Deity jewellery

This is part of a group of separate diamond-emerald-ruby studded jewel pieces, probably belonging to the utsavar (portable image) of Vishnu (one of the principal Hindu gods, Preserver of the Universe). Such ornamented accessories would be used on special festive occasions to dress-up a small deity image. They include a crown, sarpech (head fastner), earplugs, hands-clasping shankha (conch), lotus and abhaya hasta (gesture of fearlessness) pasha (noose). The various ornaments and accessories, fine examples of Tamil stone jewellery setting craftsmanship, would be donated by individual devotees to the temple. As temples are still the main repositories of these jewels, very few of these pieces are seen in private or public collections.