Uttarakhand traditional jewellery – The charm of pahari women
Be it the grand tehri nath, the solid pahunchi, or the magnificent chandan haar, the gold jewellery of Uttarakhand is a beauty to behold. Apart from being a quintessential part of a Pahari woman’s attire, it reflects the state’s glorious cultural heritage.
Let’s take a look at some traditional gold jewellery designs from Uttarakhand:
A gold ornament that is worn by piercing the septum of the nose, the bulaq is known for its intricately hand-crafted motifs. Traditionally worn by newly married women of Jaunsar, Kumaon, and Garhwal, it is considered an essential piece of jewellery gifted by the bride’s family.
Courtesy: Battulaal Jewels
Kundal and bali
Locally known by various names such as monad, murkhli, munda, or tugyal, kundals are gold earrings worn by the Pahari women of Uttarakhand. The most common type of kundal is the bali – a huge circular earring made of gold. However, they are available in different shapes and sizes, and in gold and silver. In modern times, the designs vary based on preference and status compared to the traditional hoop.
Courtesy: Zaveri Bazaar Jewellers
Also known as nathuli, tehri nath is a big nose ring in the moon’s shape, worn by both urban and rural Garhwali women. Known for the brilliant craftsmanship that goes into making it, including intricate stonework and Kundan, tehri nath is available in stunning patterns inspired by flora and fauna. Like the other nose rings, this is also one of the most important ornaments in bridal jewellery and the centre of attention for brides.
Typically, nathuli is gifted to the bride by her maternal uncle. Besides weddings, this celebrated piece of jewellery is also worn at social gatherings, pujas, important family functions, and other such events.
‘Kaan’ means ear and ‘phool’ means flower. Made of gold, kaanphool are earrings carved with floral motifs that usually cover the entire ear. Jaunsari women most commonly wear these.
Considered an auspicious piece of jewellery for married women, pahunchi are gold bangles worn by women on special events. They are popular in the Kumaon and Garhwal regions and are another form of auspicious jewellery for married women. Typically, you’ll see women wearing such jewellery during important family functions and festivals. What makes these bangles unique is how they are made using small gold beads studded on a red cloth.
Courtesy: Battulaal Prayag Narayan Jewellers
Popularly known as khagwali in Garhwal, hansuli is a choker necklace with a minimalistic design. This is a classic design worn by Garhwali, Kumaoni, Jaunsari, and Bhotiya women on special occasions such as weddings, festivals, family functions, social gatherings, fairs, and other prominent events.
Courtesy: Asia Store
A traditional gold necklace from Uttarakhand, chandan haar consists of gold beads studded on 4-5 long chains. These chains are linked with the help of kundan clasps.
Tied around the neck like a choker, a galobandh is made of gold and worn by the married women of Kumaon, Garhwal, Bhotiya, and Jaunsar. It is designed on a red belt with square gold blocks arranged on it with the help of a thread. Traditionally an elegant piece to own, today’s adaptations of this design are growing in popularity. More than city folk, women in the villages continue to flaunt this style.
These traditional gold jewellery designs are popular among the natives of Uttarakhand even today.