Jewelry Designs

Elegance of Kerala Traditional Jewellery

The Mintly Team

The Mintly Team

August 02, 2023

Kerala, the enchanting land known for its backwaters, lush greenery, and vibrant cultural heritage, also holds renown for its exquisite traditional jewellery. Kerala traditional jewellery mirrors the state’s rich traditions and heritage, with intricate designs and craftsmanship passed down through generations. In this blog, we will explore the allure of Kerala traditional jewellery and delve into its significance in the local culture.

A Glimpse into the History

Kerala Traditional Jewellery holds a significant place in the cultural heritage of Kerala, a state located in the southwestern part of India. With its intricate designs and exquisite craftsmanship, this jewelry reflects the rich history and traditions of the region.

The history of Kerala Traditional Jewellery traces back to ancient times when royalty and the elite primarily wore it. Over the centuries, it has evolved into a symbol of status, wealth, and tradition. The jewelry is often made from gold and artisans embellish it with precious gemstones, such as rubies, emeralds, and diamonds.

Kerala Jewellery Designs

One of the most distinctive features of Kerala Traditional Jewellery is its unique designs. Nature influences these designs which reflect the flora and fauna of the region. For example, one popular design is the “Mulla Mottu” or “Jasmine Bud” design, which resembles the delicate petals of a jasmine flower. Another common design is the “Poothali” or “Butterfly” design, which features intricate patterns resembling the wings of a butterfly.

Kerala Traditional Jewellery also includes a variety of necklaces, earrings, bracelets, and anklets. Each piece is carefully handcrafted by skilled artisans who have honed their craft over generations. The process involves intricate detailing and careful placement of gemstones to create stunning pieces of art.

Apart from its aesthetic appeal, it also holds cultural and religious significance. You wear this during festivals, weddings, and other auspicious occasions. The jewelry brings good luck, prosperity, and protect the wearer from evil spirits.

In recent years, there has been a resurgence in the popularity of Kerala Traditional Jewellery. Modern designers are incorporating traditional elements into contemporary designs to cater to a wider audience. This fusion of traditional and modern styles has made Kerala Traditional Jewellery a sought-after fashion accessory for people around the world.

Gorgeous Manga Mala Designs That We Fell In Love With! | Kerala Traditional jewellery |WedMeGood

Types of Kerala Traditional Jewellery

Kerala traditional jewellery encompasses a wide range of designs and styles, each with its own unique charm. Some popular types of Kerala traditional jewellery include:

Manga Mala

Manga Mala is a stunning piece of Kerala traditional jewellery that holds immense cultural significance. The term “Manga” translates to “mango” in English, while “Mala” means “necklace.” As the name suggests, Manga Mala is a necklace adorn with intricately designed mango-shaped pendants. This is  beautifully crafted using gold or gold-plated materials.

This exquisite jewellery is an integral part of Kerala’s rich heritage and is commonly worn during auspicious occasions and traditional festivities. The craftsmanship involved in creating Manga Mala is truly remarkable, with skilled artisans meticulously handcrafting each pendant and linking them together to form an elegant necklace.

The beauty of Manga Mala lies not only in its design but also in the symbolism it holds. The mango motif represents fertility, prosperity, and abundance, making it a cherished piece of jewellery among women in Kerala. It is often passed down through generations as a family heirloom, carrying with it the stories and memories of ancestors.

Manga Mala is not just a piece of jewellery; it is a work of art that reflects the rich cultural heritage of Kerala. Its timeless beauty and craftsmanship continue to captivate people from all walks of life, making it a sought-after accessory for both traditional and contemporary occasions.


Oddiyanam, also known as Vaddanam or waist belt, is a prominent piece of traditional South Indian jewellery that holds great cultural and aesthetic significance. It is worn around the waist and is considered an essential accessory for women during special occasions, festivals, and weddings.

Crafted with intricate designs and embellishments, Oddiyanam showcases the rich heritage and craftsmanship of South India. It is typically made of gold and adorned with precious gemstones, pearls, and intricate filigree work. The designs range from traditional motifs like peacocks, elephants, and flowers to contemporary patterns that cater to modern tastes.

Oddiyanam Peacock Design Hip Chain Kamarband Indian Bridal Jewellery Buy Now | Kerala Traditional jewelleryOddiyanam serves multiple purposes apart from being a fashion statement. It provides support to the lower back and enhances the overall grace of a woman’s attire.

The tinkling sound produced by the dangling embellishments adds a touch of elegance and allure to the wearer’s movements.

Families often pass down this traditional South Indian jewellery through generations as heirlooms, symbolizing familial bonds and prosperity. The craftsmanship involved in making an Oddiyanam requires skilled artisans who meticulously create each piece by hand, ensuring its uniqueness and beauty.


Poothali, a prominent type of Kerala Traditional Jewellery, holds a special place in the culture and traditions of Kerala, India. It is a unique ornament that adorns the ears of women, adding elegance and beauty to their appearance. Poothali is crafted with meticulous attention to detail, reflecting the rich craftsmanship of Kerala artisans.

The word “Poothali” itself translates to “flower bud,” symbolizing the delicate and feminine nature of this jewellery. Made primarily from gold, Poothali is known for its intricate design featuring floral motifs and delicate filigree work. The craftsmanship involved in creating Poothali is awe-inspiring, with skilled goldsmiths meticulously shaping each piece by hand.

Traditional Nagapadam One Gram Gold Dimmy Necklace / Poothali MG-902 - Mahitham Jewellery | Kerala Traditional JewelleryPoothali depicts a symbol of prosperity, status, and tradition in Kerala. You see people wearing this during weddings, festivals, and other auspicious occasions. Poothali serves as a beautiful testament to the cultural heritage of Kerala. Women in Kerala  continue to cherish this for its timeless beauty and craftsmanship.


Nagapadam is a prominent element of Kerala’s traditional jewellery. It is a unique and exquisite design that holds cultural significance in the state. The word “Nagapadam” translates to “snakehood” in English, and the design resembles the shape of a snake’s hood.

Kerala Traditional Jewellery is known for its intricate craftsmanship and attention to detail.  Nagapadam is no exception. This design is often seen in necklaces, bangles, earrings, and pendants. The snakehood pattern symbolizes protection, fertility, and wisdom in Kerala’s culture.

You wear Nagapadam jewellery during special occasions such as weddings and festivals, adding elegance and charm to the wearer’s attire. The intricate detailing and fine finish of Nagapadam pieces make them highly sought-after by jewellery enthusiasts.


Elakkathali is a captivating piece of Kerala traditional jewellery. It holds significant cultural and historical value in the state of Kerala, India. This exquisite necklace is known for its intricate craftsmanship and unique design. Elakkathali is traditionally made using gold. It embellishes with precious stones, such as diamonds, rubies, and emeralds.

The design of Elakkathali reflects the rich cultural heritage of Kerala. It typically consists of multiple layers of gold chains with beautiful pendant motifs, including peacocks, elephants, or lotus flowers. The necklace is often passed down through generations as a family heirloom, symbolizing wealth and prosperity.

Traditional Kerala Elakkathali Necklace Designs - Dhanalakshmi JewellersElakkathali is not only worn on special occasions and weddings but also has a deep cultural significance. It represents the traditional values, customs, and traditions of Kerala. This exquisite piece of jewellery not only enhances the beauty of the wearer but also serves as a reminder of the vibrant cultural heritage of Kerala.

Cultural Significance

Kerala traditional jewellery holds deep cultural significance and is an integral part of the local traditions and rituals. It symbolizes prosperity, marital bliss, and social status. Kerala brides usually adorn with an array of traditional jewellery pieces during their wedding ceremonies. It is representing their beauty, grace, and the blessings for a prosperous married life.

Each piece of Kerala traditional jewellery carries its own symbolism and meaning. For example, the thali (mangalsutra) signifies marital status. It is worn as a symbol of the bride’s commitment to her husband. The maang tikka is  protects the bride from evil spirits and bring good fortune.

Contemporary Adaptations

Contemporary adaptations of Kerala traditional jewellery have gained significant popularity in recent years. These adaptations blend the rich heritage of Kerala’s traditional jewellery with modern design elements, creating a unique and captivating style.

One notable feature of contemporary adaptations is the use of traditional motifs such as peacocks, elephants, and floral patterns, but presented in a more minimalist and sleek manner. This fusion of old and new results in jewellery pieces that are both elegant and versatile, suitable for both traditional occasions and modern settings.

Moreover, contemporary adaptations often incorporate new materials and techniques, such as the use of lightweight metals, colorful gemstones, and intricate enamel work. This adds a fresh and vibrant touch to the traditional designs, making them more appealing to younger generations.

Contemporary adaptations of Kerala traditional jewellery have successfully bridged the gap between tradition and modernity. It is allowing people to embrace their cultural heritage while staying fashionable. Whether it’s a necklace, earrings, or bangles, these contemporary pieces are a perfect choice for those seeking a balance between traditional aesthetics and contemporary style.

Embrace the Timeless Elegance

Kerala traditional jewellery is not just an accessory but a reflection of the rich cultural heritage and artistic traditions of the state. Its intricate designs, exquisite craftsmanship, and deep symbolism make it a cherished art form that continues to captivate people around the world.

By embracing Kerala traditional jewellery, you embrace the timeless elegance and charm that it brings. Whether it’s the classic Manga Mala or the ornate Oddiyanam, let the allure of Kerala traditional jewellery enhance your style and become a part of your own cultural tapestry.

Final Thoughts

Kerala Traditional Jewellery exudes a timeless elegance that captivates all who appreciate its beauty. Its intricate designs and exquisite craftsmanship reflect the rich cultural heritage of Kerala. You handcraft these pieces using gold, precious stones, and pearls. This can be creating stunning adornments that enhance the grace of the wearer.

The unique motifs inspired by nature, such as flowers, leaves, and peacocks, add a touch of sophistication to the jewellery. Whether it is the elaborate Kasu Mala, the elegant Poothali, or the regal Nagapadam, each piece showcases the distinctive charm of Kerala’s traditional jewellery. With its unmatched allure, Kerala Traditional Jewellery continues to fascinate and mesmerize jewelry enthusiasts around the world.

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