The heavy gold waist-belt or oddiyanam, essential for the Tamil bride, depicts Goddess Lakshmi who is known for her celestial beauty. Every now and then, Lord Ganesha, too, is seen alongside Kartikeya so as to invoke the blessings of the divine siblings for the bride.
The ornament is said to fill the Manappen’s life with prosperity and peace, and is a way of blessing the couple at the start of their new life together.
A unique ornament, the ruby and diamond studded jadanagam or the ‘hair-serpent’, is worn by the Tamil bride to enhance her thick braid.
Reflecting the brilliance of the sun and the calm of the moon, it trails down the Manappen’s braid in a delicate floral pattern, often ending in the shape of the Ananta-Shesha.
A salutation to the Divine, the ornament celebrates Nature and the lustrous mane of the bride. It may sometimes be fashioned out of fresh flowers as well.
The Tamilian vanki comes in a single inverted ‘V’ forming a ‘cobra-head’ symbolising Ananta-Shesha , the serpent which Lord Vishnu is believed to be resting on.
A vanki is also seen in many artists' representations of Lord Krishna’s childhood days. In current times, by adorning the glittering vanki on her arm, the Mannapen invokes the blessings of this playful Indian God, also known as the God of Romance and Wisdom, as she ties the knot with her groom.