Dakshin Bharat, the Southern part of the Indian nation, is known for a lot of things, cultural jewelry being one of them. The image of a quintessential South Indian bride in our minds has her wearing statement necklaces, head and hair jewelry, iconic waist belts, solid bangles, upper-arm jewelry, all meticulously crafted in gold. South Indian wedding jewelry is iconic in its own right.
Indian Wedding Jewelry for Brides from the South
Wedding jewelry in the southern states of India is known for its generous use of gold. Let’s take a look at some of the unique wedding jewelry of some of the states of South India.
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The Kalithiru is one of the most recognizable jewels of south India and of the Chettiar culture. The necklace is composed of ornate pendants and tubular beads created from sheet gold that have been painstakingly embellished with wirework, scrolling cutwork, and decorative motifs typical of Chettinad's architectural features. The tying of the Kalithiru marks the successful completion of the marriage ritual of the Natukottai Chettiars.
Malligai Arumbu Malai
The state of Tamil Nadu is home to the gold necklace known as the Malligai Arumbu Malai, also known as the Jasmine Bud necklace. It is set with rubies and has jasmine bloom features with tapering extensions.
Jadanagam is a gold Indian wedding jewelry for hair worn by a Tamil bride. It is made of flowers and gold, and it is braided into the plait.
Jhimkis are a type of South Indian bridal earrings. They are primarily bell- or chandelier-shaped and have moderate to elaborate ornamentation.
The Nethi Chutti is a type of matha patti that is made of gold and a gem-encrusted central tika.
A key component of the wedding trousseau is the Kasu Malai, a necklace fashioned by connecting coins very closely together and frequently carved with designs. It is created by connecting numerous identical coins that slightly overlap in a loose string. Some of these coins were used in trade, while others have unique designs with themes of birds, well-known figures like Queen Victoria, or goddesses like Lakshmi.
The Ottiyanam is an exquisite waist belt and is one of the most eye-catching items in every South Indian bride's jewelry collection. The Ottiyanam is covered in intricate nakshi motifs and occasionally adorned with gemstones.
A Lakshmi Haram is a long wedding gold necklace that has a pendant studded with precious stones and an intricately etched depiction of the goddess Lakshmi surrounded by peacocks or elephants. The goddess represents wealth and success.
Telangana & Andhra Pradesh
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The Papidi Billa is a wedding jewelry piece akin to a maang tikka worn by Telugu women on their wedding day. It can be a complex piece of head jewelry with a gem-encrusted necklace and gold/pearl beads or a soft, understated piece.
The Sutralu Golusu is the Telugu equivalent of the Mangalsutra. It usually has coins of pendants with religious themes and red beads. The groom ties it around the bride's neck during the wedding ceremony.
The Nakshi Haram bridal necklace is crafted using the age-old art of creating mythical creatures like fairies, gods, and goddesses out of gold sheets. It is made by skilled artisans and is embellished with pearls and gemstones. It can be layered with other lighter necklaces, it being a heavier Indian wedding jewelry piece.
The Vadanam is a symmetrical gold belt with traditional designs like peacocks, birds, or deities that is worn as a waist belt or chain.
The Aravanki is a vintage Indian wedding jewelry for the upper arm with a distinctive curving V shape that has been modified over many generations. This piece is available in a wide range of styles, from delicate gold (for the Vysya Bride) to more ornate ones that are set with rubies and diamonds.
Due to its extreme adaptability, this crescent-shaped earring is a favorite of many brides, celebrities, and otherwise. The main feature is a crescent moon shape that is exquisitely encrusted with crystals and fringed with small pearls. These earrings come in several sizes and may be worn with a range of outfits.
The Karan Phool is a type of earring worn generally by the Nizami bride. It comprises a huge flower that almost completely encircles the ear and several short pearl strands that attach to the hair. The strands serve both as a hair decoration and a way to take the weight off the bride's ear lobes for maximum comfort.
Jada Huwa Lachcha
The stunning Jada Huwa Lachcha, also known as the Nizami choker, is one of the wedding necklaces Nizami brides most covet. The Jada Huwa Lachcha is typically the most ornate and striking piece of jewelry in a trousseau. It is made of gold, uncut diamonds, and maybe rubies or emeralds.
The name Tirmani is made up of the words tri, which means three, and mani, which means gemstone. Consequently, it is made of three different valuable materials: diamonds, pearls, and rubies or emeralds. It is a staple Indian wedding jewelry of Nizami brides.
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Similar to the mangalsutra, the Kumbla Thali has a gold locket in the form of a leaf that is strung on a thin gold chain.
Palakka Mala is a stunning necklace with a gold leaf pattern with green accents. It is also encrusted with priceless rubies and pearls that rest on a bed of gold.
This bangle's style blends seamlessly with the leaf and design features of the Palakka Mala. The lovely leaf motif on this Indian wedding bracelet is embellished with precious stones and repeats in a continuous circle.
This elaborate gold necklace, known as the Nagapadam, is a classic in the Indian wedding jewelry collection of Kerala Nair brides. It has an adjustable cord and is set with green or blue gemstones.
The Krumulaku Mala is an Indian wedding jewelry piece made of tiny gold beads fused closely together. This bridal necklace comprises a statement locket in the center and rests in the middle among the bride's other numerous necklaces.
The Nettipattam is crafted from gold, resting on the bride's forehead like a maang tikka, and is pleasantly engraved with intricate designs and encrusted with glimmering precious gemstones.
The Arappatta is a waistbelt worn by Muslim brides in Kerala and is generally minimalist in design.
The Kolusu is a type of a feet jewelry that a Kerala bride wears on her wedding day. Even though Kolusu is often fashioned of silver for everyday wear, one made of gold is worn on the wedding day.