A bajubandh or armlet is a bracelet originally used by the Bharatnatyam dancers of the Dravidian region and worn on the upper arm. Bajubandhs have various designs, such as shapes of peacocks or snakes, as well as jewels such as diamonds, rubies, emeralds and other embellishments. Made of gold, silver, kundan, vanki, pearls, they are considered to be one of the “must-have”s of an Indian bride’s jewellery. They are also available as simple square or round shapes, more prevalent in the west. A bajubandh is a symbol of wealth, social status and is believed to bring mental peace, positivity and happiness to the wearer.
Vanki is the armlet of South India. The Vanki is unique because of its inverted-V-shaped design. From old paintings and sculptures, it appears that its origin can be traced to Naga or snake worship. It is usually set in gold, with traditional patterns like lotus motifs, peacocks, other florals. It is adorned with precious gems like rubies, diamonds etc. The shape of the Vanki is such that if fits over the arm without any strain or pressure.
How to Wear a Bajubandh or Vanki
There are no rules as such. But a toned upper arm does bring out the beauty of this truly Indian body jewellery. Wear it with well tailored blouses where the sleeves are shorter. Team it with your traditional gold bangles or katas to create a perfect look. In its more contemporary form the bajubandh or armlet is teamed with fusion wear as well. A sleek bajubandh with gem stones can be a stunning highlight with a black off shoulder or asymmetrical gown. Just as an embellished Vanki could be teamed with sarees, lehengas and a host of the ethnic attires.