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TRICHY: The Geographical Indications (GI) registry of the government of India, has given an authorized user certificate to the Nagercoil temple jewellery. This traditional jewellery is made of the finest gold embedded with several precious gems and stones and is also the authentic ones which are used by classical dancers.According to S Muthuswamy, a craftsman from Vadaserry, who received the certificate, they use a peculiar red and green stone called ‘Kuchu kal’ for making the jewellery. They get the stone from river bed, he added.

The temple jewellery is believed to have originated somewhere in the 9th century during the reign of the Chola dynasty. Back then, this jewellery was used to adorn the idols and gods and goddesses in temples, the craftsmen say.

Vadaserry, a tiny village on the outskirts of Nagercoil is famous for crafting temple jewellery. Around 60 jewellery units are functioning with more than 350 traditional artisans, engaged in the manufacturing temple jewellery. It is exported to America, Canada, London, Singapore and Malaysia, said the president of the Intellectual Property Attorneys Association, P Sanjay Gandhi, who was instrumental in getting the GI (Geographical Indications) tag. This not only an art but also a profession for a group of craftsman, this attempt helps to preserve the art for the next generation, Muthusamy told TOI.

It is noted that he has already got GI tag for ‘Thanjavur art plate’ as well as an exclusive logo. Moreover, he had helped around 81 artisans of ‘Thanjavur Art Plate’ to get the certificate from the Geographical Indications Registry.

The Geographical Indications Registry has accorded authorised user certificates with exclusive logo to the members of the Swamimalai Icon Manufacturers Cooperative Cottage Industries Limited in Swamimalai in Thanjavur.Gandhi is also working to get GI tag for ‘Thanjavur Thalayatti Bommai’ and Naachiyarkoil brass lamps. He helps artisans to apply for GI certificate free of cost, he added.

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By Alwin Santhosh


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