Nagapada Thali – Traditional jewellery of Kerala

Jewellery, particularly the traditional gold jewellery, has always been a part of most of the auspicious events in an Indian’s life. This includes religious events, traditional festivals, the birth of a child and weddings and related ceremonies.

The gold jewellery design of each style of traditional jewellery has often found its inspiration from nature and the temple culture in our country. Each piece of Indian gold jewellery reflects the magnificence and glory of our culture.

The South Indian gold jewellery especially the traditional gold designs from Kerala is well known all over the world. Keralites have always considered gold as the most auspicious of all metals and this is one of the major reasons behind the passion for gold jewellery. One of the oldest of all traditional designs which continue to be in demand is the Nagapada Thali.

What is a Nagapada Thali?

  • The word Nagapadam refers to the hood of a snake in the Malayalam language.
  • The design resembles the hood of a serpent and thus got the name Nagapada Thali.
  • This necklace is made up of gold motifs encrusted with green coloured stones (Emeralds or other green coloured semi-precious stones) and rubies attached to a chain of gold. 
  • The motifs are placed one after the other and are shaped liked the hood of a serpent.
  • This jewellery resembles a Palakka Mala except for the serpent-hood shaped motifs attached to the chain. This one has leaf-shaped motifs.

Significance of the design 

  • This design is one of the oldest amongst the traditional jewellery of Kerala.
  • This necklace has several snake-hood shaped motifs attached to a gold chain.
  • Snake-worship has always been a part of certain religious sectors in Kerala where the belief is that pleasing the snake gods gives them divine protection and blessings.
  • It is believed that wearing this traditional gold jewellery not just assures divine protection but also brings in wealth and prosperity.
  • This South Indian gold jewellery is often a part of the bridal jewellery collection at traditional weddings held in Kerala.

How to wear a Nagapada Thali?

  • This beautiful piece of Indian gold jewellery works perfectly with the traditional Kasavu Saree as well as a Kerala Saree.
  • The colours and designs in a Nagapada Thali have changed over the years. 
  • The present-day women love to experiment this necklace with other outfits as well.
  • This gold jewellery is usually worn as the outer most layer among the other choice of necklaces (especially for a wedding).

The unique gold jewellery design, brilliant craftsmanship, the purity of gold and the detailing and perfection are some of the major factors that made South Indian gold jewellery a much sought after item. The cultural grandeur of Kerala can be seen in the exquisite designs of each piece of traditional gold jewellery.

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.

If you have any queries please feel free to contact us. Call us on +91 484 2388285 or email us at

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