(Last Updated on : 20/11/2017)
South Indian Jewellery is all about richness, tradition, beauty and elaborateness and a generous assimilation of brilliant precious metals like gold
, exquisite stones and a constellation of all that glitters. South Indian Jewelleries were created primarily in gold and were usually worn during traditional festivals
History of South Indian Jewellery
The initial references to the depictions of South Indian jewellery dates back to the mural paintings
of the Thiruvambadi shrine in the Shri Padmanabhaswami Temple
. Even the earliest European reference to jewellery
also relates the use of South Indian jewellery in Vijayanagar
. However, the jewellery of Mughal
India has been studied much more extensively, thus, comparatively neglecting the jewellery forms of southern India
Features of South Indian Jewellery
Illustrious design and elaborate crafting makes the South Indian Jewellery different from other traditional ornaments from other parts of India. The South Indian jewellery owes its influence to the temple jewellery
which has experienced its evolution.
Uses of Stones: The characteristic arrangements of gemstones on South Indian jewellery in grid patterns are an abstraction of timeless features found in the temple architectures.
Use of Gold: In South India, gold is the most and major material for jewellery and the common gems for jewellery crafting are the diamonds, rubies and pearls.
Designs: The traditional floral patterns, glittering stars, swans and lotus patterns are believed to be favourites as South Indian jewellery.
Various South Indian Jewelleries
The South Indian women
now enjoy the flaunting extravaganza of gold jewellery
, and enjoying the elaborate accessories denying the need for any particular occasion. The popular South Indian jewellery includes the Adijai (choker), Mangamalai, Thali or Matigalasuthra, Kasumalai (a long chain
of gold coins), Matal (ear ornament
), Jitniki (eardrop), Uddiyanam (gold waist belt), Vanki (armlet) and Jolusn (anklets). These ornaments are traditionally crafted and finished with great dexterity.
The Mangamalai or mango necklace
is gorgeous South Indian jewellery. Long and heavy with mango
shaped pendants, set with the rubies and fringed with pearls. A South Indian woman wearing the traditional Kasumalai is considered to be of high class and status. The chain comprises coins flowing from neck to waist and is still very popular in the South.
Jadanagam, an elaborate hair ornament which is worn to depict fertility and procreation. It is worn in a way covering the braid and its snake
-like form accentuates with the fall of the rippling cascade like hair and the shape of the plait underneath, ending in Kunjalam or Tassels. The 3 strings of the braid is said to represent the 3 sacred rivers Ganga
is a gold ring set with rubies, a spinel
and a baroque pearl with a diamond eye from South India during the 18th century. The form of the pearl suggests that of a bull which intended to be Nandi
, the animal associated with the God Shiva
The South Indian jewellery named Jitniki is a bell-shaped ear jewel, which is set in coloured stones with pearls hanging at the lower end. It is worn on the lower lobe of the ear. The Jitniki hangs from a lotus shaped Kamal of diamonds or rubies.
are the specialties of South Indian jewellery. The anklets are made from cast silver because for religious reasons, gold ornaments were not usually worn on the feet as gold is often associated with Goddess Laxmi
Over the years with the breeze of oncoming fashion
trends, anklets are widely adorned by metropolitan women and stands as a major breakthrough in the land mark of style statements. Nowadays, wearing the antique South Indian jewellery has become fashion among the South Indian women.