India | Madhya Pradesh

Jhara Lamps

The Jhara community of Madhya Pradesh is renowned for a special type of lamps. These lamps form a part of the wedding gifts received by a bride from her father. The Jhara lamps are classified into five types according to their shape and usage, namely ‘laman diya,’ ‘supali diya,’ ‘gadli diya,’ ‘khut diya’ and ‘viman diya.’ The ‘laman diya’ can be hung anywhere in the house. The ‘supali diya’ can be fixed to the ground. It contains a pointed rod at its center to serve this purpose. The upper part of the lamp resembles a ‘supa’ (winnowing fan), which gives the lamp its name. The ‘khut diya’ features a rectangular base serving as its support. The word ‘khut’ means ‘to stand’ referring to the base which enables the lamp to be kept in a standing position. The ‘gadli diya’ contains wheels fixed to its base, enabling it to be moved around. The ‘viman diya’ is shaped like a chariot. The word ‘viman’ refers to the mythological flying chariots of the gods. The ‘viman diya’ and the ‘gadli diya’ are large sized, serving as a container for smaller lamps. They are decorated with delicate images of birds, snakes, deer, monkeys and humans. The ‘supali diya’ and ‘khut diya’ are used during ceremonies related to birth and marriages.

Updated on 29th October, 2014


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