Traditional Bridal Fashion: The Nath


Image – Rupali Neelkanth

What is a Nath?

The ‘nath’ or nose ring is a popular piece of jewellery worn by brides in each and every part of India. The practice of piercing the nose with a ring or a stud dates back to the 16th century, when rulers belonging to the Mughal Empire brought this fashion to the country from the Middle East, and this practice persists to this day. Brides wear the nose stud or ring either on the left side or on both sides, and the ring is mostly connected to the ear with a long chain of gold. You can look for gold chain design for female relatives of yours that can be made into a nath.

As a way of honoring Devi Parvati, the Hindu goddess of marriage, Hindu brides are mostly seen wearing nose rings. These are also worn as a symbol of getting married. This is indicated by the fact that in some parts of the country, women refuse to remove their nose rings even after their marriage.

Significance of the Nath in Wedding Attire

In Hindu cultures, the nose ring has been traditionally worn to indicate the virginity of the bride. Whether she would wear the ring or not on her wedding day is left to the choice of the bride herself. If she wants to wear it, she should have a nose ring made with metals and colors that would go well with the lehenga-choli or the saree that she has already bought for her wedding. The bride also needs to make sure that her nose ring complements her necklace, earrings, maang tikka, bangles, and other pieces of her wedding jewellery. The size of the nose ring should be chosen keeping in mind the shape of the bride’s face as well as her nose. For example, a woman having a big round face will look better with a large nose ring. However, it must be kept in mind that nose rings are not made to suit each and every bride. And what’s more, just because naths are generally associated with Hindu culture, it does not mean that brides belonging to other religions or cultural backgrounds do not wear them. For instance, nose rings are popular among Muslim brides as well.

Beneficial for Health

The nose ring is typically worn on the left side of the nose in the northern parts of India. On the other hand, brides in the southern states of India usually wear the ring on the right. But in most cases, women prefer to pierce the left side of their nose. This is because the ancient Indian medicine incorporating a natural system of healing, called Ayurveda, has given rise to the belief that since the nerves in the left side of the nose are connected to the reproductive organs in the female, piercing that side of the nose can reduce the pain and stress experienced by a woman while giving birth to a child. It is also held by another theory that piercing a particular part of the nose can relieve the woman during menstrual pain.

Types of Naths in India

The most common of the nose rings worn by married women in India, especially in Bihar, is the laung, which is shaped like a clove. In Rajasthan, the nathuri worn by brides is a small ring made of gold or silver and set with semi-precious stones, while brides in Uttar Pradesh wear naths adorned with beads and pearls as a blessing for prosperity. Usually gold nose pin designs with price available online are a favorite with brides all over India.

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