Nettipattam is an ornament used in Kerala to adorn the forehead of temple Elephants during Temple festivals and other auspicious events. Nettipattam is often translated into English as an elephant caparison. Nettipattam is made with Gold and Copper. It is an integral part of Kerala culture. The Legend has it that Lord Brahma was the first divinity to design a forehead embellishment for Lord Indra's white war elephant, the Airavata.[1][2]


Each bubble depicts pancha-bhoothas, thrimoorthies, navagrahas, ashta-vasus, saptarishis, moola-ganapathi etc. It is widely used on auspicious occasions since its believed that Nettipattam brings prosperity, peace and blessings. There are different types of Nettipattam like Chooralpoli, Nagapadam, Vendod, etc. Nettipattam are mainly of three types—chooralpoli, nagapadam and vandodu.[3]

Behind the nameEdit

The word 'Nettipattam' (alternative spelling 'Nettipattom') originated from Malayalam Language. It's a combination of two words, wherein 'Netti' means forehead and 'Pattom' means a band.[4][5]


Elephant Caparison - Nettipattam Details
An elephant wearing Nettipattom

According to the legend, in Hindu mythology, Lord Brahma was the first divinity to design a forehead Ornament for Lord Indra's war elephant, the Airavata.[6]



Nettipattom is mostly made in Thrissur. Thrippunithura is another place where it is made. It is made by stitching metals balls in special shapes into cotton and jute sacks. Mostly it is made in Copper. Brass is also used although rarely. Be it copper or brass, it is later painted with gold for the yellow shine.[citation needed]

Nettipattom is a complex ornament. It has 11 objects in the shape of half moon, a pointed object called Koomban kinnam, 2 round ones, 37 half balls, 40 full balls, 1 kalanji and 5000 small bubbles inside it.

Koomban kinnam


  1. ^ Gopal, Madan (1990). K.S. Gautam (ed.). India through the ages. Publication Division, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India. p. 64.
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ [2]
  4. ^ Menon, T. K. Krishna (1939). A Primer of Malayalam Literature. Asian Educational Services. ISBN 9788120606036. Archived from the original on 7 June 2021. Retrieved 7 June 2021 – via Google Books.
  5. ^ Gundert, Hermann (1872). A Malayalam and English Dictionary. Mangalore: C. Stolz for Basel Mission Book Tract Depository. p. 14.
  6. ^ [3]