Monday, October 26, 2009

New Bharatanatyam costumes added to our product line !

This week we have added two different types of Bharatanatyam costumes to our product line at the online store of One is made of Dharmavaaram type silk saree and the other one is made of art silk saree. Both will be stitched in India as per the measurements provided by the customer. The delivery time is around 4 – 6 weeks. Please download our costume measurement chart, fill it up with correct measurements and fax to 240 241 5171. We already have dance practice costumes which can be used for Bharatanatyam, Kuchipudi or Mohiniyattam dance practice lessons. The cost of our Bharatanatyam costumes are very reasonable. Please check out our website for more information. Apart from the Bharatanatyam dance costumes, we also have imitation temple jewellery and dance make-up accessories including false hair, Kunjalam, hair bun etc…

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Types of Bharatanatyam Jewelry

Most of the online stores selling Bharatanatyam jewelry has usually three different types of ornamants. The jewelry with red and white stones, imitation temple jewelry, and real temple jewelry. Out of all these, the cheapest is the first catagory. The base metal to make these and imitation temple jewelry are the same. Only the color and type of the stones are different. The real temple jewelry is made of silver and coated with gold. The stones used for this are the kemp stones imported from Srilanka.

Sunday, September 13, 2009


The costume in Mohiniyattam dance comprises of a white ‘kasavu’ saree, a decorated blouse and a waist garment. The edges are embellished with golden fabric know as kasavu kara. The makeup is simple. The face is treated with yellow and pink colored paste. The eyes are given a lining of black color. The lips are reddened. The hair is tied up and adorned with jasmine flowers.Mohiniyattam jewellery is marked by its use of gold or gold plated jewelry. Usually Mohiniyattam jewellery set consists of necklaces, ‘vanki’ (armband), ‘oddiyanam’ (waistband), nose stud (Nath Bullaku) and ‘jimikki’ (swinging ear ornaments). Necklaces are basically of two types: ‘maangamala’ and ‘Kaasumala’. The ‘mangamala’ is made by linking together gem studded mango shaped pieces. The ‘kasumala’ is made by attaching gold coins together.The pendants for the necklaces are shaped like swans, peacocks and parrots. Similar to mangamala or kasumala, the elakkathali is another famous traditional ornament in the Mohiniyattam Jewellery set. The oddiyanam is also gold plated which may sometimes have the picture of Goddess Lakshmi engraved in it. This particular type of oddiyanam is known as Lakshmi Belt. This plain Lakshmi Belt is very popular and often Bharatanatyam dancers use it as part of Bharatanatyam jewellery.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Temple Jewellery

Temple Jewelry belongs to the tradition of India. Olden days, Temple Jewelry was worn by only Devadasi girls who perform dance in temple and in Darbars. Now a days, it is not uncommon to see south Indian brides wearing Temple Jewellery for their weddings. So today, one can say the Temple Jewellery is traditional South Indian jewellery. The origin of Temple Jewellery dates back to 12th century. This was the period of famous Dravidian Tamil Dynasty known as “Chozha kulam” who ruled southern part of India. All the Chozha kings gave very importance to cultural development and most of the of the temple jewelry today are similar to the designs in the heavily ornamented pillars with accurate details and rich sculpted walls of many south Indian Temples, especially ones in Thanjavur.Today temple jewelry is prepared in a variety of metals. Originally it was made of gold with ruby, emerald & pearls and was used by the devadasi girls who danced in Temple and Darbars. Today Temple jewellery is mostly associated with Bharatanatyam dance. There are different types of Temple Jewellery manufactured today. Three of them are widely sold all over the world. Real Temple Jewellery, Imitation temple Jewellery and stone type temple jewelry. Most of the real temple jewelry is made in Nagercoil, a southern city in Tamilnadu. These designs are quite unique which makes them more popular and adorable. These are made with silver and have a heavy coating of 22Ct gold over it. These are expensive and may not be suitable for young children. Less expensive imitation temple jewellery is also available on the market for those ones who are not yet sure about pursuing a career in dance.The most common imitation temple jewelry has 11 different ornaments. These are Long chain, Short necklace, Sun/Moon, Nethichutti, Mattal, Jimikki, Belt, Vanki, Rakkodi, Nath/Bullakku and bangles. Dancers also wear chilangai/salangai in the ankles during dance performance.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Kerala Sarees and Set Mundu

Set mundu is the traditional dress of Kerala Women. Set mundu is also known as mundum neriyathum. It is the oldest raw form of the saree which covers only the lower part of the body. In the set mundu, the basic traditional piece is the mundu, the lower garment worn around the waist. The set or neriyathu forms the upper cloth. Looking back to the Kerala culture, it is very evident that the neriyathu is added very recently, may be after 1960s to the mundu. The set mundu, in recent years, is worn in the modern style with the neriyathu placed over the blouse. Typically it is worn diagonally from along the right hip to the left shoulder covering the blouse and upper part of the body. The remaining loose end of the set (neriyathu) hangs freely from the left shoulder like the pallu of any Indian dress. Because the material is pure cotton, the set mundu or mundum neriyathum is starched and thoroughly ironed before wearing.The set mundu is originally cream in color has a colored strip at the border known as kara. This is usually known as kasavu kara because this border is always in golden color made of kasavu material. The kasavu kara is usually artificial material which looks like gold strings. Mostly this is fine copper strings with gold plating or similar coating. The pure gold kasavu kara is used in expensive Kanchipuram silk sarees and even in expensive set mundu. Until recent years the mundum neriyathum was only woven by handloom. Now these are made in power looms in various parts of Kerala. Still handloom woven set mundu are in high demand and they cost slightly higher when compared to their power loom counterparts.At different parts of Kerala the set mundu is known in different names and the style varies slightly based on the local culture and life style. Though mundum neriyathum is the most common name, set saree, kasavu mundu, mundu saree, Kerala saree are few other names for set mundu. On festive occasions like Onam and Vishu, set mundu is the preferred costume of all Malayalee women irrespective of where they live. Thiruvathirakali and Kaikottikali are two traditional dances, Malayalee women perform in groups during Onam. The costumes for these dances are always set mundu or Kerala saree. Another big advantage of the set mundu or Kerala saree is that it can accommodate any color for the blouse. The plain golden jewelry always goes with these costumes. Mohiniyattam, the classical dance originated from Kerala also has costumes similar to set mundu with more fan and pallu.
As mentioned, the set mundu is the traditional and cultural costume of Malayalee women and often referred as Mundum Neriyathum. The beauty, elegance, grace and appeal of the kasavu kara contrasting with the otherwise plain white set mundu has become symbol of malayalee women.