Traditional Indian Jewellery – Vanki
The Vanki, or armlet of South India shown here, is inlaid with rose-cut diamonds, cabochon rubies and emeralds. An effect of coiled snakes is seen in the gold work on either side in the lower part of the Vanki. Two parrots lead up to the top of the Vanki from which drops a typical lotus-motif pendant.
Different types of armlets called the bajuband or bazuband are worn in different parts of India. However the Vanki of South India is unique because of its inverted-V-shaped design. From old paintings and sculptures, it appears that its origin can be traced to Naga or snake worship. Some of the earliest Vankis can be seen on figures of Lord Krishna as a child, the more ancient figures in wood and stones having a hooded cobra crowning the ornament. The connection between Ananta the snake, on whom lies Vishnu, whose avatar or incarnation was Krishna, is evident.
The shape of the Vanki is such that if fits over the arm without any strain or pressure.