Antique Kundan Jadau Meena of Varanasi: Old Memories

Kundan Jadau Sarpech

Kundan Jadau Sarpech from India Mughal period, 18th century, gold, diamonds, rubies, emeralds, enamel.   Exhibit in the Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Kundan Jadau Sarpech from India Mughal period, 18th century, gold, diamonds, rubies, emeralds, enamel. Exhibit in the Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Falcon on a Pedestal

Antique enameled silver Falcon on a Pedestal from Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, Indiai, late 19th century Sculpture
Antique enameled silver Falcon on a Pedestal from Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, Indiai, late 19th century Sculpture

Varanasi: An old center of Jewelry


Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, is one of the oldest cities in India. It has a very rich culture and history. It was the capital of ancient Kashi region. This is a place auspicious for several religions such as Jain, Buddhist, and Sanatana. It is called the city of Kashi Vishvanath. Hindus believe that breathing last in Kashi is a gateway to heaven. The worshipers visit various ghats in the bank of river Ganges. Ganga Arati is the most famous event of Varanasi.

As a known place for art and craft, Varanasi has developed its own tradition in Gems and Jewelry. Meenakari of the city has earned a name among the Jewelry lover women and girls. Gold Jewelry of Varanasi is one of its kinds. The specialty is Pink Meena. The word Meena means enameling work on gold or silver. As the city manufactures in its own fashion, quantity is not as much as Jaipur or Bikaner.

May the common people do not remember Varanasi for Kundan Meena Jadau, but it is significant for those having a taste for design and fashion. This oriental Jewelry of Varanasi means something special for them. Artisans of Varanasi also produced artistic articles enameling those on silver or gold.

Today, I am remembering the old heritage of the city, forgotten Oriental Kundan Jadau Meena ornaments. Varanasi made almost all types of wearable gold Jewelry in its own fashion in the past. Tradition is still going on at a reduced pace. Below are the samples of the same.

Parrot on a Swing

Enameled silver inlaid with glass, Parrot on a Swing,  Varanasi,  Uttar Pradesh,  India, late 19th century Sculpture
Enameled silver inlaid with glass, Parrot on a Swing, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India, late 19th century Sculpture

Varieties of ornaments from Varanasi


Indian jewelers had been developing incredible designs and manufacturing those as wearable since time immemorial. They have developed various types of jewelry for wearing in different parts of the body. Varanasi, being an old Indian center for jewelry making had also developed ornaments of its own kind. I am listing here some of those.

Necklace: Various kinds of necklaces were manufactured in the city e.g. Katla, made of 9 pieces joining in a row. Teek that looks like a collar, Tetua slang used for the neck. Patrihar is a long necklace being the pieces joined like a string with pearl or Colorstone beads. Champa kali is also a type of necklace with pieces resembling buds of flower Champa. These buds are assembled in a half moon shape. Hasli is a half moon shaped rod-like necklace. Hasli is made in various places but Varanasi Hasli is wider than that of other places.

Earrings: A tops like shape is called Karnafool means flower of the ears. Dooms like piece hanging with the earrings are called Jhumka.

Bracelet: Bracelets are called Jahangiree being the centerpiece oval or rectangular. Pearls are stringed to it to make a belt. Kada, Kankini, Pachheli, and Chhand are like modern days Churi in different designs. These are to be worn together.

The Hath-fool is a beautiful oriental ornament covering the entire palm and the fingers.

Armlets: Baazuband and Rooli are the kinds of armlet. Joshan is to cover the arms above Baazuband.

Ring: Arshi is a special kind of ring in which a mirror is studded along with diamond or other precious stones.

Ornaments for head and forehead: One can wear Chhapka as an ornament by the side of the head. Juluf has nine strings in which five types of Tikda hangs. Sikabena has nine peacocks covering the forehead. Bindibena is similar ornament using Tikdis.

Kalangi and sarpech are the ornaments for the male.

Paejaeb is for legs and Kardhani for the waist.

Many of these old-fashioned ornaments are not in use in modern days but loved as antique Jewelry. The very purpose of the article is to remind the rich old tradition and amazing art worth mention.

Varanasi at present days


Varanasi has again come into live light as Narendra Modi filed his nomination as Loksabha candidate from this parliamentary constituency. He won from this seat and sworn in as Prime Minister of India.

Narendra Modi has recently visited Japan starting from its heritage city Kyoto. Modi declared that he would develop Varanasi in the style of Kyoto. Government and private entrepreneurs will invest a huge amount to develop the city.

This will help developing business in Varanasi. It will be a resurgence of the city and its culture. We are hopeful that the art of enameling in Varanasi (Pink Meena) will again come into the picture.

Updated on September 9, 2014

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Comments 39 comments

anurag 19 months ago

Hi m anurag vishwakarma jyoti g m doing kudai meena i need work at varanasi 8826407314


Ranjeet soni 4 years ago

Hi jyoti me bikaner se hu or mera name ranjeet hai. I like meena, becoz i am a meenakar


sanaiya 5 years ago

hello,

i was wondering where i could get large kundan piece with connectors or links on either side to make necklace or just pieces to stick on to bangle cuffs

thank u


JYOTI KOTHARI profile image

JYOTI KOTHARI 5 years ago from Jaipur Author

Thanks for your comment. I wish u all success in your work.


vishal sahdev 5 years ago

hi jyoti,

i like ur jwellery very much.i also work maker of jwelry.now i can see new callektion thanx.


mamta 6 years ago

hi!

i'm from Varansi. i have some rare old ancestral antique kundan meena jewelry dating back to more than hundred years. Now i want to sell it. Can u please Mr. Jyoti Kothari tell me where and how to get it appraised to get a good worthy amount for it.


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tochandresh 6 years ago from India

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JYOTI KOTHARI 6 years ago from Jaipur Author

Hi Shobhit,

Thanks for your comments. Varanasi is one of the oldest city In India and the world and have very rich traditions.

Varanasi had been producing various types of diamond cuts since centuries.

Jyoti Kothari


Shobhit 6 years ago

Hi Jyoti,

You have well done. Few people know about heritage Jewelry of Varanasi. It was an old center of diamond cutting.

Thanks, you have shared your excellent knowledge. Thanks for researching on Varanasi, the oldest city of India.


Aruna 7 years ago

Old history recovered! Fantastic.

Aruna


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JYOTI KOTHARI 7 years ago from Jaipur Author

Hi George,

You are always welcome to our office. I can show you some pieces of Varanasi kundan Meena Jadau.

Thanks for commenting and showing interest in Kundan Meena Jadau Jewelry.

Jyoti Kothari

http://kundan-jadau-meena.webs.com


George Joseph 7 years ago

Jyoti Kothari,

I am in Jaipur now and want to meet with you. Can I meet? can you show me some pieces of these antique type Jewelry from Varanasi?

I will love to see those and may be tempted to buy some. rated up this hub!

Thanks,

George


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JYOTI KOTHARI 7 years ago from Jaipur Author

Hi,

You were at right place. Do not regret. Please go once again and have a look to this wonderful creations.

Jyoti Kothari


Jayanti Chakravarti 7 years ago

Jyoti,

Once I had been in to Varanasi and now I can remember that our guide had shown us some artisans doing some pink meena work. I could not understand anything at that time. Not even I took interest.

But now I can understand that they were working to make some replica of old pink meena.

Jayanti


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JYOTI KOTHARI 7 years ago from Jaipur Author

Hi Summetji,

varanasi is the house of many things. After all it is one of the oldest city in India. How do you like this hub?

Jyoti Kothari


Sumit Dassani 7 years ago

Though we are in the trade since long time, I do not know much about old Meena of Benares.

Useful info for traders.

Sumit


Sumit Dassani 7 years ago

Though we are in the trade since long time, I do not know much about old Meena of Benares.

Useful info for traders.

Sumit


Birla K M 7 years ago

Awesome!!!

Old memories recalled.

Birla K M


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JYOTI KOTHARI 7 years ago from Jaipur Author

Hi John,

Jaipur Meena differs in many ways such as style, color, design, quality etc from Varanasi Meena. Please refer to site below for more information.

http://kundan-jadau-meena.webs.com

Jyoti Kothari


John mac 7 years ago

Hi Jyoti,

How Varanasi differs from Jaipur in Kundan Meena except in color?

John


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JYOTI KOTHARI 7 years ago from Jaipur Author

Dear Amit,

Thanks for compliments. Kundan Meena Jadau is latest in fashion Jewelry. People are now crazy of the same. Thanks of becoming a fan of such wonderful creations of India.

I will reply your mail.

Thanks,

Jyoti Kothari


Amit Shah 7 years ago

dear Jyoti,

Thanks for sharing old memories. I became your fan and also fan of Kundan Meena. Please follow my mail and reply soon.

Amit


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linjingjing 7 years ago

Kundan jadau Meena of Varanasi history

Support


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JYOTI KOTHARI 7 years ago from Jaipur Author

Dear Dharmendra,

Thanks for posting comment on this hub. Are you the same who has Jewelry showroom in Mumbai?

Jyoti Kothari


Dharmendra Gandhi 7 years ago

This is a good description of old Meenakari from Varanasi. I belong to a Jeweler family of Varanasi and I liked it very much. It refreshes my memory of old times.


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JYOTI KOTHARI 7 years ago from Jaipur Author

Hi Monalisa,

Visit Varanasi again and see the beautiful Jewelry.

Jyoti Kothari


Monalisa 7 years ago

hi,

I nevr thought of Varanasi as a center of Jewelry. I visited varanasi once but visited historical places. Good info.

Monalisa


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JYOTI KOTHARI 7 years ago from Jaipur Author

Hi Norman,

It depends upon one's choice. Can we say that one color is better than another? it all depends on individual choice in case of clothes, room color or car colors. So to Jewelry.

Jaipur and Varanasi both have different trends and style of manufacturing Kundan Meena Jadau. Again it depends upon individual choice.

Jyoti Kothari


Norman 7 years ago

Hi,

Which Meena is better? Pink or multicolor? Jaipur or Varanasi?

Norman


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JYOTI KOTHARI 7 years ago from Jaipur Author

Hi Lee,

You can go to Jewelry market and search for these items. You can contact me via e-mail for more info.

Jyoti Kothari


Xian lee 7 years ago

Hi Jyoti,

I am planning to be in Varanasi next month. It is Buddhist center of pilgrimage. I will be going there along with Bodhgaya, rajgir and Nalanda.

Please inform me about some places where can I find these antiques.

Lee


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JYOTI KOTHARI 7 years ago from Jaipur Author

Dear Mr. Bothara,

Please provide me some more info about Varanasi Jewelry, if you have. i will like to include in this hub.

Jyoti


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JYOTI KOTHARI 7 years ago from Jaipur Author


Surendra Bothara 7 years ago from Jaipur

Jyoti,

You have done wonderful job by recollecting memory of Varanasi.

Surendra


Anjali 7 years ago

jyoti,

I baught gold jewelry many times and want to buy more. Can you tell me a source for Varanasi Meena? I will come back and check this article.

Anjali


Indian lady 7 years ago from India

A new feature about Varanasi. Really nice.


Nagao Saka 8 years ago

VERY INTERESTING.

Japan has very strong and historical connection with Varanasi. lord Buddhas place.


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JYOTI KOTHARI 8 years ago from Jaipur Author

Dear john,

Of course. My business is gem & jewelry.

Jyoti kothari


john schmit 8 years ago

I think you love Kundan-meena-jadau very much, most of your hubs are related to it. This time you came with history, thanx for forgotten ornaments remembered.

john

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