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From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia

By Swami Harshananda

Keśabandha literally means ‘hair-style.

Evolution of Hair Art[edit]

Dressing up the hair, especially by tying it into different shapes, was a well-developed art in ancient and medieval country. It was but natural that this got reflected in the images of gods and goddesses also.

Hair Styles[edit]

Various such styles have been noticed and mentioned in the works on iconography. Sometimes, the hair is shaped as a crown. It is called ‘jaṭāmukuṭa’. Other styles are:

  1. Kākapakṣa - side-locks shown in the images of juvenile gods like Bālakṛṣṇa
  2. Alaka - curled hair
  3. Ekaveṇī - single plait
  4. Dome-like or oval shaped bun as in the images of Rukminī or Godādevī
  5. Others

Hair Decoration[edit]

Generally hair or hair locks may be decorated with flowers. They are even bedecked with jewels. Fierce deities are shown with decorations of coiled serpents.[1]


  1. The decoration of coiled serpents is naga-bandha.
  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore