Women’s Section >Ornament & Jewellery > Nose Ring – Mukkutthi

Mookuthi? Mukuthi? Or Mukuthee? Nath Or Naath?

Significance of Nose Piercing & Nose Jewel known as nose stead

by TRS Iyengar

It is widely believed and thought that the nose is exclusively for sensual smell and breathing only. But in a well established practices, this theory manipulates, that it connects with emotional, sexual and romantic propositions too! That’s what the decorative ornaments and jewels to the Nose apparently causes – not only beautifying, but also significantly adds value to the marital life as well! No doubt, it is very very attractive and can accentuate the facial uplift of women, because nose is the most prominent and overall it adds value to the face by its natural positioning. Think of a person without a nose! Yes, even Leonardo Da Vinci noted and commented that the nose, among the whole face, sets the part of a person’s Character.

The occultists belief strengthen it, being the ‘seat’ of the sixth sense, or the focal point that emits brainwave, is located just above the upper end of one’s nose! Unless a convincing reply is given, a girl from Bangalore vowed not to pierce or wear a nose ring for life time!  Ooops, GESP! Similarly, many Emails I got from the visitors, asking me to explain the Hindu Practice of wearing the nose rings and stead. In the other article, under the caption of Women’s favourite Ornaments, I had explained about the entire jewellery items used by the Indian women giving meaning for its significance and values. But this specific ornament known as Mukuthi in Tamil & Nath  in Hindi needs a little more briefing. Hence you got this article!

Nose piercing and nose rings were mentioned in olden manuscripts and Vedic Scripts, which dates back to 6000 years. In the west, nose piercing first appeared among the hippies who traveled to India in the early 1970’s. It was later adopted by the Punk movement of the early 1980’s as a symbol of rebellion against conservative values and ideals. The Hippies who then traveled to India in a mass scale, specifically to the western coastline and Goa, used to get this novelty items from India.

It is said that Ayurvedic (The oldest Vedic scripts that refer to Medicine and part of Vedic Resources) medicine associates nostril’s piercing location with the female reproductive organs. That’s why you need get the ear pierced by an experienced goldsmith, who knows by touching the skin, whether or not any nerve pass through the specific portion. While piercing the ear or nose, no passing nerve system should be disturbed or wounded, hence much care has to be taken for piercing. which is divided into many chapters, states. Ayuveda, which is part of the Indian Vedic Scripts, states that Nose too linked with the female reproductive organs; accordingly the nose piercing is supposed to make childbirth easier and lessen period pain during women’s natural menstrual couse and periods.

Certainly, the ancient Sages and Saints had a far better mode of understanding anatomy & the human body’s nature, functions, plus and minus points of daily behavioral patterns etc. And that too, without having a computer and scanners! Their advanced knowledge in every particle of this universe was the one that they had the enormous power to control everything… absolutely everything from their breath to body to mind and what not? Modern days telepathy system was conceived & practiced during the Vedic era. And to know about the human body mechanical system did they lag behind? Astonishingly, the practices of yester years bring more merits to their customs than just wondering.

Even in the Bible, the nose ring gets a notable mention. In the part Genesis 24:22, Abraham requests his eldest servant to find a partner for his son Isaac; the servant found Rebekah; among the gifts he gave her was a golden ear ring. It was stated, that Shanf in colloquial word in Hebrew said to refer the “Nose Ring”!

In  South Africa, this particular Jewel is displayed among the nomadic tribal of Berber and Beja, as a display of their wealth. The larger the size, it considers them as wealthy.

Also, there is a known close connection between the nose and the sexual reflexes. Believe me, the age old practice in India to predict a person’s character, used to first observe the Nose of a person; it is also widely acclaimed in the “Samudrika Lakshanam” an art that studies the behavioral pattern of every individual, that points to the size, length, positioning etc. of a persons nose and predicts the character to the near accurate result. Even in the Medical terms, it is established beyond doubt, that swelling of the nasal spongy tissues and congestion of the nose occur during sexual excitement in human beings. The nasal passages of women swell, and occasionally bleed, during menstruation. Mr. Wilhelm Fliess (1858-1928 AD), an associate & close friend of Dr. Sigmund Freud, found a strange relationship between the nose and the female sexual apparatus, and held that certain gynecological complaints could be cured by cauterizing the appropriate parts of the nose.

In males, it is believed to be an affinity between the nose and the virile member, and from ancient times it was thought that a large nose was a sign of a large male sexual organ. Similarly, a woman with a little nose is believed to have a small sexual apparatus or the desire to have/indulge in sexual pleasure is minimal. In a parallel custom, in a number of north European countries, and in England under the law of Canute (1035 AD), the punishment for adultery for both men and women was amputation of the nose, not only to cause disfigurement and loss of physical attractiveness, but also to symbolize punishment for the offending genitals. In India, the deflowering of a virgin is symbolically referred to as the removal of the “Mookuthi” known as ‘nath‘ in northern part of India or nose ornament. 

Quite apart from the above findings, the Abharana Bhushana Vidhi states, that wearing a nose ring or a nose stead is a must for a women, if one needs to enjoying life in its pleasurable counts. True. the carbon emanated during the sexual union, the poisonous emission is minimized due to the wearing of a metallic (Gold, Silver) ornament in the nose. Also, the oculists believed, it is very difficult to bring into control or hypnotize or mesmerize the women who wear such sort of nostril rings/Mookuthi/Nath etc. as this functions as a controlling the brainwave length thus avoiding a surrender to the opponent who try to hypnotize. Thus the Indian aesthetic befittingly adorns the female nose with an inspired ornament, which highlights its amorous connotations. Indeed amongst the many jewels with which the Indian woman adorns herself, the nose ornament (nath) is the perhaps the most seductive. 

Ornaments for the nose take on a variety of shapes ranging from tiny jeweled studs resting on the curve of the nostril, to large gold hoops that encircle the cheek with graceful pendant pearls dangling provocatively just above the upper lip. The Maharastrians used to wear a larger ring shaped nose ring, with heavy pearl decorated with, even that hangs up to the chin! Even today, the Adivasis are wearing a Nath weighing to the size of 5 to 10 grams  The royal kingdom of every known state had a verities of collections on this particular jewel, ranging from single stead to a maximum of 17 stead stones that adorned their Nose – Nath! And from an ordinary plain white to a costliest Diamond were studded into this one piece ornament.

One can imagine the ornament making a very soft, whirling but soft, like breeze moving over pipal leaves, as the head moves. The length and position of nose ornaments often came in the way of comfortable eating, prompting the Abbe Dubois, a Christian missionary who lived in south India in the 19th century, to observe in amazement: “The right nostril and the division between the two nostrils are sometimes weighted with an ornament that hangs down as far as the under lip. When the wearers are at meals, they are obliged to hold up this pendant with one hand, while feeding themselves with the other. At first this strange ornament, which varies with different castes, has a hideous effect in the eyes of Europeans, but after a time, when one becomes accustomed to it, gradually seem less unbecoming, and at last one ends by thinking it quite an ornament to the face.”

Right from Kanyakumari to Kashmir,as an integral part of traditional bridal jewelry, many aristocratic families have a special, Mookuthi – nath brought out during at weddings to be worn by the bride. This is now perhaps the only occasion on which today’s urban woman wears the nath, (and in many weddings, I find it is a forgotten issue) evoking its powerful seductive charm. And to say least, the present day generation totally unaware of the values of yesteryears customs, never bother to wear one. In those Vedic Times and era, apart from parents,  it was considered that only maternal Uncle or husband can offer the gift of Nose ornamental jewellery to a woman; taking a gift of nose ring or nath from any outsiders is considered to be a act of indiscipline. Such persons who receives gift of naths or mookuthi from the strangers were the one who served the Lord as Devadasis! (The women sect of a particular community who devoted their entire life to the Lords and Temples of their choice).

Nose piercing should always be done using a needle. By piercing & wearing a nose ring or stead, one should have no adverse effects on the body; so it is strongly recommended to use only pure Gold (Yellow metal). Silver must be avoided to make any sort of nose ring, because it said to cause irritations, delays in healing and oxidises inside the wound and can cause allergic reactions, lumps. Even it might leave a permanent black mark on your nose.

Nose piercing will generally take 3 weeks fully to heal, there will be hardly any redness surrounding the piercing and only a small amount of discharge mainly from the inside of the nose. Just cleanse the affected portion with clean cold water and use cotton to wipe. Do not use any force or pressure which might cause swelling.

Human body in itself is a mystery!  No one can say for sure that one has  fully control and knowledge of one’s own body. Yes, now you can simply do this following test and find whether you are aware of this fact.  Now take a deep breath. Exhale the same slowly. Check with your pointing finger taking it near to your nose,  from which nostril the breathed air is coming out. From right or left nostril ? or from both side nostrils?


If the carbon is released through your right nostril then it is a good omen. When starting to do some thing new or when moving out of your home for some auspicious functions, check your breath is emitted from your right nostril. If it is from the left nostril or when the flow is from both nostrils then wait for few minutes to continue. The best timing for having sex with your partner is while the emission is from your right side nostril.


When the emission of carbon is from your left nostril, then it is the best time for you to start your activities. Also while planning for a child and having sex see that the carbon emission is through your left nostril. If emitted from both nostrils or from the right one, then it is considered inauspicious.

Incidentally, the Mukuthi plays a vital part in married life too! In human anatomy, one cannot fully aware of his/her own body mechanism entirely. However, the ancient method to get any auspicious things started, they used to verify the breathe emanation (carbon release) from the nostril. The above is just a test to verify the three known exhaling methods, known in Sanskrit as Pranan, Vyanan & Abanan. It relates to the discharge from right nostril as pranan, from lest nostril as Vyanan and when exhaled from both nostrils it is known as Abanan. However for women, it is considered from the opposite! For women, if the breath is exhaled from left nostril, then it is considered as auspicious. These three types of carbon release takes place with every living creature, alternately within a specific intervals. This timing varies simply from person to person, depending of their nature of body fitness, shape & mould.

I am asked by many visitors, why a jeweler ornament like the Nose Ring/Stead  (well known as Mookuthi in the Southern Part of India, and as Nath in the northern states) is given much importance. You will find the reality – just by wearing it one can experience the pleasure, that is immense and can be gauged only by the person who wears it! Sorry men, –  Alas, it is not meant for You!

Now I hope, even the present day girls and women would use this particular jewel, not just only to decorate and beautify their face, but also to give way to the wonderful experience of Life, experience as it comes! This will certainly add beauty to their already beautiful face!!

The present generation persons want to get their nose pierced, but feel they can’t because of the reaction of their parents and or friends comments! If you want to get some thing of your own choice, I ask them, why you should hesitate and wait for others’ comments? Go ahead, get your nose pierced and wear an ornament that suits you the best.

Nose piercing is to take place before the age of 5-7 years old. In those olden days, they simply used to put a golden wire for the children below the age of seven and later. Later, when they grow, they used to wear different type of Nose stead (Mukkuthi) of their choice and liking with many design, stone studded and or even plain gold made one. And there was/is no creamy layer for any class, caste or creed! And no reservations on this particular subject as it was / is a custom with every Hindu women to wear a Nath  (Mookuthi). However, depending on their wealth, they used decorate this ornament with costly jewels, precious stones and size. Almost all the Nath  (Mukuthi) were made of only in Gold.   If you consider this article is worthy and has a value to state, please spread word about this. Least, I am not branded again as a “pseudo-scientist”!

Nose Piercing, mookuthi1
Nose Ring Mookuthi, Simple design
Nathu, Nath known as Nose Ring
Nose Piercing, Nose_Ring4
Nose Piercing, Nose_ring5
Mookuthi, Simply Beautiful, for every women
Nose Piercing, mookuthi2
<Mukuthi, Nose Ring Design

TRS Iyengar

Born on Makara Uthiradam star, native of Mukkur and brought up in Ladavaram village near Arcot and now well settled in Mumbai for over five decades. Presently, at 70, trying to run this website without any commercial expectations or profit motive, just for the sake of our future generations to understand about Sanatana Dharma & Srivaishnavam sampradayam.Within my limited knowledge that I put it here, what I learnt from the world.

Leave a Comment