A common phrase in India that will follow up in a conversation about jewellery for a bride is the term “Solah Sringar”. Solah Sringar refers to the set of ideas or rituals one had to follow when one became a bride. The word Solah means sixteen. As the name suggests, there were sixteen steps to a bride getting ready. These steps involved wearing adornments, with each having a significance of its own. It was important that a bride follow these steps as she stepped into a new chapter of her life. Solah Sringar comprises of different pieces of jewellery to be worn. Although in today’s life it is not a compulsion to adorn oneself with so many pieces, wearing as many pieces from the guide like Solah Sringar, is a game-changer for sure.
One of the pieces from the Solah Sringar is the bridal nath.
A bridal nath is a nose pin, often accompanied by a chain extending itself, which one has to attach behind their ear. Depending on which part of India you came from, the Nath is worn in the left or the right nostril. India is a boiling pot of many cultures and traditions. These would then have an influence on the aesthetics of that particular community. The significance of a bridal nath changes from community to community. Throughout India, the designs of these nath change. While the core ideas of a nose pin remain the same, there are variations as you move from one community to another. Some of the designs feature huge circular hoops, passing through one’s nostrils, perhaps with added design motifs in the hoop. These designs would often have gemstones mounted in them. A lot of naths usually come with a chain attached to them. Naths are often fashioned from gold with an array of gemstones, diamonds, pearls, enameled pieces, beads, and uncut polki. Even the chains of nath can be dramatic.
By no means is a nath a subtle piece of jewellery. It is a bold ornament, acting as a canvas to the many gemstones and motifs one can adorn it with.