Alta is a bright red dye or liquid color used to adorn palms and feet in simple patterns. Painting the soles with this red liquid dye and adorning the upper foot with elaborate designs to bring out the beauty of the feet, is a common Indian tradition, particularly during religious festivals and weddings.
Awlata is a red dye that is applied to the hands and feet that is mainly done in the Indian subcontinent, notably done in Bengal, and in the Eastern provinces of India like in Bihar and also in Odisha. Its applied with cotton to the hands and feet during marriage ceremonies and festivals.
It was traditionally made from betel leaves. Later on, the same was replaced with artificial products like vermillion (Sindoor) or Kumkum (Red Powder) to create similar liquid. In today’s time, the mostly available Alta is made out of lac and other chemical colors
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