Jewellery is always considered an integral part of the Indian lifestyle. Jewellery made of Gold and precious metals is often expensive and hence buyers also search for cost-effective alternatives that are no less attractive. The State of Andhra Pradesh boasts of an exclusive tradition, wherein a village is entirely dedicated to the manufacture of imitation jewellery, which is simply stunning. The village of Chilakalapudi near Machilipatnam in Krishna District of Andhra Pradesh is renowned all over for some of the best quality imitation jewellery manufactured here.
The Imitation jewellery made here by most of the families in this village is also called as ‘Chilakalapudi Bangaram’. The Machilipatnam jewellery has brought livelihood opportunities to the rural belt of Krishna District in AP, and it has also filled a crucial need-gap, by aiding the budget of middle-class buyers, providing them with rolled-gold jewellery.
The metal used is silver or copper on to which either rolled-gold or gold is electroplated, followed by addition of embellishments which is done painstakingly by hand. Here the community involved in imitation jewellery also create multiple pieces, which are embellished with different colored stones for matching various outfits in their wardrobe, which is usually prohibitively expensive in pure gold.
There are more than 200 units engaged in the industry which provides employment to thousands of artisans and their families. Right from Bangles, earrings, necklaces, trinkets and nose rings to ankle jewellery, the place is synonymous with attractive jewellery that mimics designs made with pure gold. Chilakalapudi has become the most sought-after market for imitation jewellery which attracts customers not only from AP, but also rest of India.
Buyers can find really stunning pieces of jewellery of various shapes, sizes and designs that look like original gold jewellery, with similar finish and shine. Chilakalapudi Bangaram is also used by artists trained in Bharatanatyam, Kuchipudi or Kathak, since Jewellery is considered an important aspect of traditional dance forms.