22 Feb 2021


Gaddi Jewelry | Rakkh Resort 

Gaddis are an indigenous community of Himachal Pradesh. Primarily a shepherd community, Gaddis can be found everywhere in the mountains. A nomadic people, moving with the season to take the livestock to the greenest pasture, Gaddis would migrate uphill during summer and return to the valleys as winter set in. Many of these historical migration routes today are sought out as hiking trails. In fact, one such trail goes past Rakkh Resort in Palampur.

Although the changing economic landscape has forced many of the Gaddis to settle down leaving their nomadic lives behind, even today, albeit fewer, Gaddi shepherds are seen plying up and down the beautiful mountains around Rakkh Resort in Palampur.

jewelry near our resort in dharamshala

Image credits: Local-Moda

The history of Gaddis is very fascinating with many origin stories associated with them from them being Rajputs who migrated to the mountains to the Central Asian Aryans being their predecessors being related to the Kashmiri Gaddis who are predominantly followers of Islam.
The culture, traditions, heritage and art forms of Gaddis stand out as they are unlike any other. Rakkh Resort in Palampur is proud to showcase many of these artefacts for the benefit of art and history buffs who come to Rakkh Resort in Palampur for immersive experiential vacations. In this blog, we would like to talk about a specific aspect of Gaddi life. Their jewellery and fashion, particularly the Gaddi women.
The background is set by the attire these women wear, well the traditional attire, which is sadly going out of style more and more. Yet, the jewellery is making a comeback with fashionistas all over appreciating and aspiring to traditional jewellery. Women generally wear Luanchari, a one-piece dress with a Dora, a thick and strong black rope tied around their waist. This was functional as well as aesthetic. The Luanchari is usually bright and multicoloured. Now coming to the jewellery itself, Gaddi women are big on silver jewellery and not so much on gold, and how they carry silver! Read on to know more.

women wearing jewelry near our resort in dharamshala

Image credits: Local Moda

Some of the popular ornaments of Gaddi women are:
Chakk or Chonk:
Worn on the top portion of the head, Chonk is conical in shape and has two small circular elements called chakdi for attaching with silver strings that mount it over the head. Usually worn by married women, it symbolises the marital status of women.
Gojru, silver bracelets that are narrow in width are usually worn in pair.
Possibly the defining element of Gaddi jewellery, Chanderhar is a rather large and boisterous necklace made of silver, lots of it, with mina (hand carving) work all over it. It is festive jewellery worn on occasions such as marriage, family functions and fairs. Interestingly, although usually worn only by women, for the wedding, even the groom sports a Chanderhar.
Chiri, the defining ornament for a married women is similar to such jewellery from across the planes of North India.
Toke are flattened silver bracelets worn in pairs, embellished with signature Gaddi designs.
Pari are anklets, always made of silver. It is designed to make a lot of sounds when the woman wearing it walks. It is generally an ornament of the newlywed, maybe to alert everyone of their presence, so as to provide them privacy.
Designed to cling to the neck, Singi is a petit piece of ornament with golden coloured beads embellishing the silver pendant.
Beeni Chakk:
A beautiful ornament, Beeni Chakk is used to hold the hair and plaits in place.
Phullu are toe rings that come in a variety of shapes and sizes, although most women wear them, it is mandatory for newlyweds.
Interestingly many of the nose rings are made of gold.
A big sized nose pin, made of gold with a red coloured stone in the centre of this circular jewellery.
Many of these traditional jewellery has inspired new generation fashion designers who have featured it on a global stage too. Although Gaddi jewellery used to handcrafted, now machines are used to achieve a finer quality. Rakkh Resort in Palampur arranges for a local market visit where one can witness Gaddi jewellery being made and could also purchase a few if you keen on making a rather bold statement with your jewellery.

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Ghamrota Village Post Office Ballah ,Tehsil Palampur, District Kangra, Jiun, Himachal Pradesh 176061