Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Jewellery of Rajasthan

Jewellery has always been an essential part of personal adornment in Rajasthan. Be it the various tribal women adorning chunky silver jewellery, or exclusive jewellery studded with precious stones worn by The Kings & Queens of the Rajputana; Jewelry has been an integral part of Rajasthan.Rajathani jewelry and gemstones have made a mark on the world map and no Royal Indian Wedding can ever be complete without jewelry. It is this reason that I decided to write about Rajasthani Jewelry.

Rajasthan excels manufacturing a wide range of ornaments using Emerald, Diamond, Pearls, polki, Garnet, etc made in Jaipur and Jodhpur. Jaipur is a famous export centre for precious and semi-precious gemstones and hence if you are planning to visit Rajasthan then shopping for exquisite jewellery is something you must not miss out on. Some of the popular forms of Rajasthani Jewelry include Kundan Work, Thewa art, Meenakari and Vermeil more recetly.

Kundankari - is the art of setting gems and stones (Diamonds, Ruby, Emerald etc) in gold and silver. This form was taught by the Mughals. One of the oldest forms of jewelry made and worn in India is the 24 carat pure gold Kundan jewelry. Mostly kundan work is combined with enameling meenakari. The real Polki - (Uncut Diamond) kundan jewelry that comes out has two equally beautifully surfaces meenakari at the back surface and kundankari in the front surface. Making it extremely beautiful and exorbitant on pockets. Polki Kundan jewelry with precious stones range from anywhere between INR 15,000- INR 10,000,000!

Meenakari - is a different kind of art of jewelry making and was introduced to Jaipur by the Mughals. It was brought to Jaipur by Raja Man Singh. it is the art of enameling gold and silver jewelry.

Kundankari and Meenakari are popular forms so I wouldn’t be telling you any more about these forms. Today, I am bringing to limelight a much lesser known yet exotic form of jewelery: Vermeil & Thewa Jewelery

Vermeil: Pronounced "vair-may", is sterling silver, which has been plated or rolled with gold. A thin layer of gold, usually 18kt or 22kt, is overlaid onto the silver surface. The Rajasthani vermeil jewelry has 92.4% pure silver and 2 microns or more of 18Kt /22Kt gold overlaid in different textures and finishes and is extremely popular form of jewelry in these times when saving our resources are primary.

The vermeil jewelry prince range starts at $40 i.e. INR 2000 and goes up to $200 i.e. INR 10000 approx. Vermeil is available in a variety of designs and a lot of precious and semi precious stones/ gems are used to ornate and enhance the pieces. Stones like ruby, emerald, pearl, coral, onyx, carnelian, fluoride, tanzanite and sapphires are used in almost all vermeil pieces. Vermeil jewellery has been used by brides to create a complete set of accessories to match trousseau for the D-day! Too many options can be done in vermeil. One can create sets containing- Earrings, bracelets, necklace, hair pins, brooches, hand bag buttons, shoe / slipper enhancements, anklets, armlets, tiaras, rings etc.

Theva Art (Thewa Art) is a very rare and a secret art of fine jewelry making which is passed to generations downwards with in the family, as such it has become a family tradition for the people called as "Rajsoni". These Rajsonis are the master artisans and they treat this art as their sacred profession and not merely as a source of livelihood.

Bold and fashionable, the Thewa Art Jewelery makes a dramatic fashion statement. Not long ago, thewa was a dying Rajasthani art form. However, this 350 years old technique is now wooing customers from all over the world.

In Thewa making, with precision and techniques the pieces of coloured glass are encased in gold plated silver. Then delicate designs are worked out on the glass pieces by carving intricate designs/ motifs on gold leaf. The motifs often depict details from Hindu mythology or Mughal courtly scenes and include floral patterns, historical scenes, the Krishna Leela, peacocks , elephants, deer, lions and other animals, winged fairies, scenes from battlefields, portraits of rulers, and the like.

Products made by the artisans include jewelry and ornament pieces, boxes, plates, photo frames, belts, perfume bottles and vases. Thewa art can be used to create a great wedding give away for all attendees. Unlike other gold jewelry the price of a thewa piece lies not in the intrinsic value of gold but the skill required to fashion an article. Unfortunately customers paying Rs 500 for a pair of earrings often question the price as well as the quantity of the gold used. However one needs to understand the price charged are for workmanship and not only metals and gems.

Some of the finest examples of the thewa art can be seen in museums in India and abroad. Presently, in India, the craft is witnessing a revival with thewa jewelry pieces being made available in urban markets, which are extremely stylish and beautifully designed . With only a small handful of hereditary artisans practicing Thewa art, this beautiful craft form needs this very welcome limelight.

Thewa art imbibes from the bygone era's heritage but its impulse lies in fulfilling the demands of today's woman, who believes in making dramatic statements in every way she dresses. B it jewellery or clothes she is always on the lookout for something different and Thewa meets that need very well.

This traditional jewellery has
an old world charm and is affordable at the same time. The red, green or blue glass below highlights the intricate gold work in the best possible manner. Made of multi coloured beads, precious and semi precious gems, stones and metals in diverse colours and designs, this unique jewellery heightens your distinct style. The hand made thewa jewellery ranging from INR 3000 to INR 200,000 has today fashioned into a `must have` jewellery and its uniqueness makes you really stand out.

I am a big fan of thewa and myself have a large collection, in fact on my profile picture on this blog I am wearing a thewa neck piece and earrings. Bold and fashionable, range of sparkling Thewa Art Jewelery is a must have for every bride to be to achieve that look worth killing for.

For buying Thewa Jewelery from internationally certified jewelers, mail us on

For any other wedding shopping assistance from Rajasthan feel free to visit us at

You can also visit: and for beautiful Rajasthani Jewellery designs and custom orders to create and buy jewellery of your choice.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Theme Wedding: Wedding amidst golden sand dunes

Today I am writing about a very popular wedding concept: Weddings amidst the gorgeous sand dunes and what could be a better wedding venue than ‘The Vibrant Rajasthan’!

Jaiselmer is the most popular destination for a desert wedding. Being so popular, it’s indeed very commercial and expensive. I am going to take you through a relatively less known place that’s a much better option for planning the best ever desert wedding.

Khimsar: a fine tourist destination in Rajasthan, located on the route between Jodhpur and Bikaner at a distance of 92 kilometres from Jodhpur, 528 kilometres from Delhi, 330 kilometres from Jaipur and 302 kilometres from Jaisalmer. Exuding the rustic charm of Rajasthan, Khimsar is renowned for its fort. The Khimsar Fort nestles on the edge of the great Thar Desert in the heart of rural Rajasthan. There is no better destination for a dessert wedding than this ITC Welcom group heritage hotel (

Sequence of a Grand Indian Desert Wedding:

Day 1

· Receiving guests at Jaipur Airport and transferring them to Air Conditioned coaches.

· 5 hours drive to Fort Khimsar

· Royal welcome on arrival: Tilak+ Garland+ Welcome drinks

· Check-in to rooms

· Leisure time for rest and relaxation

· All the guests assemble at the Roof Top Restaurant in the evening for the Mehendi Function. Here Henna artistes apply henna in intricate patterns to all the women guests including the Bride

· Following this is a Theme dinner with folk dances, DJ and Live Band

Day 2

· Buffet Breakfast served for all the guests as per pre decided menu

· The Bride and the Groom retires to the Spa for a pampering essentials session

· A sightseeing tour organized for the guests

· Buffet Lunch served for all the guests

· By the evening all guests are transported to the khimsar Sand dunes village for the Sangeet evening (The dancing evening: )

The khimsar Sand dunes village is an exotic venue. Located at the centre of a water body, in an 8 km circumference, the seven dunes of 'Akla'. At the heart of this oasis of sixty acres, adjoining the lake, is the Khimsar Sand Dunes Village. This village is a mere 6 km away from the Khimsar Fort and is accessible by jeep, camel or horse, but once there, all that is evident to the naked eye is rolling sand dunes in every direction. The location of this remote and rural village, facing the water body, ensures total tranquility and peace with perhaps nothing but the sound of the sifting sands wafting on the desert winds, occasionally interrupted by the ducks, geese and wild birds that flock to the water body.

· The Sangeet event is followed by a sit down dinner, post which the guests are transported back to the Fort.

Day 3:

· Buffet Breakfast served for all the guests as per pre decided menu

· The day is at Leisure for guests. Unless asked by the guests, no prior events are pre planned for the morning. Generally the guest are taken for a village tour where one can shop for handmade stuff and observe local artisans creating various items from clothes to decorative souvenirs

· Followed by the tour is an elaborate sit down lunch

· The evening is when a traditional India wedding takes place.

For more on Indian weddings and planning a memorable desert wedding visit us on or write to us @

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Music of Rajasthan

Music is one element without which no wedding is complete. Today, I am writing about the music of Rajasthan because without music Royal Weddings have no soul.

The color, vibrancy & grandeur of Rajasthan is never completely discovered until you immerse yourself in the music of this land of Royalty.

Influenced by erstwhile royalty, the music of Rajasthan follows a legacy that dates back to several centuries. The rich folklore and culture has added some more sparkles to its glory; making Rajasthani dance and music a treasured jewel in Indian culture. The traditional court dance and music performances are seen today on the cultural evenings like weddings and pre wedding celebrations, making alive the grandeur of an era bygone.

Rajasthani folk songs narrate the rich folklore and imperial heritage of the state that has been captivating the entire world for many centuries. Visitors coming to Rajasthan make it a point to attend at least one dance & music performance while exploring the deserts. Rajasthani music goes very well with ‘Heritage Royal Wedding Theme’. It adds to the imperial ambiance of Forts/ Palaces a certain degree of romance that no other form of sound can match!

Off late folk- fusion is getting very popular. I highly recommend the Band Rajasthan Roots. They use traditional instruments such as the Khamaicha, Nagara, Morchang, Khurtal, Bhapang, Dholak, Dhol, Tagari, and Algoza, and fuse these instruments with western instruments such as guitar, saxaphone, and western percussion. You can see and hear there music on You Tube:

Major Musical Instruments of Rajasthan:

Shehnai - Played on all auspicious occasions.
Ghoongharoo worn on foot - Aklets produce rhythmic sounds at each step of performer.
Dhol, Nagara - Flat barrel drum played during auspicious occasions.
Morchang - Wrought iron instrument, played by mouth.