Punjabi Tattoo Ideas

Updated July 20, 2017

Punjab is the name given to a region of India where the Beus, Satluj, Ravi, Chenab and Jhelum rivers meet. The word Punjab literally translates to mean "land of five rivers." This area has evolved to have a unique culture with its own identifiable language, food, attire, script and folklore. Many people are very proud of their cultural ties to this area, and one way of showing off this cultural pride is through the use of body art, like tattoos.


The Bengal tiger holds special significance in the Punjabi region because it is native to India. Its ferocious nature and captivating mystic nature have led it to inspire the names of everything in the Punjab region, from sports clubs to bands to pro wrestlers. The image of the tiger can be used in many ways to create a tattoo. Some ideas include claw marks or tiger eyes.


Mehndi, also known as mehandi or mehendi, is the art of applying crushed the crushed henna plant to make artistic designs with special significance. This art is used in spiritual and ceremonial practices in Punjab. The designs are normally applied through a temporary and painless painting process and can signify everything from fertility and good health to spiritual enlightenment and wisdom. But these designs can also be used as the perfect inspiration for a permanent tattoo design related to the Punjab region.

Punjabi Script

Punjabi is a unique language that evolved from Sanskrit. It has two subdivisions, called Lahnda and Gurmukhi. In general, people from the western part of Punjab speak Lahnda, and people from the eastern region speak Gurmukhi. The Punjabi script is written in either Perso-Arabic script or the Gurmukhi alphabet. A tattoo of a saying or quote with personal significance can be made even more unique by having it translated into the Punjabi language, so it can be transcribed into either Perso-Arabic script or the Gurmukhi alphabet.

Religious or Spiritual Symbols

There are two main religions that can trace their beginnings back to the Punjab region: Sikhism and Hinduism. Sikhism originated in the Punjab region and centres around acts of charity and meditation. Tattoo ideas related to Sikhism are the Khanda, which represents the belief in one God, or the symbol "Ik Oankar," which means "God is One Being." Hinduism has many important religious texts that originated in the Punjab region. Some Hindu-themed tattoo ideas are one that uses part of a Mantra, which is a hymn to a Hindi deity, or one that has an image of a Hindi god or goddess.

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About the Author

Emily Holland is a student writer earning a degree in international relations with a minor in Spanish from North Carolina State University. She began writing professionally in 2011, specializing in travel, education, literature and cultural issues. Holland has a certificate in Global Perspective and studied in València, Spain and Antiqua, Guatemala.