Symbolism of Colors in India



In India, many of the women and men wear vibrant colors that have a significant meaning. I have included a list of what each color means. At the end of the page, there is also a great link that takes you to a website that breaks the colors down into the different meanings according to culture.



Black in India has connotations with a lack of desirability, evil, negativity, and inertia. It represents anger and darkness and is associated with the absence of energy, barrenness, and death. Black is used as a representation of evil and is often used to ward off evil. This can be found in an age-old custom amongst Indians where an infant or, for that matter, anyone looking really spectacular is often traditionally blessed with a little black dot on the chin or under the ear to ward off the evil eye. And while white stands for everything desirable in the west, in India it takes on a more somber connotation.



Red is dynamic and constantly breathing fire in the eyes of the beholder. It incites fear and is the color associated with one of the most revered goddesses in Hindu mythology – Durga. Her fiery image is enhanced by her red tongue and almost red eyes. Red also stands for purity and is the preferred color for a bride’s garment. Red has a deep meaning in the Indian psyche.It commemorates the union between two people and is visible right from the wedding, where the bride is decked in brilliant hues of red to the red tikka (spot on forehead) that she adorns after the wedding as a sign of her commitment. It is perhaps easy to see why red also symbolizes fertility and prosperity. It is the color of the fertile clay that reaps harvests and better lives and is used widely in prayer ceremonies and offerings. And India could hardly be celebrated as the land of spices without its most feisty ingredient — chilies. And while red symbolizes fertility and purity, it also connotes a certain sensuousness and demands positive energy.


Blue is associated with Lord Krishna, perhaps one of the most favored gods in India.


Green symbolizes nature and therefore is a manifestation of God himself. India is steeped in tradition, culture, and a rich and a fabulous history. Kings and kingdoms, saints and followers, rebels and fighters have traversed the paths of its glorious past and have all played a small but significant role is ascertaining the perception of color today.


The color purple in Indian Culture represents sorrow or comforting.


Yellow in India represents learning and knowledge. It  symbolizes happiness, peace, meditation, competence, and mental development.

Pink in India symbolizes youth, fun, romance, and excitement. Pink is considered a sensual and passionate color.

Here is a link to a website that breaks down colors individually- Color Chart by Culture


If you have an extra 15 minutes, Sadhguru explains the meanings of colors and why they are represented with those meanings.


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