The History of South Indian Jewellery

India’s tryst with jewellery dates back to the origin of the country itself. Intricately decorated and carved pieces of precious metals have forever helped our women and men adorn themselves and served as a mark of affluence and prosperity.

The craftsmanship of jewellery plays a very important role in determining its worth. Craftsmen from different parts of the country hone their own unique ways of shaping ornaments which symbolises the speciality of each region. Women too wear jewellery differently in different regions.

Jewellery was introduced as a way for the Indian women to highlight her features. This is why we see that today there is an ornament for almost each part of the body, Nakshi Kadas for the wrists, Oddyanam (Vaddyanam or Vaddanam) for the waist, Choti for the braid, and so on. From her head to her toe, an Indian woman can chose to adorn every single part of her body with jewellery.

Traditional South Indian Jewellery
South Indian women are known to be more fond of jewellery than women from other parts of the country and the world. Over the years, we have learned to incorporate distinct ornaments to signify marital status, societal status and financial stability.


A married woman in India is always supposed to accessorise with jewels. This tradition has been passed on for generations and has made our country a unique destination for jewellery aficionados.

Traditional South Indian jewellery comes in various forms and different kind of workmanships can be associated with different crafts, for example: Nakshi work, Kundan setting, Kanti design, etc. It was originally crafted from the motifs present in ancient South Indian Temples. The designs have evolved plenty over time but one can still trace its origins back to the temple jewellery.

Significant Patterns
If you ever visit a south Indian jewellery store you will notice that a lot of the jewellery derives its concept from floral patterns like that of a lotus, or from stars and swans. These motifs not only have their roots in ancient temple architecture but also signify prosperity. This is why most women in south India prefer jewellery similar designs.

Why We Wear Jewellery
There is no doubt that jewellery looks good and in turn makes us look our best too, but there are many more reasons why one can chose to wear jewellery.

Our ancestors used it as a way to mark their status in society. Today it is used in many more ways; as mark of prosperity and financial stability. Indian’s have forever used jewellery as a signature form of one’s own expression and continue to do so even today.