In Maharashtra, the mangalsutras have black beads with two bowl-shaped vatis on either side. The Maharashtrian Mangalsutra has two gold and black beads strung together in a double line and joined by the central vati pendant in the form of two cups.
This structure, with the two strands of gold and black beads chain, stands for Shiva & Shakti, the gold mangalsutra in the middle that joins them symbolises the holy union of Lord Shiva and Shakti. The two stands of beads fused together are symbolic of the two, husband and wife, in perfect continuity creating a whole around the neck of his woman. Just like any other mangalsutra wearing community, Maharashtrians also believe the black beads to ward off evil eye & help keep the marriage happy. Maharashtra Mangalsutra have two types of the black beaded chain:
- Nirgun – The whole chain is made of just black beads
- Shagun – Every 9 black beads are separated by 2 golden beads
The cups as seen in Marathi Mangalsutras are hollow from one side and raised from another. It is ideally required by a married Maharashtrian woman to wear the mangalsutra with the hollow side of the pendant facing towards the body. Generally, no design is placed on the elevated portion of the cups as it is believed that the simpler the design, the better the effects.