Antique Rug Motifs: Chintamani Motif
Meanings of the Chintamani Motif in Rugs and Carpets
Chintamani Motif – Chintamani is a Sanskrit word for a wish-fulfilling gem. The design features three balls above wavy lines, a popular Hindu and Buddhist motif, commonly seen on Indian and Tibetan rugs. The lines are reminiscent of the stripes of tiger skin.
It was used on many ornamental art forms, symbolizing the power of royalty; eventually the design was adapted for use on Ottoman carpets in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.
In Hindu legend, Chintamani are said to be one of the four relics that fell from a chest in the sky during the reign of king Lha Thothori Nyantsen of Tibet. As the story goes, at the time, the king did not understand the meaning of these objects, but kept them protected anyway.
Several years later, two strangers would appear at the King’s court and explain the meaning of the objects to him. This story is part of the tale of how the concept of Dharma was brought to Tibet.