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Bindi, a colorful and traditional red circular dot worn by the Indian women on their forehead. It is one of the most visually attractive of all forms of body decoration. The word ‘Bindi’ is derived from the Sanskrit word ‘Bindu’ which means a dot or a drop. Traditionally, bindi is a red colored dot, but now it is worn in many different colors like orange, yellow, pink, green etc. Different colored bindis are worn on different occasions and stages of life. For instance, a married lady always wears a red colored bindi indicating prosperity and love. A married woman is never decked up with a black bindi as it is inauspicious. Widows in India don’t wear bindi normally. But in southern India, they are allowed to wear a black bindi. The young girls are allowed to wear bindi of any color. The bindi is called tilak when it is applied on the forehead of a person at the end of a religious ceremony. It is also known by different names in various languages: Bottu in Telugu, Pottu in Malayalam & Tamil, Tilaka in Kannada, Teep in Bengali.

Why Bindis?

The third eye is a very important and a sensitive chakra. From the physical point of view, it connects directly to the pineal gland. It’s a sensitive gland that directs and controls all others, receives and disperses energy very rapidly. Applying a bindi halts this energy outflow thus leaving you refreshed. All the bindis except the sticker ones contain the ingredients with cooling elements like turmeric, ash, sandalwood etc, thus bringing stability and strengthening the lower chakras.


  1. The positioning of the bindi in between the eyes is very important. The point between the eyes is known by many different names like Third eye, Ajna Chakra, and Spiritual Eye. This is the major nerve center in the human body. As per the Kundalini Yoga, during meditation, the “kundalini” which is the hidden energy lying at the base of the spine is stimulated and rises to the 7th chakra lying in the brain or head. The middle point, the bindu thus becomes a probable vent for this powerful energy.
  1. Some sages relate bindi with the birth of Kali from Durga’s forehead. It signifies the mystic third eye of a person and is applied on the forehead on all the religious functions.
See Also -   Sindoor - Accident or Custom

Use of Bindi in various societies

There are different categories of people present in our society. The following four different castes wore different colored tilak:

  1. Brahmins, the priests wore white color tilak of sandalwood representing purity
  2. Kshatriyas, the warriors wore red tilak to signify courage
  3. Vaishyas, the businessmen wore yellow tilak indicating wealth
  4. Sudra, the service class wore black tilak representing service to the other classes

 How to apply?

Traditional bindi is maroon or red in color. A dash of vermilion powder applied proficiently make the perfect red dot. Women who are not nimble- fingered take lot of pains to get the perfect round shape. They use hollow pie coin or small circular discs to get the proper shape.

Changing fashion trends

With changing fashion trends, women try out bindis of different designs and shapes. It is generally a straight line, oval, triangle or miniature artistry made with a fine tipped stick, studded with beads and crusted with glitters or stones. The introduction of sticker bindi with glue on one side has only added shapes, sizes and colors to the bindi. Today, a bindi is more of a fashion accessory than anything else.

Apply a traditional bindi and notice its power!

Featured Photo by raylli

Bindi: The Great Indian Forehead Art

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