Golden Relic

A Portable Shrine of South India

Showcased in our Islamic, Indian, and Rugs auction is an impressive Rudraksha and gold Gowrishankaram necklace, a rare and valuable piece of Indian jewellery, imbued with spiritual purpose and meaning.


The ‘Gowrishankaram’, originating from Tamil Nadu in South India, is considered one of the most important and impressive jewellery items. It is one of the relatively few necklaces which is traditionally reserved to be worn exclusively by men and Shaivite priests.

Worshippers that wear the Gowrishankaram are said to possess the energies of the creative process. The necklace includes a hollow amulet, serving as a portable shrine that allows the wearer to place a small votive object inside.

The Rudraksha beads, which are seeds from Elaeocarpus ganitrus trees, are intertwined with the rich history of Hinduism. Legend has it that the beads derived from the tears of Lord Shiva. They are symbolically associated with protection and vitality and valued for their extensive spiritual benefits, and considered to shield against negative energies.



Every bead possesses distinct markings and facets, imbuing them with their own specific qualities and blessings. The number of mukhi or faces, on each bead determines its strengths, varying from good fortune to promoting peace.

Encasing the beads in gold adds an extra layer of significance to the necklace and is believed to amplify their beneficial potential; uniting the spiritual significance of Rudraksha beads with gold, which in Hinduism, represents purity, prosperity and divine energy.



The West Cornwall vendor inherited this impressive necklace from their Indian father, Srinanda Dey. He was a successful property entrepreneur living and working in Manhattan, New York between 1977-2018. Srinanda and his wife amassed a collection of Indian art and artefacts primarily acquired from auctions and art galleries in New York.

This marvellous Rudraksha gold necklace will be sold in our Islamic, Indian & Rugs auction, which is taking place on Tuesday 26 March. 


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