Indian Jewellery

India in the past was often referred to as the jewel in the crown. If we take a walk down the country's historic past, we will find that India jewelry is very much a part of its intrinsic value and dates back to the Mohenjodaro and Harappan times when elegant and intricate jewelry was designed and crafted for its pantheon of gods. Indian jewelry range could be categorized as temple, spiritual and bridal. All these three types of jewelry were embellished with colored stones to highlight the designs. The temple jewelry in the India jewelry range involved the adornment of statues of gods and goddesses with chunky necklaces, which were either strung with beads or crafted with intricate filigree. The statues were also adorned with a number of large chunky bracelets, which came studded with gems. The earrings for the deities were those of clustered beads and had a close resemblance to that of dangling grapes. The nose rings too were adorned with jewels and the ankles bore thick anklets. The temple dancers later wore the jewelry, which was initially created for the gods and goddesses. These designs slowly became a part of the Indian woman's bridal jewelry trousseau. Spiritual jewelry also became a part of India jewelry range. It evolved due to social and religious conditions of the times. It was considered to be highly auspicious if one wore precious jewels while attending important celebrations like a marriage or a puja service. A unique range of jewelry was specially crafted for these occasions and could be worn as pendants, bracelets, belts and brooches. The favorite design for pendants was that of Ganesha - the elephant headed god known to bestow good luck and good fortune. The other emblem, which was also, very much in demand was that of the sacred syllable OM. The Navaratna ring with nine gems also became increasingly popular as it is linked to the nine planets and brings with it all the good influence while assuring the wearer of good luck, health and wealth.


Reshuffling and reversing the pages of history would lead us to the origin of the traditional Indian fashion jewellery. But the right point of start is still a mere blur. The story of Indian fashion jewelry can be dated back to the Vedic era. The holy Ramayana and the Mahabharata are replete with descriptions of ornaments worn by both men and women of that age. Infact even before the discovery of metals Indians are said to have adorned themselves with wooden jewelries and other materials which are easily available. To talk about civilization, Harappa and Mohenjodaro civilization bears evidence of Indian fashion jewelry. By the 3rd century B.C. India became the leading exporter of gemstones, and that was a benchmark in the history of Indian jewelry.During the ancient ages Indian Gods and Goddesses are crafted with rich and ornate temple jewelry, a trend still existent. Eventually those intricate filigree designs of Indian jewelry were being sported with by the women folk and it got absorbed into the bridal trousseau and worn on special occasions.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Man,s desire to decorate himself with objects of nature like feathers, seeds, and cowrie shells was the initial stage in the development of jewellery. The tribals took great pains to collect these items for their personal decorations. With the advent of the agrarian society, jewellery became associated with the status of a man in society and became a form of savings. In India, jewellery is counted as the wealth of a woman and she inherits it from her father or her husband as gift.
Jewellery is mostly associated with married woman in Indian society and a widow hardly displays any form of jewellery.
A special community of people called Sonars in India make the jewels. They are attached to specific groups and castes of people. Most of the jewellery items worn by Indian women are the same but for some regional influences
Nose ring
Nose ornaments are widely used throughout India. Different shapes and designs are involved, as also different materials are used in its making. Gold, silver, pearls and a variety of precious stones are used.
The nose ornament took shape only in the 10 the century, with the arrival of the Arab invaders. It is of different types like the simple Lavang, clove, to Phuli, the elaborately worked stud, or Nath the nose ring worn in the right nostril and the Bulli the ring worn in the center just over the lips.

Tikka, worn on the forehead
Bore is a head ornament, which is placed at the parting of the hairs. It is also called as Boldra in Rajasthan, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh. The tikka is a round pendant at the end of a long chain and which falls on the forehead.
It is also commonly used throughout India. Bengal has a range of hair jewels, which decorate the hair tied as a bun at the back. In South India a variety of ornaments are available for decorating the loose plait.

A traditional Necklace
For the neck there are scores of chains, necklaces, and chokers available. Guluband is made of beads or rectangular pieces of metals strung together with the help of threads. Then there is the longer Kanthi. Under this can be worn a silver chain or a necklace of beads.
Golden Kadas
To adorn the hands there are of course a variety of rings from the cheap silver items to diamond rings, which are worth a fortune. The top of the hand can be adorned with the hathpool or Rattan Chowk. For the wrist there are the Karda, the Paunchi, the Gajira and the Chuda and these all together make up the bracelet category. Bracelets come in cheap mixed metal varieties to diamond studded gold ones. Above the elbow women wear the Bazoo, the Joshan and the Bank.

Anklets for the toes come in different models of heavy metals and silver. The delicately worked paizebs ending in tinkling silver hollow bells is really a good piece to adorn oneself with. The bichua or scorpion ring for the toe is a symbol for married women.

Designs and the mode of techniques vary from region to region and the material used depends upon the status of the wearer in the society. Ornaments range from the simple metal collections to the silver ones, mixed metals, gold, diamond and platinum.


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  2. awesome and very informative post thanks for sharing

  3. Women wear jewelery to enhance the physical appearance,the right pair of earrings can complement an outfit to make the wearer feel more attractive and self confident...Thanks for sharing the post..
    Jewellers in Chandigarh