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3 Nov

Everything you need to know about temple jewellery

Formerly used to adorn temple deities, temple jewellery is intrinsic to southern India’s bridal heritage. The combination of precious materials, intricate motifs and handcrafted detailing makes temple jewellery the perfect antique gold keepsake

WHERE IT BEGAN: Temple jewellery is said to have originated in the Chola and Pandya dynasties that lasted from the 9thcentury to the 16thcentury. Ramesh Kalyanaraman, Executive Director, Kalyan Jewellers, narrates, “In the early years, temple jewellery was made from the precious metal, which was donated to temples in South India, and was reserved for adorning deities and royals. At that time, dance as a form of worship began to evolve in temples and hence, the dancers, too, adorned this jewellery during their performances. Over time, temple jewellery began to reflect religious sentiments and eventually became an essential piece in every South Indian bride’s jewellery collection.”

Photo: Crystalline Studio

ASSOCIATED REGIONS: Besides Nagercoil in Tamil Nadu, temple jewellery is designed in Gokak (Karnataka) and is popularly known as Gokak jewellery. The designs often reflect the culture of the border districts of North Karnataka and South Maharashtra.

THE PRECIOUS FACTOR: The intricate use of kemp stones, rubies, garnets, emeralds, uncut diamonds and pearls in temple jewellery makes it priceless.

OWN IT Kalyanaraman recommends an adigai necklace, a long haaram, a nethichuttiand jimikkiearrings.

Lead Photo: Smoke Weddings

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Team FWT / [email protected]
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