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Temple Jewelry

Temple Jewelry was pervasive during the celebrated historical periods in South India such as the Chola Dynasty, the Pandya Dynasty and the Krishnadevaraya rule from the 9th century till the 16th century. Temple Jewelry is studded with Kemp stones come either in dark reddish maroon or dark green color.


Temple jewellery, an essential part of the adornment of the Tamil bride, is also an integral part of the aharya or costume of a Bharatanatyam or Kuchipudi dancer. Since these are recreations of antique gold jewellery, with the increasing demand and appreciation of splendid pieces of the past, it is affordable for all those who wish to cherish a piece of tradition.

The mythical creature, the yali, the makara or crocodile, the swan, the parrot, the serpent, the mango, the gopuram or temple tower, the lotus, and the creeper feature in the elaborately made pieces

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These ornaments give regal and ethnic look to a person thus combining conventional look with modern times. Tradition of adoring oneself with jewelry is 5000 years old in India. Indian women and jewelry have always created a great combination. The tradition is still alive and is more active than earlier. South Indian women consider wearing temple ornaments on important festivals and auspicious occasions as a symbol of good luck.

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Original temple jewellery is made of silver and plated with gold. This jewellery set is 100% hand made jewellery. Artisan families in the district of Nagarcoil , Tamil Nadu has been mastering this art for more than 100 years.


Many of these age-old designs are still fashioned. The jewellery of Tamil Nadu reveals the acme of the goldsmith's art.

“Temple jewellery is unique to Vadasery. It is the only place in the country where this is made. There are 52 families engaged in the craft in this village, 300 craftsmen in all,” says L. Balu, Assistant Director, Handicrafts, Office of the Development Commissioner (Handicrafts) in Nagercoil.

“Temple jewellery” made in Vadasery has come to mean jewellery made in silver covered with gold leaf or dipped in gold and generally follows the age-old method. But the deep red of cabochon rubies imported into Tamil Nadu, the soothing green of emeralds and the dull fire of uncut diamonds have been replaced by the glitter of imitation stones.


Contemporary designs are made with gold imitation that gives traditional as well as modish look.

This list of regular temple jewelry pieces are listed as below:

  • Chains
  • Bangles and bracelets
  • Earrings
  • Necklaces and chokers
  • Rings and toe-rings
  • This list of occasional temple jewelry pieces are:
  • Armlets
  • Anklets (anklet bells)
  • Hair accessories
  • Nose-rings
  • Waist belt and hip chain


Traditional temple jewelry ornaments are used for Indian classical dances and as bridal wear.

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Bharata’s Natya Shastra lists the type of jewellery to be worn by a Bharatanatyam Dancer. The jewellery was designed to be similar to those worn by the aristocratic classes of those times.