Thaali is an instrument that Indian women wear after marriage. During the wedding ceremony, the husband gives a thaali to his wife as a revered symbol in a Hindu marriage. The thaali became popular after a religious poet, Katchiyappa Sivachariar wrote about it. There are variations to thaali design. Those who follow Shiva have 3 horizontal lines on their thaali, while those who follow Vishnu have 3 vertical lines on their thaali.
Besides, a thaali can regularize a woman’s blood circulation. Thaali has the ability to control the level of pressure in a woman’s body. Women should keep the thaali hidden or covered. The constant touch of gold against the body will regulate the blood and pressure level of a woman. In various parts of India, women wear a necklace with gold and black beads. The gold represents Goddess Parvati and the black beads represent Lord Shiva. Women who wear a mangalsutra or thaali bring happiness and prosperity to the family. The black beads represent the many emotions that a husband and wife experiences. The black beads also have divine powers that can absorb all negative vibrations and protect the marriage of a couple.
In Hindu weddings, the thaali is one of the most sacred customs that has great ceremonial significance. The holy thread symbolizes the marriage. In earlier times, only Hindus wore thaali. Later converted Christians began to wear thaali, as well. Thaali portrays the union of husband and wife. It also protects them from evil. Thaali is usually worn with a golden chair known as a “saradu” or “manja kayiru”. brought from the groom’s side. Thaali usually weighs between 4 to 8 grams and consists of 22 karats or 18 karat gold.
Variations of Thaali are as follows:
- Bottu Thaali – this circular shaped gold design looks like the Bindi that women wear on the forehead. This thaali is common in Andhra Pradesh, with coral and black beads.
- Shivlinga Thaali – Those who worship Lord Shiva wear this type of Thaali.
- Thenkali Namam symbol thaali – Those who worship Lord Vishnu wear this kind of Thaali.
- Annalakshmi Thaali is a great Lakshmi thaali with parrots or peacock design on the border. Tamil women tend to wear this type of thaali.
Hindu women thus tend to get upset when their sacred thread becomes lost. Nowadays, the wearing of thaali is less prevalent. Modern day women consider it as a fashion statement or a symbol of marriage. The thaali symbolizes the happiness and longevity of the marriage.