Sunday, January 13, 2013

Jewellery from the land of the Himalayas.

It is always a delight for an art lover to see objects  of  laboriously  crafted masterpieces , that have survived the change of time or era. Many traditional jewellery art forms and master pieces still exist and if one is lucky , one can come across these beautiful works of art .

the beautiful himalayan ghau

      The jewelled art form that I am writing about in this post is from Nepal called Ghau . My first introduction to this wonderful object came way back in the eighties when my husband brought home this beautiful piece on a trip to Kathmandu. Much though I liked it as an object `de`art , I tucked it away not sure whether I would wear it.  And so it remained for a lot of years till I happened to get a similar piece to be strung for a custom order.

   As the definition of this little wonder goes , a Ghau is an amulet or prayer box , used by the Buddhist people from the Himalayas.   Prayer boxes are small amulet containers that can be worn as jewelry. These boxes open to a concealed inner space, and is traditionally used by Tibetan Buddhists to hold a picture of their favorite deity or Lama, a folded up scroll of sacred mantras, special herbs or sacred relics or a sacred mantra .  Diagram such as the kalachakra are embossed on the inside of the box. These Ghau are also used as a portable shrine and are worn on a cord around the neck and hung close to the heart
    No matter whether they are made from gold or silver , they contain semi-precious gemstones which are supposed to have various healing effects on the wearer. Turquoise, considered by many as a master healing stone, Lapis Lazuli and coral are especially popular in Tibetan prayer box design for their beauty and healing properties. Other gemstones used , include, amber, carnelian, amethyst, malachite, onyx, and topaz.

What I loved about the piece is the intricacy of the background pattern. This is created by painstakingly twisting the filigree wire and coiling it by a technique similar to Quilling.It is then forged onto the base sheet shape . And for pieces so beautiful , I think I will have to make a chain or cord thats befitting this masterpiece .

So I`m off to make the cords , first for my friend and then for myself. Do visit  this post again to see what I have created .

Till then Happy beading



  1. I love the prayer amulet, I think it would be lovely to have one to wear but I would put the names of those who have asked for my prayers whilst they are going through a bad time have a list on my desk which seems to be growing at the moment.

  2. Yes I think names with prayers for our loved ones definately should be inside these little amulets . Its a sense of security and peace , that we can at least give our dear ones who need it . And the power of miracle might just work to help them overcome their trying times !

  3. Hi there, this is vaali from Indus ladies.. can you please tell me which street in besant nagar you saw gypsys selling those alphabetical beads? i mean, i havent been there much though seen those gypsys selling beads outside eden restaurant for eg. So the same street you are talking about? thanks in advance..

  4. It`s great hearing from you. Yes Vaali I`m talking about the same street as Shastri Bhavan .There is a vendor just outside Krishna Sweets who had these beads sometime ago. alternatively you can try your luck at the craft exhibition on at C P Ramswamy road next to Shilpi boutique . I had got such keychains made for my son in one of these exhibitions and these sellers make them in a jiffy as they have all the material ready. If not you can also try to source these beads from Oswal on Perumal Mudali street off Nsc bose road . You can write to me if you need help in finding this store.

  5. Thanks a lot! I really appreciate that!! So one of my friends has agreed to do the key chains for me who went searching for the beads in parrys today. Guess 'coz of pongal not many shops were opened there & she couldnt find those beads. She is anyway going again tomorrow & i will let her know about Oswal you mentioned above. Sorry for sounding so ignorant but aint we talking about two different places here? shastri bhavan & besant nagar? you mean krishna sweets @ besant nagar?

    1. OPPs , I`m so sorry for the typo. I meant to write RAJAJI BHAVAN, on Besant nagar but typed shastri bhavan instead. And yes it`s on Besant nagar where those sellers sit . You can look at oswal on Perumal Mudali street or sha nathmul inside the same street . Alternatively there is also a shop on NSC Bose road just a little diagonally opposite Deveraj Mudali Street on the 1st floor called Sun City that also sells beads . Maybe you can try there too.

    2. Oh thanks a ton! you are an angel!! i hope & pray to find those beads today.. lemme update you before tonight.

    3. Hail Motidana! she found the beads in those shops @ parrys yesterday & started working on the project already! yay!! im so happy i could get what i wished for on my treasured lil one's big day :)..

    4. Oh.. i was checking out your entire blog yesterday & wanted to say you are so skillful & that gifted one! the dreams of angkor necklace i instantly fell in love with!.. definitely worth the time taken to get that 'dreamy' finished look!! wish i could get a chance to see & feel it..

    5. Really glad you found those beads Vaali, And it`s great you will have what you wished for , on your little one`s B`day. Have a funfilled and a great time on the day and wish your l`ll one many many years filled with love laughter and happiness


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