THANJAVUR, TAMIL NADU
Jewellery is an intrinsic part of the Indian psyche and cultural ethos. There are three distinct kinds of South Indian jewellery - temple jewellery, spiritual jewellery and bridal jewellery. Temple jewellery was used to adorn the idols of gods and goddesses. From necklaces and bangles to head pieces and anklets, these pieces emerged from the temples to become a part of contemporary usage over time. The regal look of the temple jewellery which originated in the ninth century forms a valuable part of South India’s cultural heritage. It has gained a lot of popularity among women and is used by classical dancers to add divinity and uniqueness to their look.
Temple jewellery ruled the South Indian jewellery box up until the 16th century. Experienced and talented goldsmiths and craftsmen were employed to craft these pieces and accessories for royalty and the elite. One of the most popular pendant design is that of Ganesh and the Goddess.
Pure gold and silver and various other precious metals are used in creating temple jewellery. Some of the rare gemstones and techniques include kemp, pearls, rubies, emeralds, diamonds, Kundan, polka and Meenakari. Precious and semi-precious stones are used in both cut and uncut forms to endow a classic look to the jewellery.