Indian traditional jewels are very beautiful and intricate. Indian women use a lot of jewelry pieces which can be very expensive and made of solid gold adorned with precious and semi-precious stones (for wealthy families) or cheap fake jewels (for poorer women). But, no matter what the material is, Indian jewelry items are usually massive, intricately made, and shiny.
Let’s talk about some of the jewelry pieces used by Rajasthani women. Rajasthan is a largest Indian state located in Northern India, on the border with Pakistan.
Rakhdi and borla
It is a head decoration known as borla or rakhdi. It is like a tiny circular bell on the forehead that is connected to a chain worn around the head. But there is a difference between borla and rakhdi: borla is circular while rakhdi is semi-circular. Also, rakhdi is worn only by Rajputs.
The sheesphool is a head adornment similar to the rakhdi but its shape is different. It consists of several chains worn around the head adorned with several circular rakhdi pieces.
Nath and nathni
Nath is a hoop-shaped nose ring with a chain. Nathni is a hoop-shaped nose ring but without a chain. Nathni is worn in the western Indian states of Gujarat and Rajasthan. It is a bridal jewelry item with a deeply symbolic meaning. Some Indians even believe that nose piercing helps to lessen the pain during the childbirth.
Jhumka or jhella
These are large traditional earrings. Their design is always intricate. Bell-shape is the most common shape for these decorations.
This jewelry piece is also known as “ananta” or “angada”. It is a type of bracelet worn on the upper part of the arm. It often has long silk thread knot with the ornament.
It is a bracelet worn on the wrist. Punchi is made from gold and richly decorated with gems or little gold balls.
Bangadi or bangdi
It is a special set (consists of two) of bangles worn by Rajput women on their wedding. A bangdi is a round bangle with a thick lining and small round gold protrusions all around. Indian women seldom use just one bangle, they prefer dozens of them covering both wrists.
Gokhru and gokharus
While married Indian women from Rajasthan often wear bangdi, unmarried females use gokhru or gokharus. It is a wide massive bracelet, beautifully adorned.
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Hathphool or hathpanja (as it is called in some other parts of India) is an elaborate jewelry piece which adorns the back of the palm and wrist. It consists of gold finger rings tied to a gold medallion with one or multiple strings; other strings attach the medallion to a bracelet.
Parandi or paranda
These are hair decorations. Indian women tie their braids with parandi. Usually, the parandi consists of a long rope, ribbon, or a number of threads put together and a tassel/tassels or metal adornment hanging from the end.
Indian women seldom wear just one or two jewelry items at one time. Usually, they mix and combine different adornments to get a very wealthy appearance. Especially, Indian brides love to complement their wedding dress with plenty of jewelry.