If you walk any Hindu street during any festival, you will find beautiful decorative material made of fabrics hanging from the top of the door. You may also find mango leaves tied to the top of the doorframe. These are known as bandarwars. Traditionally, these are known as Torana as well, which derives its origin from Sanskrit.
Torans or bandarwars have become a very integral part of Indian tradition. Almost every Hindu home hangs bandarwars outside their door during festivals. But some might wonder whether it's just for the purpose of aesthetics or is there any other reason behind the same. In this article, we are going to explore some aspects of the same question.
Origin: Bandarwars are not a recent trend. They have been part of Indian culture for a long time. They have even served as a major representative of culture sometimes. You can go to any corner in India and still find those beautiful bandarwars hanging on the top of the door. The design and style may vary, but the essence remains the same.
The traditional culture: Today, one may find many types of bandarwars. But traditionally, the culture was to use leaves as bandarwars. The most common leaf was mango leaves. Today people use plastic leaves in place of the original leaves. Some people used leaves from the Asoka tree while some even used neem leaves.
But the original custom was to mainly hang leaves of auspicious trees outside home. But that culture has almost been lost and most people use bandarwars of various materials today.
Reason for using leaves as bandarwars: One can view this from two aspects, religious and scientific. If we go by religious means, mango trees are considered very sacred and auspicious in Hinduism. Mango leaves are used for many purposes in Hindu rituals. One might have seen the use of mango leaves during the Kalash Sthapana prakriya. Mango leaves are also used to spread turmeric water around the home during puja.
Mango leaves are hung outside houses as an invitation for god's to come. That's why mango leaves are used as bandarwars. We can look into the scientific aspect of this tradition as well. It is a very well known fact that mango leaves have great purifying abilities. Many people use dry mango leaves powder as a cure for many ailments.
Mango leaves if hung outside home, purifies the air, and provides some freshness. And we all know human eyes love the colour green. It provides a great soothing effect. That's why if one finds fresh green leaves just before entering home, an ambience of freshness is automatically created. That's why it was so significant to use mango leaves as bandarwars.
The Modern Trend: The Modern Trend is hidden to none. As we previously discussed, you may find very few houses that still use mango leaves as bandarwars. Most of the people have shifted to the modern trend that makes use of many kinds of fabrics, metals, beads, and various other elements to make beautiful bandarwars. In fact, that has become an industry of its own.
You will find traditional touches of various states depending on the origin of bandarwar. These look really beautiful and add up to the beauty of the house. There is nothing wrong in adding to the aesthetics and beauty of the tradition. However, at the same time, one should also not forget what the real custom was and should try to retain some part of that as well.
There's no match to bandarwars when it comes to increasing the beauty of door entrances. It also adds to festive moods. That's the beauty of Indian culture. Even through all the modifications and modernizations, it has retained the beauty and aesthetics of customs. That's why to ensure that it lives forever, one should go beyond just taking pride in the culture, and try to look into its depths. There are many diamonds to be found there.