Traditional Indian Gold Jewelry – The Pride of India


Traditional Indian Gold Jewelry is the epitome of exclusive and intricate art. India is highly renowned for its unique tradition and culture, which is reflected through several aspects. It includes lifestyle, costumes, religious beliefs, practices and of course the gold Jewellery. Gold and Jewellery are the two terms that is closely associated with the India and the life of Indians. It has a great acquaintance with people for more than 5000 years and eventually depicts the traditions and practices of different reign and dynasty. The desire of adorning ourselves with gold ornaments has not been diminished and since the introduction of gold jewellery, it is considered an important element of life. 

Gold making is a traditional art of India and the gold jewellery of India belonging to ancient period obviously portrays the richer lifestyle of men and women. For instance, women used to tie up their hair with gold head bands carved with pearls, precious stones and diamond brooches. The traditional Indian gold jewelry comprises of a range of gold ornaments that covers from head to toe. Unlike current fashion, gold jewellery is not an exclusive artifact of women, where there was numerous jewellery were worn exclusively by men. When compared with the intricate artwork and exclusive designs of gold jewellery available in the market, traditional Indian gold jewelry belonging to the reign of Indus Valley Civilisation are found to be more intricate with unimaginable craftwork. 

When we talk about or come across the term traditional jewellery, it is very common that we imagine the heavy ornaments strung with colourful stones and gems. Most of the gold jewellery was designed with charming and delightful stones and gems. Rubies, emeralds, pearls, corals, etc were most commonly used in crafting the jewellery. The usage of gems in gold jewellery has been introduced during the Sangam Dynasty in Madurai, the temple city of South India. Eventually, the kingdoms of the reign were admirably embellished with generous stonework in the gold jewellery. Most of the designs used in traditional jewellery were inspired from nature and includes the flower, birds, leaf, etc. 

Following are some of the most famous and most beautiful traditional Indian gold jewelry: 

Karnika is an ancient jewellery of India, represents three different types of earrings. It includes flower shaped earrings with intricate art work, circular earring and a simple ring called Kundala. Kundala is an exclusive earring of men. Necklaces have a distinctive place in ancient jewellery of India. It can be classified into short necklace called Kantha and long necklace called lambanam. Short necklace is characterized by a think and broad gold chain strung with round shaped locket made of stones. Long necklaces have numerous editions, among which ruby necklace, mango shaped necklace, and Kasu Mala were highly popular. 

These popular designs of long necklaces are still being used in the current trend. Mekala is the gold belt, designed in different patterns and strings, worn over the hip. Ancient women had the practice of adoring and expressing their beautiful physique by wearing by Mekala. Mostly, pearls and rubies are carved in gold chain to make Mekala. This unique piece of jewellery has an important place in several literatures. Based on Mekala, a unique literature in tamil called “Manimekalai” has been written, through which the love of a woman on her man is depicted beautifully. 

Traditional Indian gold jewelry has an undeniable place in the ancient literature. Silappadhikaram – leg chain, Manimekalai – hip belt, Seevaga Sinthamani – hair ornaments, Valaiyapathi - bangles and Kundalakesi - earrings are the five major epics in tamil written based on five different Indian Jewellery. Beauty of women and smartness of men are expressed through describing each piece of jewellery. These five literatures have been translated into different languages of the globe, where the craftwork of Indians and the gold Jewellery are exhibited worldwide. Eventually, it is obvious that traditional Indian gold jewellery is the pride of India.

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