the world.

"A woman's beauty is multiplied 1,000 times when she wears a bindi" - Hindu Proverb.

History of Bindi

'Bindi' is derived from the Sanskrit word 'bindu' or a drop, and suggests the mystic third eye of a person. In ancient India, garlands were an important part of the evening-dress of both men and women. This was often accompanied by 'Visesakachhedya', i.e., painting the forehead with a bindi or 'tilaka'. In those days, thin and tender leaves used to be cut into different shapes and pasted upon the forehead. These leafy bindis were also known by various names - 'Patrachhedya', 'Patralekha', 'Patrabhanga', or 'Patramanjari'. Not only on the forehead, but also on the chin, neck, palm, breast and in other parts of the body, sandal paste and other natural stuff were used for decoration.

Myths and Significance

The vermilion, traditionally used exclusively for bindis, is called 'sindura' or 'sindoor'. It means 'red', and represents Shakti (strength). It also symbolizes love - one on the beloved's forehead lights up her face and captivates the lover. As a good omen, 'sindoor' is placed in temples or during celebrations along with turmeric (yellow) that stands for intellect especially in temples dedicated to Shakti, Lakshmi and Vishnu.

Bindis Today

Today, the bindi is also used for purely decorative purposes. Around the turn of the millennium, it has made its way into international fashion and is now considered as one of the hottest and trendiest fashion accessories for the bold and the beautiful. Bindis are worn on any part of the body, most commonly on the forehead and other parts of the face but also on chest, shoulder or belly. There is no limitation to the creativity of its wearer.

People wear bindis to match their outfit, enhance their attractiveness, show their attitude or emphasize their personality. They have a wide variety to choose from. There are bindis of various sizes, colors, designs, materials and qualities. They come as simple color marks, or studded with beads and glittering stones.

Do women look more beautiful when they wear a bindi?

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Modern versions

Bindis today are worn more for dramatic effect than anything else. Leaving traditions aside, bindis today come in a variety of materials like vinyl, plastic, crystal, stone, coloured liquid, and so on.

Bindi tattoos are a rage amongst the young. The sticker-bindi comes in all colours, shapes and designs, sequinned, dusted with gold powder, studded with beads and glittering stones and in different sizes. Some are truly exotic creations, using thin metal, in gold and silver colours, encrusted with glittering stones; others are shaped like a long straight vertical line or sometimes in a miniature alpana with a fine-tipped stick in squiggles, triangles and circles to work out a complicated artistic design.

Bindis for Little Gems

In the past few decades, not only married women have taken up this beautiful accessory. Girls of all ages enjoy wearing a variety of styles and colors. Today, these little gems are often matched with the color clothing a person is wearing. It is a must with sari, sarees, salwar kameez or other Indian dresses. It is also used as an accessory to any belly dance, ethnic dance costume or for body art. They come with a sticker like back that allows you to place the bindi securely. Bindis are fast becoming the accessory of choice for their sensual charm and sparkle.

Indian woman

Indian woman
Indian woman

Cool Indian Bindis Amazon

Exotic, wonderful, colorful bindis for all occasions and needs. With sharp contours and studded stones, these bindis come in different sizes and look absolutely stunning.

Do bindis make woman's face look more beautiful?

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    • writercb1 profile image

      writercb1 6 years ago from United States

      Bindis are beautiful!! very informative lens.

    • SusannaDuffy profile image

      Susanna Duffy 8 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      Blessed by an Angel today (squidoo.com/more-angel-blessings)

    • religions7 profile image

      religions7 8 years ago

      Great lens - you've been blessed by a squidoo angel :)

    • Lamarena profile image
      Author

      Lamarena 8 years ago

      [in reply to fatima2] True, some people call it - journey of Bindi from forehead to belly. But bindis were supposed to adorn the forehead of Indian women, at the spot between the two eyebrows but of late, we have stumbled upon a new bindi fashion that has brought bindi to the fold of global fashion in the form of bindi tattoos. The bindi has traveled from the forehead to other parts of the body – to the eyelashes, corner of the eyes, cheeks, nose, lips arms, neck, shoulders and even bellies.

    • profile image

      fatima2 8 years ago

      Some sites do refer to bindis as body tattoos seeing as some bindi designs are for other parts of the body and not just the forehead e.g. http://www.asian-designs.com/designer-bindis/cat_1...

    • Bianconeri profile image

      Bianconeri 8 years ago

      Very good and interesting lens...... never knew what a bindi was or the meaning of it! 5***** lens

    • profile image

      spiritartist 9 years ago

      Now I know all about bindis! I always thought they were tattoos!

    • religions7 profile image

      religions7 9 years ago

      They look good on some people, but I'd feel very strange putting one on - but then I don't even wear ordinary Western make-up.