Origin: Once upon a time, the present day Kangra village was the land of Rajputs. Rajputs are loved and appreciated for their intricate designing skills. This style is mesmerizingly reflected in the local Himachal jewellery items. Under the kingdom of Rajputs, artisans beautifully employed their gifted enameling skills to craft silver ornaments painted them in deep blue and green. Egg shaped anklets, solid iron-healed bangles, hair adorns, forehead ornaments, chandanhaars necklaces are some of the ornaments they crafted.
Himachal Pradesh is famed for its Tribal Jewellery. The influence of bold tribal jewelry comes from Buddhist of Lahul and Spiti,Hindu tribal families of Gujjar and Bakarwal, and the areas of Kullu and Chamba. The popular designs of these tribal jewelries are lotus flower, pipal tree leaves, and tiger’s head. Many ornamental designs found in an Indian origin are mingled with Tibet designs.
Present Day: Artisants residing in the districts of Chamba, Mandi, Kangra, and Kulluwere are famed for their ornamenting skills. Lotus flower, Pipal tree leaves, and Tiger’s head… are some of their famed crafts. Courtesy the high jewelry demand, markets are piped with stalls selling amulets, necklaces, daggers and so on. The streets of Himachal Pradesh are punctuated with Pahari women clad in coin necklaces, chocker or kach, collar-type hansali, bangles and silver bracelets designed in the shape of crocodile or tigers heads.
Chamba women embrace a long silver chain round the head titled shangli. Gaddi women cover their head with chak ornament (a silver domed top-of-head ornament that comes 12 varietiessuch as chak-boron-wala, chak-meena-wala, and a chak-phul.) Women residing in Kinnaur show their married status with khul-kantaie that affectionately holds numerous big earrings hanging from their hairs, on to their ears mounted on a strap of cloth.
Kangan is himachali bangle which looks thin and plain in its shape, but broadens towards the ends and has heads of Tigers, Elephants at the end. Another celebrated ornament in Himachal Pradesh is a head ornament called bindi. This piece is worn on the centre of the head, it an exquisite ornamental piece with a beautiful central pendant. There is also a shringaar - patti which is also worn on the forehead.
Procedure: Gold, beads, silver, hammer, jig, spinner, jump rings, drilling kit, and pliers all come together to give birth to the jewelry of Himachal Pradesh. Once the piece is decided, the raw materials are put into moulds of various shapes such as dome shape, wire, leaf shaped, crown and bell shaped.
Post which, the semi made pieces of jewels are set to dry. Final step calls for adding details. A thread or wire is attached to marry it all together.
This is one of the most demanded export item from India. It has a huge demand overseas and is exported to over 100 nations, a few of them are U.K, Germany, Netherland, Italy, France and Gulf Countries etc.
Bring Home : You can find such intricate jewellery gracing the museums like the Kangra Art Museum in Dharamsala, the State Museum in Shimla and the Bhuri Singh Museum in Chamba.