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All about Alta

Mehendi is an integral part of the Indian tradition. At weddings, on festivals and on a number of special occasion, Mehendi is applied. It is simple form of applying temporary henna tattoos decorating the palms and the feet with various designs.

Similarly, Alta, is also a part of the India culture. Alta, is red dye that is used to decorate the palms and the feet. It is mostly applied by the women from Bengal, Orissa and eastern parts of India. Unlike Mehendi, Alta is applied using cotton. It doesn’t form a design, but is used to dye the hands and feet.

In India, as per the Tradition, after the wedding when the bride enters her husband’s house for the first time, she has to first step her feet onto a plate of Alta, leaving red footsteps behind.

Alta, is known to be originally produced from Lac. It was later replaced with synthetic dyes.

During Durga Puja, Bengali women apply Alta on the feet. Also, it is applied by a number of women on Karva Chauth. The dye used to produce Alta was considered as sacred by the Hindus. It was known as aslakshya rasa.  

Alta is applied during performing the Indian classical dance forms like Bharatnatyam, Odissi, Kuchipudi, Manipuri etc. It is a crucial part of the get-up of these dance forms. The Alta dye is red in colour, which represents blood and fertility. The vibrant colour on the palms make for excellent gestures during the dance performances.

Alta, for years, have decorated the palms and feet with its vibrant colour and continues to do so.

Disclaimer: The images are just for reference purpose. We don’t claim ownership of any of them.

The images and videos used are property of the respective owners.

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Alta

The decoration of one’s palm and feet has been very old in India. With the few essentials for a bride, Mehendi is one of them. Along with Mehendi, Alta also is a way of colouring and decorating your palm and feet. Mehendi is made from henna, whereas, Alta is a different form altogether. Alta or Mahawar or Rose Bengal is a red dye which women in India (especially Bengali, Odiya women in Eastern India) or Bangladesh apply with cotton on the border of their feet during marriages and religious festivals. During Durga Puja many Bengali women put Alta on their feet.

In certain areas of India there is a tradition that after the wedding ceremony, when the bride enters her in-laws house for the first time, she steps in a plate of Alta before crossing the threshold with her right foot, leaving red footsteps behind her.

Alta is also used by dance performers to decorate their palms and feet. It is believed that the placement of the dot on the palms and on the feet is to awaken the chakars of the palm and the feet. In many a dance form the alta is used to border the palm and feet so that the dance moment is enhanced.

 

 

 

 

 

Disclaimer: The images are just for reference purpose. We don’t claim ownership of any of them.

The images and videos used are property of the respective owners.