Colors of India
TilakTilak Forehead Mark
There are different types / kinds of Tilak in Hindu traditions, each having its own set of importance. Read about the different forms of Tilaka.

Types of Tilak

As per the traditions of Hindus, there are varied kinds of Tilak, each having its distinctive importance. Regarded as the sign of good luck and prosperity, Tilak is applied on the forehead. The forehead mark Tilak can be made by using sandal paste, turmeric, holy ashes (Vibhuti) or kumkum. The worshippers of Lord Shiva called Saivites apply tilaka made from the sacred ashes, since it symbolizes purity, consecration and sanctification. They mostly draw three horizontal lines known as tripundra.

The devotees of Lord Vishnu on the other hand wear tilak made from sandalwood paste (Chandan). They usually draw it in the form of three vertical lines. The worshippers of Shakti or Devi apply kumkum. Shaktas usually draw a single vertical line. However, at times, their tilak is in the form of a single dot. Apart from these, there are other types of tilak such as the honorary tilakas consisting of Raj Tilak and Vir Tilak. They are mostly drawn as a single vertical line in red color.

Raj tilak is applied when some eminent personalities are called upon to grace a particular function or event. It was used in the bygone times while throning kings. Vir Tilak is applied to those who come out victoriously after winning in the battle field. Tilak is more often applied using the index finger. In some customs, it is put on the forehead with the thumb. After applying tilak, it is usually topped with a few grains of rice.

Since times immemorial, women have been applying tilak on their forehead, which is more popularly known as bindi. Women wear it for the sake of adorning themselves. Thus, it is more of a beauty mark for women in India. The traditional bindi was drawn as a single dot. However, today, there is an amazing variety of bindis available in the market, coming up in distinctive shapes and sizes. Married women wear another tilak between the parting of the hair just above the forehead, which is referred to as sindoor. It is an indication of the marital status.

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