Known as the Land Of Warriors, Maharashtra is a mix of many cultures and ethnicities. The traditional jewellery of Maharashtra is inspired by the great warriors and kings who used to live in the state.
Maharashtra is well-known for its artistic work that goes into the making of each and every traditional jewellery style.
It is blessed with a plethora of traditional jewellery styles that are not only famous among Marathis but also worldwide.
Here’s everything you need to know about the traditional Maharashtrian jewellery.
Maharashtrian Traditional Jewellery
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A Nath (also known as nose ring in English) is a nose ornament that is adorned by Maharashtrian women at weddings, festive occasions, religious ceremonies and family functions.
A traditional Maharashtrian Nath is different from the nose rings that are worn in different Indian regions such as Punjab, UP, etc.
Maharashtrian Nath comes in a variety of designs and styles. The famous ones are: Banu nath, Peshwai nath, Pachu nath, etc.
The famous designs include Pearls and a pink or white stone in the middle and a Basra pearl and emerald.
The latter is crafted in 22-karat and has an uncut diamond surrounded by rare Basra pearls. Rubies and Emeralds are used to give it a pop of color.
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Mundavalya is a type of head jewellery consisting of a string of pearls, tied horizontally across the forehead. It is adorned by the bride as well as the groom.
The mundavalya symbolizes that the groom/bride is ready to start a new life with his/her partner therefore it is tied after the groom/bride is ready to walk to the mandap.
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Thushi is a gold choker made with 22K Gold. It is worn by a Maharashtrian bride at her wedding.
Originated in Kolhapur, a traditional Thushi is crafted with gold beads and comes with an adjustable dori (thread used to tie the necklace around the neck).
Each bead is adorned with intricate shapes and designs and has jowar gold seeds in it which indicate that the bride’s new home will always be blessed with food.
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This is a necklace that contains 21 engraved leaves. Out of the 21 leaves pendants, 10 pendants represent the ten avatars of Lord Vishnu, 2 pendants have ruby & emerald stones, 8 pendants signifies ashtamangal (a symbol of happiness and prosperity) and one pendant is taviz.
Kolhapur saaj is one of the most famous styles of traditional Maharashtrian jewellery.
Making the Kolhapuri saaj requires a lot of skill and patience along with a delicate hand. The sad part is that there are a few Artisans left who can actually craft a traditional Kolhapuri Saaj with precision.
The modern edition of Kolhapuri Saaj consists of 10 or 12 leaves.
Did you know that around 45 years ago, Kolhapuri Saaj necklace was also gifted to Britain’s first lady, Queen Elizabeth by a city-based goldsmith Karmarkar Pedhi?
Did you also know that Kolhapuri Saaj (a type of Marathi necklace) is exported to countries like America?
Isn’t that amazing?
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Vaaki is an armband or baajuband. Embellished with stones and adorned with floral motifs, it is crafted with 23-carat gold wire.
Made in red color, Vaaki makes for a must-have Maharashtrian jewellery style for every Maharashtrian bride.
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Adorned by Maharashtrian brides, a Putli Haar has a few round gold coins held together on a silk braided cord. It is also known as Coin necklace or temple necklace. The coins are embellished with the motifs of Goddess Lakshmi (a symbol of wealth).
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Ambada is a golden pin adorned with pearls and gemstones. It is pinned on the hair bun of a Marathi bride. The most popular motif used in this traditional jewellery piece is the sunflower with jowar beads.
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These are the pearl studded earrings adorned by a Marathi bride. Made with Gold, Kudya comes in a variety of color combinations.
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Made with 23 Carat Gold, Tode are the Gold bangles or kadas. Each bangle contains approximately 250-300 gm Gold.
Handcrafted with intricate work and utmost precision, these beautiful bangles take almost a month to get ready.
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These are the glass bangles adorned by a Maharashtrian bride. Unlike the red colored chooda worn by Punjabi brides, Maharashtrian chooda is green in color. Green symbolizes fertility and prosperity. These green bangles are worn in odd numbers in both the hands.
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Belapan consists of Bel leaves.
These leaves are believed to have religious meaning and are offered to Lord Shiva as a tribute.
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Mohan mala consists of round gold beads. It gives a subtle sophistication to the overall look of a Marathi woman.
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A tanmani is a layered pearl choker necklace that consists of pearl strands and a stone studded pendant.
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Jodvi is a silver toe ring. It is given to the bride by the mother-in-law and symbolises the bride’s entry into a new household. It is a must-have Marathi jewellery piece for a Marathi bride.
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Made with the traditional strands of black and gold beads, Marathi Mangalsutra (sacred thread) is worn by every married woman in Maharashtra.
Known as “Maniwati Beads”, these black and gold beads are lightweight and small in size. The traditional Maniwati beads have little or no patterns on them.
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Bugadi is worn on helix part of the ear. This beautiful ear ornament is mainly worn by Maharashtrian women.
A traditional Maharashtrian Bugadi consists of pearls but nowadays as the trends are changing, you can find a lot of varied designs in Bugadi-like the ones studded with semi-precious gemstones, oxidized motifs and Diamonds.
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Chandan haar is a fancy Gold necklace. It is adorned by the women on festive occasions (such as Ganpati Visarjan) or at a wedding.
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This is a Gold choker necklace. Crafted in the shape of Sun’s rays, a Surya haar consists of the triangular motifs facing outward (just like the rays of the Sun).
Worn by a Marathi bride at her wedding, Surya haar makes for an important part of Maharashtrian jewellery collection.
This is a type of necklace consisting of rounded pearls and a gemstone at the centre. The pearls vary in color from white, yellow, and red.
A Dholki necklace is shorter in length and can be worn with other necklaces at the wedding ceremonies as well as festive occasions.
Challa (Waist Keychain)
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Challa is a keychain adorned by a woman on her waist (just like shown in the picture). The challa is made of gold-plated copper or oxidized silver. Embossed with stones and floral, a traditional Maharashtrian challa is worn by the Marathi women on festive occasions/weddings.
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This is a traditional ear cuff adorned by Maharashtrian women.
A traditional Maharasthrian Kaan earring is studded with pearls and/or gemstones.
Made with Gold, this is one of the most beautiful styles of Marathi jewellery that is not only worn by Marathi women but also by North Indian as well as South Indian women.
So, ladies, these were the different types of Maharashtra traditional jewellery.
Maharashtra Traditional Dress
All these styles are worn with a traditional Maharashtrian saree. Marathi women wear 9 yards long saree known as the Nauvari or Lugade saree.
Maharashtrian Nauvari sarees are usually made in green, red and Kesari (yellow) colours. It is either made in cotton or silk and is worn without a petticoat.
A nauvari saree is usually worn by Brahmin women of Maharashtra.
How to wear?
It is usually draped in two types.
Worn without a petticoat, this type of draping is inspired from the Peshwa women. Unlike regular Indian sarees, Nauvari saree is tucked in the middle of the back. The ends of the saree are wrapped around the legs to give it a trouser-like look. These ends are then draped around the shoulder and the body.
For the Koli drape, the Nauvrani saree is cut into two halves. One piece is wrapped around the waist and the other one is tucked at the upper part of the body and pulled over the head.
Which type of Marathi jewellery did you like the most? Drop comments and let us know about your favorite pick.