Sindoor, also known as vermilion or kumkum, is a traditional red powder or paste that holds great significance in Hindu culture. It is primarily used by married Hindu women as a mark on their forehead, symbolizing their marital status and representing the well-being of their husbands.

Sindoor is typically made from powdered cinnabar, a naturally occurring red mineral, mixed with other ingredients such as turmeric or lime. The exact composition may vary depending on regional and personal preferences. It is often applied as a red dot or bindi on the center of the forehead, between the eyebrows.

The application of sindoor is an age-old tradition and is considered auspicious and sacred. It is believed to bring good fortune, marital bliss, and longevity to the husband. The bright red color of sindoor is associated with love, passion, and fertility.

In Hindu mythology, the practice of applying sindoor is often linked to the goddess Parvati. It is said that Parvati used to apply sindoor as a mark of her married status and for the well-being of her husband Lord Shiva. Thus, married Hindu women follow this tradition as a form of devotion and to emulate the ideal of a devoted wife.

It's important to note that the usage of sindoor varies among different regions and communities within Hinduism. While it is prevalent in many parts of India and among certain Hindu communities, it is not universally practiced by all married Hindu women. Some women may choose not to wear sindoor due to personal preferences, cultural differences, or other reasons.