One jewelry design that’s proven to remain predominant is Temple Jewelry (also spelled jewellery), which is inspired from the gods, goddesses and carvings of South Indian Temples. This jewellery dates back to the 9th- 12th century when the Tamil dynasty of Cholas ruled the southern part of India.
Why So Popular?
Temple Jewellery, much like the name suggests, is used for adorning the idols of Indian deities, gods and goddesses. Also, since Temple jewellery is classical as well as traditional in appearance, it is generally used by artists performing classical dances like Kuchipudi and Bharatanatyam. The profuse stone carvings found all over south India seem to have inspired the designs for these ornaments. In recent years, however, South Indian brides globally have made Temple jewellery a part of their bridal attire as it gives the wearer a classy and traditional appearance.
Also, one of the most popular motifs used in Temple jewellery is the Lakshmi goddess, a representative of beauty, prosperity, good luck and abundance. It is believed that wearing the Lakshmi Goddess oranments on her wedding day will bring prosperity and luck to the new bride and is considered highly auspicious. Also, other motifs in Temple jewellery include swans, peacocks, lotus flowers and other gods and goddesses. Temple jewelry is often embellished with precious and semi precious gems and pearls to give them a classic appearance.
At Totaram Jewelers, we specialize in Temple jewellery ornaments which are intricately crafted and involves a lot of handiwork and carving referred to as "Nakshi". Our collection include bangles, kadas, chandbalis, drop earrings, jhumkas, necklaces, waist belts/ vaddanams, Lakshmi harams, pendants and more.
What Makes Temple Jewelry Unique
1. High Prices:
Temple jewellery ornaments are usually priced higher than plain gold items. The reason for the high cost can be attributed to the making charge for each piece of jewelry, which in fact amounts to approximately 30 per cent of the actual cost. The making charge is high because of the intricate handiwork and carvings involved by expert goldsmiths.
Take a peek at the high quality workmanship in the necklace pieces below.
2. Heavy Gold Weight:
Since each piece of Temple jewellery depicts a story and consists of motifs of Indian deities, gods and goddesses, therefore, they are relatively big and broad in size. Also, the heavy use of carvings require additional gold for each piece to look grand.
Some of the designs employed to increase the beauty of the necklaces and harams include strings of gold coins, flowers, mangoes, peacocks and Hindu deity figurines. Typically the heavy Temple jewellery necklaces weigh over a 100 grams.
3. Intricate Workmanship:
Temple jewellery ornaments are intricately crafted and typically involves a lot of handiwork and carving referred to as "Nakshi". Also, Temple Jewellery ornaments come in a slightly reddish or antique dull finish.
Below is a collection of 22K gold Chandbalis or hoop earrings with detailed and highly intricate designs.
4. Time Consuming:
Temple jewellery requires considerable finesse in its making by expert goldsmiths because of the high level of handiwork involved. Typically, the time required to make a jewellery can take as much as 2-3 months depending on the piece in hand. Also, usually 2-3 artisans work on each piece separately.
Note: There are a lot of fake jewelry ornaments being sold as Temple jewellery today, that are being mass produced. These are not real Temple jewellery ornaments as they are made from a cast. Temple jewellery cannot be mass produced, each piece is unique, exquisite, and hand carved to perfection.
Each of these 22K gold Temple jewellery jhumkas or drop earrings take anywhere from 5-14 days to make, based on the amount of complexity involved in getting the detailed shape and carvings. Workers generally use a hammer and different chisels to make Temple jewellery.
Each Temple jewellery piece is unique and cannot be easily replicated. The main reason is because each goldsmith's carvings and workmanship is specific to the individual so jewlery once made cannot be replicated as there may be variation in the carvings, design, gold weight and more.
Look at the Temple jewellery pendants here- each piece reflects the uniqueness of the maker.
6. Hand Made by Expert Goldsmiths:
Actually, the technique of producing this type of jewelry is handed down generations. Today, only a handful of goldsmiths who by following some very stringent requirements, such as sustaining a cool temperature, – too much heat tends to damage the finely crafted gold threading – absolute concentration due to the complexity involved and ability to focus on one piece for a long time are a rare find. Such master goldsmiths can be found mostly in South India only in regions located in and around Nagercoil, Malaypore, Coimbatore in the South Indian state of Tamilnadu.
The 22K gold Temple jewelry bangles reflect the rich cultural hertiage of South India and adds divinity and uniqueness to the person wearing them.
Caring Tips for Temple Jewellery:
- It is extremely important that your Temple jewellery piece does not come in contact with water;
- Do not clean Temple jewellery with water or any jewelry cleaning solution because this will wash, wear out the polish and spoil the jewelry finish;
- Best way to keep your Temple Jewellery clean and safe is to keep it in soft cloth pouches or bags which are lined with fabric.