Indian Jewelry

Solah-Shringar and Indian Jewelry

Indian jewelry, like all other crafts of the nation, is inherently rooted in its spiritual depths. At one level, the ornamentation of the body is symbolic of an inner adorning which presupposes a certain amount of purity and cleanliness. Indian scriptures are clear in stating that a woman should always keep herself well adorned, it being necessary for the well-being of the whole house.

The grammar of ornament has always been well developed in India and there is a piece of jewel for nearly each part of the body. In total sixteen such ornaments have been delineated, starting from the head with the forehead ornament known as mang-tika and ending at the feet with the anklet and toe-ring. Collectively this group of jewellery is known as solah-shringar.

Traditionally, Indian jewelry has always consisted of motifs rich in symbolism. These include vegetative motifs taken from nature like banana buds or sensual champa flowers. These all are symbols of fertility. Other icons include the sun and moon and arrowheads etc, the latter acting as protective amulets. Indeed, the primary function of ancient Indian jewelry was essentially amuletic and even to this day, any piece of jewelry in India is believed to be endowed with the ‘power’ of the entity it symbolizes. For example, an Indian ornament marked with the name of particular god or goddess is said to be imbued with the protective power of that deity. Towards this end on this website you will find several pieces of jewelry made auspicious with the images of powerful gods like Lord Krishna, Shiva and Ganesha and Goddess Lakshmi, Durga etc.

The preferred material for Indian jewelry has always been gold and silver. Gemstones believed to have mystical properties too have been popular with India jewellers. Sanskrit literature is replete with references to both precious and semi precious stones including the vajra (diamond), manaka (ruby), market (emerald) and pravala (coral).

Here you can buy online from the internet’s largest collection of Indian jewelry. Covered here are the entire range of ornaments – anklets, bracelets, earrings, necklaces, pendants and rings.