The city of Orai was named after Saint Uddalak Aruni whose deeds are even engraved in our Upanishads. It has been an unspoken part of major events in history as it resides just near Kalpi and Jhansi. The city is located in Southern Uttar Pradesh in the district of Jalaun.
Orai is multi-cultured thanks to its rich and vibrant past. The city has been a bedrock of Banahpur Rajputs, Vikramaditya and also of Mughal ruler Akbar within different times in history.
Its history includes the footprint of the empire that fought Prithvi Raj Chouhan, the ferocious tale of courageous Jhansi Ki Rani, the residence of the Mughal king and Hindu king during the 1550s. The city has harnessed the empire of King Akbar and the armies of Maratha. This diversity in contact with one of the most recalled events and empires of history has led Orai to be in constant motion of development. Since then it has seen the British raj empire and served its people during the struggle for independence. The city has been recognized nationally multiple times today as one of the fastest moving small city as it celebrates the opportunity to participate in almost every nationwide motion. It hosts industries of one of the biggest names in the country like Sun India Pharmacy and Hindustan Unilever.
As the times have changed, Orai has maintained to change itself too. Despite the fact that it still retains a lot of culture, tradition and norms that were popularized within history, the city has adapted quite well to the modern changes and motifs. Ancient artefacts amongst mahals and jewellery are still maintained today. When it comes to jewellery, the diverse presence of culture and traditions has paved the way for a much more intense jewellery plethora for Orai than one can expect.
Banahpur Rajputs followed the tradition of gifting young bride or suhagan with gold jewellery. Bridal jewellery has always been quintessential within any Indian culture and has traced even the sharpest and deepest corners of the country. Orai is no different, the city strongly believes that any overall bridal jewellery can’t be perfected without the addition of well-thought nose pins and laung (as called in the native lands). Nose pins have a wide acceptance associated with them in terms of radiating and intensifying beauty as well as facial features. And when we take into consideration the traditional, cultural well as cultural along with the modern approach, then, as Ayurveda suggests, nose pins mediate the ovulation cycle in a matured woman. Ayurveda is one of the oldest studies that has shown its potential and reliability several times.
During the reign of Akbar, Begums wore circular and enlarged nose pins with diamond and other precious stones. Nose pins, then, were a symbol of authority and power. The bigger the stones, higher the authority. To address the differentiation, courtesans used to wear steel and silver nose pins. A gold or highly refined nose pin amongst courtesans or people served by the kingdom would suggest that the jewelry was a gift from either the bride or the king and hence would increase the individual’s social status.
Orai Modern Days
Nowadays, nose pins fabricated in gold and silver can be easily spotted in Orai. Local craftsmen are deeply invested in the craft and are constantly taking measures to vivify their skills with revamped and prominent designs. From brides to teenage girls, Orai has adapted the norms of every culture that makes the city as a whole and embraces it whilst always stepping towards the future.