India occupies a significant space in the development of Jewellery of different kinds since ancient times and one of the oldest forms of these pieces of jewellery is the Indian necklace Jewellery. In fact, one of the oldest necklace jewellery dating back to the 17th century is also believed to be carved and created in the Indian subcontinent, and the first recorded owner was the Maharaja of Indore who later travelled to the West, handing it to different rulers.
Necklaces are probably the earliest type of adornment worn to accentuate one’s look. Getting its earliest roots of creation from the pre-historic era necklaces have since been one the most important piece of jewellery in every part of the world. With time, necklaces have evolved like any other thing on this planet but to its specialty, every country or region has taken over its development and the cultural and social influences can be easily found reflecting through them.
And it’s of no surprise that Indian necklace pieces of jewellery have their special charm and variety all across the country. Each region of India has its trademark style of necklaces and much like the diverse cultures that are found here, even the Indian necklaces hold significant value to the people.
Rajput Queen Jodha and her Necklace Styling
Necklaces themselves are a special accessory that can uplift the overall look of a person and have remained the constant favourite of women for several years. According to the studies, in ancient times, necklaces used to be the symbol of social status and were more common amongst the nobles and royalty. Both men and women adorned this piece of jewellery with pride and sometimes they even held more sentimental and religious values alongside fashion.
Jewellery – apart from being the ornament for enhancing the beauty of an individual, is also a form of art and self-creation being expressed through variant designs and styles. For some, it is a part of their tradition. Though they all differ in the terms of relevance, they tend to play significant roles in the Indian culture.
Here in India, every piece of jewellery is the artistic expression of the skilled craftsmen depicting both the symbolic and fashionable values alongside the artistry involved. And Indian Necklace designs are one such jewel piece that can be considered the most expressive of this unique Indian jewellery making.
The antique necklace jewellery usually adorned on the wedding day was made heavier and of distinct designs, which has played a huge role in depicting both the family’s legacy and the jewellery itself.
But the crafting and styles of Indian necklaces are much different and unique in every region than anywhere else in the world.
So let’s take a look at all the variant types of Indian necklace Jewellery that are found today:
South Indian Necklaces
To South Indians, Jewellery is deeply rooted in every aspect of their lives from their traditions, religion, rituals, ceremonies, festivals – jewellery is meant to be perceived as their status symbol and the abundant display of success in society. Thus, South Indian necklace styles are grandiose and distinctive and gold plays a central role followed by diamonds, pearls and kemp stones. The following are the prominent South Indian necklaces that can be found :
This is usually a long gold necklace encrusted with jewels. The central part of this necklace is a finely crafted engraving of Goddess Lakshmi surrounded by peacocks or elephants, studded with precious stones. Since Goddess Lakshmi represents wealth and prosperity, it is often believed to be auspicious and is worn during traditional celebrations, festivals and is the main staple of South Indian bridal jewellery sets.
2.Kasulaperu or Kassu haraam :
The Lakshmi haar when made with gold coins is called Kasulaperu or Kassu haaram. The denotation of its name Kasu Mala means ‘Gold coin necklace’ and consists of coins embossed with the design of Goddess Lakshmi and other designs on them. They come in both shiny and matte antique finishes. The shorter and lighter versions are also worn by the women as a piece of regular jewellery. This Karelian necklace is famous among brides for its traditional yet timeless look.
3.Temple Bridal necklaces:
A lot of weddings take place in the temples of South India and also are famous for the huge number of intricately designed ancient temples of Indian heritage. Thus temples hold a significant role in the South Indian culture and so does Temple Jewellery. This jewellery consists of long or short necklaces depicting temple motifs and detailed with its beautiful Nakshi work without any repetition in the designs. It includes heavy use of pearls, diamonds, Polki, and other precious stones.
Temple Style Necklace and Choker
4.Mango Mala or Manga Malai:
Unique to South Indian necklace designs these necklaces with mango-shaped pendants come in both lightweight and heavier versions. These are mostly encrusted with Cabochon rubies and pearls from the chain of the necklace with an intricate pendant at the centre. These mangos symbolize love and are worn during special ceremonies and weddings But one can wear them on both weddings and other occasions and look glamorous when paired with Kanjeevaram sarees.
This is a long necklace with a side motif, that is usually a jewel. The small South Sea pearls and Nakshi balls hold the side motifs together while there is a middle multiple layered thin connective chain between the two side motifs. The chain layer can also be made of an interspersed layer of pearls. Pearls are considered the symbol of ‘calmness’ with the warmth of gold in the Chandraharam. Because of its simple and sophisticated style, it can be worn both as ceremonial or fashion jewellery.
It is traditionally made of layers of gold beads and dual side motifs holding the piece together. The lighter versions of this are becoming popular amongst women these days.
7.Diamond Mangalsutras and Tanmaniya:
Unlike the Mangalsutras we see in other parts of India the South Indian Mangalsutras come in dual artwork with leaf shapes and highly detailed artwork on the central portion, which may or may not behold with black beaded chains.
8.The classic South Indian Gold chains:
The South Indians love wearing their gold chains from children to older people everyone can be found wearing thick or thin Cuban link chains, twisted chains, beaded chains or plain wheat gold chains as regular jewellery.
Apart, from these South Indian necklace sets, variant innovative designs combined with the traditional styles include diamond necklace Jewelleries and pearls and precious metals. In most of their necklaces, the motifs of floral patterns, animals, birds and deities are common.
Bengali Gold Necklace Jewelleries
The Bengali traditional Jewellery is also one of its kind variation of Indian Jewelleries with a wide range of jewel pieces that are unique to its own culture. One of the reasons also being that most of them inherited a majority of their Jewellery from their mothers and grandmothers as a form of blessing and traditional sentiment for the family.
Apart from the variant distinct special elements like the Tikli, Kanpasha, Mukut, and many more adorned with the red decorative bindi and sandalwood patterns of the Bong bridal look, one very important accessory is the Bengali Gold Necklaces. The Bengali bride usually wears a lot of jewellery and it’s mostly in gold or silver, most of which is covered by the heavy gold necklaces made with fine craftsmanship. Some of the common Traditional Bengali gold necklace designs include the following:-
1.Chik or the Choker Necklace:
The broad choker gold necklace known as the Chik is an absolute must for the brides of Bengal. The width of the Chik can vary up to 1-1.5 inches or more and is worn above the collarbone or a little below the neck. It is popular as a Bengali Jewellery design since time immemorial and is famous for its intricate styles.
Bengali Chik Necklace
Known by this name in the Bengali jargon, this necklace has been in vogue for generations. The detailing of this necklace lies in the carvings of intricate designs and motifs by few talented craftsmen and is usually worn in the Bengali affluent families as ethnic wear. But despite their versatile designs, it’s most suitable to wear them on any ethnic occasion.
3.Saat Nori Haar:
This necklace is similar to a traditional family heirloom kind of jewellery, which is passed down through generations by the mothers and other elderly women in the family. This is a significant seven-layered neckpiece, completely made of gold and detailed with fine carvings of floral and decorative patterns and small pendant-like structures. A five-layered version of this can also be found known as Panch Nori Haar.
It is a long necklace made of gold and precious gems with a floral-inspired pendant and design all over its surface. Sita Haar usually goes down to the length of the bride’s waistband and adds up to the overall exquisiteness.
There can also be found several other Necklace Jewellery designs that have been unique of their own regional take on traditional Jewellery. Some of which are :
- Addigai: It is a loose-fitting choker like necklace that is made up of a dainty framework of moulded grid patterns and gemstones. Traditional Addigai can also be made with Kundan and Polki work. Depending on the size, it can be worn both at parties and in traditional functions. A similar form can be found in the Hyderabadi chokers.
- Satlada: Similar to the Bengali Saat Nari haar, Satladas have a lighter and less intricate work on them. It is a majestic neckpiece with seven tiers of pearls and gems woven or attached with gold filigree work on them. It can be considered a simpler version of the Bengali haar but yet this too suits more of royal attire on an occasion, than wearing it for a regular adornment.
Apart from this, there can be found a huge range of Meenakari, Kundan, Pachi, Polki, and many other kinds of necklace designs unique to the Indian origins of necklace Jewelleries. Contact Us at Mahabir Danwar to know more.
The colourful Indian weddings and other ceremonies are incomplete without the dazzling necklaces that are one such Jewellery piece adorned with all kinds of attire. They have the capability to draw the attention of everyone to its dwellers’ neckline, accentuating their final look. Indian Necklaces come in different styles and their unique designs and length have the ability to change the overall look of the outfit. Amongst all the different pieces of jewellery worn by women, necklaces are the most important as they tend to complement the attire most artfully. Necklace Jewellery with its wide variety of colours, patterns, styles and shapes are indeed the fashion statement for women of all ages.
The rightly chosen necklace has the power to bring out the elegance and grace of the wearer; and is the absolute choice of the brides and bridesmaids to enhance their look. When it comes to Indian necklaces we all know how a wide range of choices are available to suit everyone’s preferences, incorporating both male and female preferences. Over the years the traditions may have changed but the Jewellery still maintains its constant importance and elegant presence in our society. Thus, the makers have also accentuated their creations, trying to make them more durable and comfortable yet being able to maintain the traditional vibe and contemporary touch, steadfast.
These Indian necklace Jewellery more than an accessory are a fine blend of the modern and traditional Indian cultural artistry which still holds together the family traditions, religious ethnicity and the capability to complete the look of the Indian beauties.