India and mehndi are two words that are closely associated to one another. Application of mehndi or henna in India has a lot of cultural and traditional value to it. Henna or mehndi is a plant whose leaves, when dried, have the property to give out a reddish dye to any surface on which it is applied. In India, henna or mehndi is a part of almost all celebrations including weddings, parties, birthdays etc. The plant is thought to be auspicious in India and hence, it is applied on the hands and feet of girls on any happy occasion. The variety of designs that Indians have come up with in henna art is just marvelous.
There are different styles of application practised in India. One is the Marwari or Rajasthani mehndi designs. These are traditional mehndi designs that owe their name to the marwari community that applies it. Marwari mehndi designs are traditional designs in which the design covers the complete hands. The mango design and the peacock designs are the most famous motifs used in this style of design. The reason being that the dancing of the peacock and ripening of mangoes in India indicates the coming of spring, a happy season. Like already mentioned, mehndi in India is applied on all happy occasions and therefore the motifs also indicate the same.
The mango and peacock mehndi designs are easy to make. All you need to do is that create a mango outline shape and then one can fill it with different designs such as dots, checks, loops, circles etc. Similarly, in the peacock design, the head and body of the peacock is made similar to the mango shape and the eye and beak are added to it. Now this too is filled with various designs. Then extended lines are made to indicate the feathers and circles are made on both sides to show the spots on the feathers. The best part about mehndi designs is that there is no right or wrong. One can create anything, any design and it would come out well. You can be innovative and try different designs with the mango and peacock designs to create completely new designs.
Another style followed in India is the Arabic mehndi designs. Though this design has not originated in India but it has gained immense popularity in India. The Arabic mehndi designs start from one corner of the hand and move diagonally upwards towards the index finger. They use a lot of floral, vines and leaf designs to fill this space. They are quick to make, easy to do than the marwari mehndi designs and dry faster. These designs are best suited for those who are less on time and patience and like henna designs that involve some shading and combination of design and spaces.
These are the designs that are liked by most Indian woman. If you do happen to attend a Indian wedding or celebration, do ask for mehndi and try a design on. There are many tutorials online as well that teach how to apply various styles of Indian mehndi designs.