Karimani Mala, the classic beauty among the gold necklaces, is one of the most important types of traditional gold jewellery worn by the married women in South India. In this article, we reveal the history and different designs of this unique piece of traditional jewellery.

Karimani Mala – The Design 

Karimani Mala is a piece of traditional gold jewellery worn by the married women in Kerala. This South Indian gold jewellery is made up of gold and black beads. It resembles the Mangalsutra worn by the married women in North India. 

  • The word Karimani means black beads in the Malayalam language.  
  • Both Karimani Mala and Mangalsutra are traditional jewellery of India that is crafted in pure gold. 
  • The necklace comes with a gold pendant that could be inlaid with precious or semi-precious stones.
  • What differentiates the Mala from a Mangalsutra is that only black beads are used along with gold beads to make it.
  •  In a Mangalsutra white, red or black beads may be used along with the golden beads.
  • Traditionally the design is used to be on the heavier side compared to their modern versions

History Of Karimani Mala

The Karimani Mala is South Indian Gold jewellery that has evolved from the traditional Indian gold jewellery Mangalsutra. 

  • The Karimani Mala or the Mangalsutra is worn by women in India for the well being and long-life of their husbands.
  • This traditional Indian gold jewellery denotes the pure happiness of a married couple in India.
  • The term Mangalsutra had its origins in the Sanskrit term Mangala Sutra which means an auspicious thread that is considered holy. 
  • History states that the married Hindu women in India started wearing the Mangalsutra around the 5th and 6th century CE (Common Era).
  • The groom ties the Mangalsutra necklace around the bride’s neck during the wedding ceremony.
  • This tradition originated in the Hindu culture in India and is the most important part of any Hindu marriage.
  • Over the years the South Indian version of this traditional gold jewellery evolved which is the Karimani Mala.
  • The design has a string of gold and black beads that is of great value and importance to the women wearing it.
  • According to the principles in Hinduism, the gold beads in the Mala denotes strength (Shakthi) and the black beads help in fighting the evil. 

Different Styles Of Karimani Mala

The design is not a favourite with youngsters as it is quite long and heavy and doesn’t really go well with regular everyday outfits. To appeal to the design preferences of youngsters, several new gold jewellery designs have been introduced in the Mala including:

  • Traditional designs
  • Cluster
  • Ethnic designs
  • Contemporary designs 

The shape, designs and colours of the pendant on the Mala could vary from each other. The modern Karimani Mala gold jewellery design could also include the following.

  • Diamonds
  • Solitaires
  • Rubies
  • Pearls
  • Other precious and semi-precious stones

Short-length Karimani Malas are now available to suit the requirements of modern-day women in India.  The gold jewellery design still has black and gold beads. However, the number of layers in the necklace, the motifs placed along the chain and the design, colour and shape of pendants could vary. 

Finaura is a gold jewellery design finder that helps you to find the best gold jewellery designs from the most trusted Indian gold jewellers. You can download the Finaura App from Google Playstore.

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