Traditional Indian Jewellery Bindi: Definition, Usage, Types and Names


What is a Bindi? Bindi or Bhindi is a traditional jewelry from India. This term is derived from a Sanskrit word i.e. “Bindu”. It means a small dot, drop or particle. It is wear by Hindu women on their forehead. It is a red color dot or mark. When the Bindi is worn with a vermillion mark parting the hair above the forehead, it points out that the woman is married.

Nowadays, this cultural jewelry is available in different colors like yellow, white, orange, gold, black etc. Crustal and fancy Bindis have also become very common among girls. Its different sizes can also be found very easily with a little search in the market.

Types of Bindi

Most women commonly wear Bindi with sari or Salwar Kameez. Bindi tattoos have also gain fame in recent past. Both permanent and temporary tattoos can be found with designers. Some of the popular Bindi designs include Kundan, Kumkum, Gwen Stefani and Tikka. Brides also wear it on her wedding day with sari or Lehenga.

Conventional Use of Bindi 

Bindi is commonly worn by Hindu married women but it has several other meanings as well. You can also find many children and girls wearing it. The color of Bindi also shows what it denotes. Its significance can also vary as per its types, sizes, colors, materials used to design it etc.

Contemporary Use 

Modern Bindis are no more limited to married ladies, ethnic affiliation or religious background. It has become decorative fashion jewelry with no restriction of shape and color. Sticker Bindis are made of thin metal materials available in different sizes. There are many regional variations of Bindi can be found in different parts of India. In Maharashtra a large Bindi is worn along with a white colored Tilak. Similar type of Bindi is worn in Bengal but in red round color. A teardrop shaped Bindi is worn in Rajasthan.

How to Wear Bindi Traditionally 

The color or a traditional Bindi is maroon or red. In order to wear it, a pinch of vermilion powder is used cleverly with a fingertip to make a perfect dot on the forehead. It requires some practice and experience to make the perfect round shape.

Different Names of Bindi 
  • Tilakam or Bottu in Telugu
  • Tilak in Hindi
  • Teep in Bengali
  • Tilo in Konkani
  • Tikuli in Madhyadeshi regions
  • Bindi in Punjabi
  • Chandlo in Gujarati
  • Pottu in Tamil and Malayalam
  • Tilaka, Bottu or Kunkuma in Kannada
  • Tikli or Kunkoo in Marathi