The city’s leading jewellery store GR Thangamaligai or GRT draws liberally from the rich heritage in jewellery design. At its sprawling four storey flagship store on Usman Road, GRT’s love for beautiful pieces is on full display; customers eagerly try on the delicate kammal, lotus shaped earrings with rubies and diamonds, or stare mesmerised at their reflection with kaasumaalai, the coin-shaped necklace typical of Tamil Nadu. Further on, brides-to-be select the gem-studded hair ornament thalaisaamaan with their parents. Others pick from the latest diamond wedding ranges that offer a break from tradition, encouraging brides to create a signature look to match their personality.
Founded in 1964 by G Rajendran, GRT has grown to be a household name in Chennai for its purity and designs. Under his direction, his sons GR Ananthapadmanabhan and GR Radhakrishnan, have diversified the company into the hospitality, agriculture, education, trading and non-conventional power sectors.
Its designs have adorned generations, and the first store has grown to accommodate contemporary pieces while retaining handcrafted traditional jewellery. Now spread across four floors, its wares dazzle the eye; ornaments studded with navaratnas (the nine gems believed to ward off evil and enhance the beneficial effects of the planets) sparkle from behind counters, and the typical Tamil insignia of birds and flowers assume various forms on a range of pieces. An entire floor is dedicated to diamonds, and trained staff help customers select the finest Belgian cut gems; platinum pieces entice customers to the next floor, where an array of styles await. The breadth of the collection was cited by Platinum Guild India for the Best Platinum Showroom in India in 2008.
Please see their success story as featured and recognized by ‘Best of Chennai’