Indian jewellery is as old as Indian civilisation itself. Gold, pearls and precious stones are part of the local jewellery tradition, which translate Indian aspiration to reach perfection in form, design and colours. Let’s have a look at the most amazing pieces you might come across.
A sarpech, or shirpej, is a head ornament originally worn as tiaras on princely turbans by Indian women 2,000 years ago.
Bangles and bracelets such as kadas, but also bangdi, churi and many others were commonly worn in the north of the country. They could be hollow, solid or filled with lac, with the ends picturing animals such as parrots or elephants.
Vankis originally come from South India and are unique bracelets because of their inverted V-shapped design. They appear to be made in worship of Naga (« snake » in Sanskrit). You can often see one on the arm of Lord Krishna in its representations.
Linga Padakka Muthu Malai
A Linga Padakka Muthu Malai is a garland of pearls with a Lingam pendant, which represent Shiva. The pendant usually pictures a lotus flower and may enclose a scroll of sacred words, which inspired today’s Western charms jewels like those you can find on this website.
Naths are nose ornaments in a shape of a ring. It is part of the bride’s accessories for the wedding. Some of the most beautiful naths can be found in Maharashtra.
Oddiyanams are waist ornaments supposed to hold sarees but are also used as corset in order to keep the waist slim (breath is drawn before the belt is fastened).
Karanphools and Jhumkas are basically two different pieces of jewellery, but merged during the Moghul period. The Karanphool is the most popular ear jewel in the north, usually picturing a flower motif in its centre.
Jadanagams are bridal hair jewels often picturing the shape of a sun, evocative of brilliance and power, followed by a crescent moon, symbolic of calm and peace.
The Shinka is a rare hair jewel of Gujarat. It is a heavy ornament worn on the hair itself, contrary to more common Damani hair jewel. It is usually worn on festive occasions.
Chandrahaar, which literally means « garland of moons », is a hip ornament made of a series of golden chains leading down to an elaborate pendant usually picturing a floral motive.
A hathphool is a hand and fingers ornament often in a shape of a flower with thin chains running on each finger. It is often worn additionally to henna designs.
A paizeb is a foot jewellery, part of the bridal decor. It is also often worn in addition to henna designs.