Alta (also Mahawar or Rose Bengal) is a red dye which women in India and Bangladesh apply with cotton on the their hands and feet during marriages and festivals. Alta was originally produced from lac though later it was replaced with synthetic dyes. The Oriya lexicon 'Purnachandra Bhashakosha' (1930s) describes how this lac-dye was prepared. For Hindus this has been a sacred dye known in Sanskrit as lakshya rasa.
- Garg, Gaṅgā Rām. (1992). Encyclopaedia of the Hindu world, Volume 2. p. 348.