A Guide On Traditional Jewellery From Kerala

A Guide On Traditional Jewellery From Kerala


Kerala- God’s Own Country has an unbeatable bond for gold. Basically, South Indians love jewellery, predominantly yellow gold, so much that there are loads and loads of elegant, artful, trendy, and sophisticated patterns available. All age groups woo their intricate craftsmanship, and here the traditional jewellery of Kerala has more importance than temple jewellery.

List of Popular Kerala Jewellery

The traditional ornaments of Kerala are mainly adorned with temple motifs, and they look divine when worn. The list of the renowned ones is here below:

Mullai Motu Mala

This is also known as a jasmine bud necklace that resembles the buds of jasmine. They are strung together to form a necklace. And there are two types of these chains, and one is made of pure gold and the other made of coloured gemstones. This long chain is usually paired with numerous traditional attires.


Jhimkis are the most popular Kerala jewellery that is bell-shaped, and only very few brides prefer their latest designs of gold earrings over jhimkis. They are the favourite ear adornments for all age groups and are made in various sizes and lengths, and are generally a symbol of femininity. These are mostly worn at weddings and ceremonies.

Puli Nagam Mala

These are in the shape of tiger nails, and they are strung together on a gold chain. This is another major asset for anyone, and this chain is intricately crafted with stones.


This is a shimmering and gleaming ornament that is a gold choker. It has very thin and highly polished gold pieces loosely held and glimmer with the person’s movements. This ornament also has an intricate design and requires heavy craftmanship to get here and create them.

Manga Mala

Keralites love mangoes, and this necklace was originally designed with this inspiration. Later it evolved to paisley shaped trinkets, and this chain is one of the most adored traditional jewellery in Kerala.

Palakka Mala

Again, a necklace embellished with emeralds or green stones and consists of a leaf-shaped chain with a gold border around the corners. This is another exquisite piece of jewellery and is revered as one of the famous Kerala jewellery.

Nagapada Thali

This is made of emeralds and green coloured stones strung to a chain. The necklace resembles the hood of a snake and hence the name, and is the best jewellery for gifting as it is considered one of the old jewellery of Kerala tradition.

Karimani Mala

Like north Indians, Keralites wear karimani mala made of black and gold beads and is worn by married women only.

Kasu Mala

Kasu mala means necklaces that are made of coins, and they are strung together to form a chain. The kasu is usually embossed with goddess Lakshmi and hence is also referred to as Lakshmi haaram.


Vanki is yet another traditional piece of jewellery that is worn on the arms. It is like an inverted V and is made of motifs like Laxmi, peacock and serpents. It comes in various sizes and shapes and also can be custom made that fits a particular arm.

The craftmanship in Kerala is made of gold only as its primary materials, and it is embellished with stones like pearls, kemp and Kundan. They almost resemble temple jewellery in all aspects, and initially, these jewellery styles are worn by the Temple dancers and devotees. Later it became popular as it also evoked religious sentiments.