I see in almost all TV shows based on Ramayana or Mahabharata that royal family wears these Jewellery and other ornaments.
Was it like that during those period? I wonder how they used to manage with all that accessories in day to day activities?
Is there any mention about this in any of the literature?

  • Royal families and activities..!! no way...
    – SamSol
    Sep 28, 2017 at 17:26

1 Answer 1


Yes. They were many ornaments and jewellery at those times. There is a mention of the ornaments and garments wore by the royal class in the Valmiki Ramayana. They wore fine quality of silk and garments made of golden cloth. They were also adorned with different types of ornaments made of gold, pearls etc.,

From Ayodhya Kanda Sarga 20,

Kausalya, who was interested to practise religious vows regularly was appearing auspiciously by wearing a white silk sari and gladly performing sacrificial ceremony in a sacred fire, by reciting vedic hymns. [2-20-15]

From Ayodhya Kanda Sarga 37,

Then, Seetha who wore silken clothing, by seeing the piece of bark intended to be worne by her, felt alarming as a deer would on seeing a snare(set for entrapping)[2-37-9]

The garments wore by Rama, Sugreeva, Hanuman etc., were very well mentioned in the Pattabhisheka sarga (the coronation of Rama)

From that sarga,

May you relax and wake-up too, to the sounds of an ensemble of musical instruments, the tinkling of ornaments strung with tiny bells and worn around the waist and anklets as well as sweet invocation of songs. [6-128-10]

Bharata, having bathed first, the mighty Lakshmana, Sugreeva the lord of monkeys and Vibhishana the king of demons took bath. Rama had his matted locks disentangled and bathed. He stood there, shining with splendour, adorned with picturesque garlands, smeared with sandal pastes of various colours and clothed in costly raiment. [6-128-14,15]

Sugreeva and Hanuma, having splendour similar to that of Indra the lord of celestials, after taking their bat, wore beautiful raiment as well as sparkling ear rings and started. [6-128-21]

Endowed with all types of ornaments as well as charming ear-rings, those wives of Sugreeva together with Seetha moved out, longing as they were, to see the city. [6-128-22]

Following is the description of the crown of Rama.

With which crown, long ago, Manu the emperor was adorned while he was consecrated and with which, the kings followed in his line were successively adorned while they were coronated, that crown studded with precious jewels, fashioned by Brahma at the beginning of creation and dazzling with splendour, being kept according to practice on a throne adorned with many kinds of precious stones in the council-hall, studded with gold, graced with abundant riches, decorated and shiningly made with most charming jewels of various kinds, and thereafter Rama duly adorned by that crown as well as jewels by the great souled Vasishta and other priests officiating at the coronation-ceremony. [6-128-34,35,36,37]

Seetha Devi also wore a pearl necklace which she gifted to Hanuman.

The black-eyed Seetha gave that pearl necklace to Hanuma. Hanuma, the foremost among the monkeys, by wearing that necklace, which was as white as a heap of moonlight-beams, shone brilliantly as a mountain silvered by a white cloud. [6-128-83]

The ornaments and raiments wore by Ravana were grand. Ravana's palace was extensively mentioned in the Sundara Kanda by Sage Valmiki. He also described how the carpets are, how the beds are, how the vessels are.

Following is the description of Mandodari's couches and bed.

In that house, while observing, Hanuma saw a portion of house with beds and couches, consisting of best couches equaling those in heaven, made of crystal decorated with diamonds, with wonderful parts made of ivory and gold, covered with best beds made of cat's eye gems of great value. [5-10-1,2]

Hanuma saw an excellent couch made of gold with radiance equaling that of fire, spread by garlands of Ashoka flowers. [5-10-4]

There is a description of Ravana's body, ornaments wore by him in detail in the Sundara Kanda.

Hanuma saw Ravana in that house, equaling a cloud, wearing earrings with a brilliant shine with red eyes and with long arms wearing gold clothes. [5-10-7] [5-10-9]

That Hanuma also saw the wealthy Ravana's arms tied with golden armlets thrown apart, resembling flag staffs raised in honor of Indra. [5-10-15]

The ornaments of Ravana and his physical features are also discussed in the next chapters of Sundara Kanda.

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