The way we present ourselves to the outside world is a statement about who we are as individuals and as a culture - our heritage, our occupation, our social and marital status, our religion, and our myths and beliefs.This is nowhere more true than in India, where traditional, regional styles of dress and body adornment are still widespread despite rapid globalization. Rarely is a decorative item just a decorative item; rather, it is full of symbolism and meaning.For example, many tribal groups believe that body art such as tattoos protect the bearer from evil spirits and attract good luck, in addition to increasing the bearer's attractiveness and signifying his or her caste.They also believe that their tattoos are the only things that follow them into the afterlife.
Different regions in India have their preferred colors and textile styles, and even different ways of wearing a sari. A man's headwear tells you his religion and social status. Women wear kohl around their eyes to increase their attractiveness, while infants wear it to ward off the "evil eye."Jewelry is a sign of wealth, invites good luck, and is a form of protection depending upon the symbols worn. India is the largest consumer of gold jewelry in the world, and many Indian women wear their wealth in the form of jewelry; they are more likely to purchase gold or silver than to deposit extra rupees in a bank. The Indian culture has always valued body decoration - it is associated with investing wisely, obtaining good fortune, warding off evil and pleasing others.
From tribal jewelry and tattoos, mehndi and the bangles and bindis worn by girls of all ages, to the body and forehead paint worn by Hindu priests and devotees, body and facial decoration is a daily part of life for many Indians. Our Body Art and Adornment itinerariesblend cultural touring with insights into traditional and contemporary body adornment in India. We visit rural communities where the traditional dress, body jewelry and symbolic tattoos are still worn.This is contrasted with visits to urban mehendiwalas, jewelry and gem markets, apparel boutiques and tattoo parlors. We also visit temples, mosques and shrines to see how body decoration merges with devotion. The itineraries below are representative of the types of Body Art and Adornment tours we can arrange for your enjoyment. They are meant to serve as a source of inspiration for designing a custom tour that satisfies your particular needs and interests.