Halwa Dagine, The Art Of Sugar Jewellery From Maharashtra
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Who doesn’t love to adorn some beautiful jewellery. Anything out of the usual like the floral jewellery is bound to catch attention. But have you heard or seen Halwa Dagine or Halwyache Dagine, the beautiful sugar jewellery from Maharashtra. Yes you read right, jewellery made from sugar. Halwa Dagine, this sugar candy jewellery made from Tilgul which are similar to sugar balls to prepare special jewellery that is mostly worn by newlyweds to celebrate their very first Sankranti or even by the newborns on their first Sankranti after birth.

These sugar jewellery, also known as "Halwa Dagine," is a traditional craft from Maharashtra, India. It involves making intricate and delicate jewellery pieces, such as necklaces, earrings, and bracelets, using fine strands of sugar syrup that are shaped and moulded by hand. This hand-crafted edible sugar jewellery on is made by roasting sesame seeds that is mixed with sabudana (sago) and sugar powder. The process of making sugar jewellery is tedious and involves cooking sugar syrup to a particular consistency, which is then poured into moulds or shaped by hand. Once the syrup is set, it is carefully removed from the mould and dried before being decorated with edible silver or gold foil, food colouring, and other embellishments. From bangles, necklaces, waistbands and more , these sugar jewellery is a popular gift item for weddings, festivals, and other special occasions in Maharashtra. The craft requires a high level of skill and patience, and it is typically passed down from one generation to the next within families or communities. The brides dressed in black saris while grooms black kurtas and are adorned with halwa dagine from head to toe. Isn’t that amazing art form? But yes, these are also worn by newborns too. 

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“The halwa is threaded in between two cotton threads. This is an absolute art work with much detailing and is very delicate. Also the sad part being not many know this specific technique these days. The best part being if you have them and stored them right which I have done, they can be passed on to other siblings as well. So my sister who will get married next month wears the one that I wore” adds Manasi who got married few years back in a typical Maharashtrian wedding and happily flaunted her halwa dagine. Each is priced differently according to the work that goes into making of them. 

Mostly made during Makar Sankranti, Khauwale Patankar the sweet shop in Pune has been making these sugar jewellry every year since 1940’s. Lead by Sonia Patankar, this shop has been a popular destination for traditional Maharashtrian sweets and snacks. During the festive season of Ganesh Chaturthi, this sweet shop creates a beautiful display of sugar jewelry, including necklaces, bangles, and other decorative items. The sugar jewelry that is very humbly priced is made using the traditional technique of cooking sugar syrup to a particular consistency, shaping it by hand, and then decorating it with edible silver or gold foil and other embellishments. The sugar jewelry at Khauwale Patankar sweet shop is a unique and popular attraction during the Ganesh Chaturthi festival, drawing visitors from all over Pune and beyond.

This time-consuming art is losing its takers. These jewels are almost heirloom material and this is what completes the Maharashtrian wedding look. Edible art is not easy and it’s time we realise they will disappear in time.