While exquisite craftsmanship and exemplary designs can be seen in all traditional Indian jewellery, South Indian jewellery is particularly famous for its sophisticated artistry. The meticulous attention to detail, the intricately carved motifs, the rich amalgamation of gems with gold, and the stunning effect of coloured stones contrasting against a golden background – all together inspire awe and admiration.
One of the most popular South Indian styles is the Manga Mala. It is an elegant piece of jewellery originating in Kerala and is traditionally used in Hindu weddings. This neckpiece, with its pendant resembling the shape of a mango, is made with gold and is studded with glistening coloured glass and stunning stones.
The story behind the design
The flowering mango tree is a symbol of fertility, prosperity, and love in India, and this belief is the inspiration behind the design of this luxurious piece. The result is a stunning piece of gold jewellery that is an integral part of most traditional Indian weddings – a representation of ever-blooming love, happiness and prosperity that is to come to the newlyweds as they begin their life together.
The versatility of Manga Mala
The traditional manga mala is a timeless classic whose versatility is only limited by our imagination. This spectacular design comes in a myriad of different styles.
The classic design of the manga mala is often embedded with scintillating diamonds, semi-precious stones, and pretty pearls. This dazzling variation enhances the value and the beauty of this stunning neckpiece.
Chokers make a bold fashion statement, and incorporating this contemporary style in a traditional design combines the best of both worlds. The choker variation of the manga mala features paisley motifs in a chain small enough to hug one’s neck, creating an enchanting piece for the modern woman.
The peacock style is a particularly stunning variation of the traditional Indian paisley motif, which fuses patterns from peacock feathers with swirling designs, creating an ode to unparalleled beauty.
Some people prefer the simplicity of the original design, while others opt for the lavish interpretations. Regardless of which style one chooses, the Manga Mala remains an essential part of South Indian culture.