Neither studded with diamonds nor made of gold, it doesn't even have traces of any precious metal. But this necklace is priced at Rs. 2 crore/Rs. 20 million because of the "powerful effects" it derives from the rare rudrakshas, or prayer beads.
The Rs.2 crore "Indrakshi Mala" is the creation of electrical engineer Tanay Seetha, founder of the Mumbai-based Rudralife that has five patents on medicinal usage of rudrakshas (seed of the evergreen rudrashka tree or Elaeocarpus ganitrus) to its credit.
"The rarest of the rare combination of rudrakshas makes Indrakshi unique - in terms of both its price and positive effects on its wearer," 41-year-old Seetha, who is organising an exhibition on rudrakshas in Kanpur, said.
"Today, we have several scientific studies that corroborate the curative properties and other significance of rudrakshas mentioned in as many as 18 Vedic scriptures, including the Shiva Purana. Indrakshi Mala, prepared from rudraksha beads procured from Nepal, brings to the wearer luck, prosperity, success and worldly happiness,'' claimed Seetha, who has been involved in research on rudrakshas for around 10 years.
What is the reason for procuring the rudrakshas from Nepal?
"Though around 30 varieties of rudrakshas are found in the country, the best variety beads are generated by the rudraksha trees in Nepal's forests. Even the ancient Vedic texts mention about the superior quality of Nepal's rudrakshas."
"The rudrakshas procured from Nepal satisfy all the quality standards. First, they are naturally spherical. Second, the beads have clear demarcations taken under consideration to determine the types and, lastly, they have a 'chidra' (small circular depression), which is otherwise hand-crafted in fake beads," explained Seetha, who has assisted in several research studies on rudrakshas conducted by Mumbai University.
The Indrakshi Mala has a total of 28 beads.
"It has the most precious of all the rudrakshas - the rare 'Kuber' Rudraksha also called 21-'mukhi' (facetted). It also includes several other rare, naturally joined varieties of Rudrakshas like Gauri Shankar, Ganesh and Trijuti," said Seetha, who till now has organised over 400 exhibitions on rudrakshas in India and abroad, including in the US, Mauritius, Britain, Singapore and Malaysia.
Sethia explains the terminology.
"While two naturally joined rudrakshas are called Gauri Shankar, three naturally joined beads - a rare phenomenon - are termed Trijuti. Rudraksh that bears a natural trunk-like elevation is called Ganesh," he said.
Concerned over the sale of fake rudrakshas, Seetha is all set to establish a first of its kind museum on rudrakshas in Trimbakeshwar village near Maharashtra's Nashik city.
"Sale of fake rudrakshas is catching up in all parts of the country. Low awareness about rudrakshas among the people is one of main reasons behind the flourishing of the illegal trade," he said.
"Fake beads made from betel nuts and synthetically manufactured beads resembling rudrakshas are being sold at the roadside and other places. I get really hurt by all this. In order to spread awareness among the masses about the holy beads, I would be coming up with the museum that would be first of its kind in the country," Sethia asserted.