Antique Kundan Jadau Meena of Varanasi: Old Memories
Kundan Jadau Sarpech
Falcon on a Pedestal
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
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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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