Jewellery is an adornment that signifies wealth, power, and status, that is more than just a part of tradition and culture. In rich and diverse country of India, jewellery is not just a decorative piece of metal worn solely for the purpose of adornment. Every piece of jewellery and its intricate design has its own cultural significance. Well, the culture in India is so wide and varied that each piece of jewellery design varies with every state and community.
Types of jewellery and designs are so versatile in India that they vary from state to state. If some jewellery is popular in one state, it might not necessarily be popular in another state. We have curated a collection of a select few of the jewellery designs that is intrinsic to culture of a specific Indian state. Here are the unique jewellery designs that are popular exclusively in the region of Jammu and Kashmir, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan and Assam.
Jewellery of Jammu and Kashmir – From poignant poetry to its eclectic cuisine to its distinctive fashion, Jammu and Kashmir is a land of raw and untainted beauty. The state’s rich culture and heritage is spelled out in the enchanting Kashmiri gold jewellery that is known for its intricate, well-crafted designs, and unique and meticulous detailing. The jewellery designs are influenced by Persian and Indian cultures alike to evolve through the various periods of cultural influence. The skilful native artisans of Kashmir are remarkably talented in the art of jewellery making. The jewellery design and techniques are so ancient and traditional, and considered impossible to recreate.
- Kundalas, a type of earrings and Nupura, thick anklets are jewellery that adorn a traditional outfit of women from Jammu and Kashmir.
- In the Rajouri region, Chaunk phool is an elaborate statement headdress worn on a cap just above the forehead framing their face.
- Gunus is a thick bangle of solid gold and silver with a snake or lion head at both ends is a popular piece of jewellery from Jammu and Kashmir.
- Deji-hor worn by married women, is a pair of gold earrings, that elegantly rests on the shoulders, crafted of a silk or gold thread that passes through the ears at the top end of the ear lobes.
Jewellery of Uttarakhand – The state of Uttarakhand, so very fondly called Devbhoomi has unique and intricate jewellery that boasts of a culture so old and ancient immaculately preserved in gold and silver. The bold statement pieces of the state of Uttarakhand ranges from the grandeur of tehri nath, to the meticulously crafted chandan haar; gold. A proud Pahari women’s outfit is never complete without the quintessential pieces of jewellery adorning her and is an elegant display of the state of Uttarakhand’s glorious cultural heritage.
- Adorning the nose is bulaq, traditionally worn by newly married women of Kumaon, Jaunsar, and Garhwal in Uttarakhand is made of gold. The intricately crafted motifs on the bulaq are exceptional and is a true praise to the artisan’s skill in jewellery design.
- Kundal and bali, also locally known as monad, murkhli, munda, or tugyal, kundals are gold earrings that adorn the Pahari women’s traditional outfit of Uttarakhand.
- Tehri nath, also known as nathuli, tehri nath is an ornamental nose ring that is shaped like a moon and made of gold. The brilliant craftmanship of tehri nath is cherished by both urban and rural Garhwali women. In the Garhwali culture, bride is usually gifted an intricately carved tehri nath by her maternal uncle as a custom.
- Kaanphool – Made of gold, kaanphool are earrings carved with floral motifs. These are most commonly worn by Jaunsari women of Uttarakhand.
- Pahunchi – An auspicious piece of jewellery for married women, pahunchi are gold bangles worn by women during celebrations and events. Usually available in 1 tola, small gold beads are studded on a red cloth to make these bangles, which makes them very unique.
- Hansuli – Hansuli, sometimes known as khagwali in Garhwal, is a minimalistic clutcher necklace. It is worn by Garhwali, Kumaoni, Jaunsari, and Bhotiya women on special occasions such as weddings and celebrations.
- Chandan haar – This traditional gold necklace from Uttarakhand, is a string of gold beads studded on four-to-five long layered chains held together by a kundan clasps.
- Galobandh – Worn by the married women of Kumaon, Garhwal, Bhotiya and Jaunsar. Square gold blocks are strung through a red thread that is worn like a choker.
Jewellery of Rajasthan – Rajasthani jewellery has evolved to reflect the ancient customs and traditions that was shaped by the nature and resources available to them in the geographical location. The innovative jewellery designs in Rajasthan are a confluence of several cultures and tribes who lived in the region since time immemorial.
- Lac bangles is made of resinous material, that comes in varied designs and patterns, usually worn in sets of odd numbers on each hand. An ideal set includes 17 bangles worn on the upper arm and nine on the lower arm, a total of 52 on both arms.
- The Jadau jewellery that finds its origins in the palaces of Rajasthan, enjoys a global fame today for its rarity and craftsmanship that takes more than 2-3 months to complete one jewellery design set.
- Polki is an uncut diamond that hasn’t been processed. Polki jewellery, the uncut diamond is placed on a layer of molten gold foil which is made to hold the diamond in place and for reflecting the light. Apart from uncut diamonds, polki jewellery is also designed with other precious gems like pearl, sapphire, ruby and emerald.
Jewellery of Assam – Traditional Assamese jewellery is inspired by nature, most of the styles include motifs of birds, animals, musical instruments such as dhol, drum, pepa, etc. Designed and crafted by the talented artisans, Assamese jewellery features exquisite craftsmanship.