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What’s the story behind “Vanki” rings?

August 24, 2022

Every south Indian custom and tradition has its immemorial tales. Each has a distinct historical narrative, starting with the jewellery worn from head to toe, such as the Thalaisaaman, thali, or kaasu malai. Even the smallest ornament such as a nose stead, finger or toe ring is a legacy of a significant tradition.

Vanki rings are that armour of elegance given to brides in the form of a ritual with the belief that it will protect them against all evil. It is a V-shaped ornament embellished chiefly with diamonds and carvings of goddesses and serpents. South Indian brides have worn the Vanki ring for centuries with the same richness and class to honour the traditional culture.

Vanki rings in southern India, also known as Nelli Mothiram, represent the tenacity of a wedded bride. Vanki rings have a history predating the Vedic or Sangam period carrying down a belief and a statement of security to every South Indian bride. The origin of Vanki rings can be traced to the worship of the snake when princesses would wear them as a shield to guard them against all the obstacles on their way to a new journey.

 An uniquely crafted Vanki Ring is kept in front of the black background.

This ancient traditional ornament gives a divine presence to the bride in her new walk of life. A South Indian wedding would be lacking without Vanki rings because they carry such a long tradition.

Many women still wear these Vanki Rings to this day because they recognize the importance that their ancestors instilled in them.

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