Indelible Black Ink or Kali Syahi

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Keeping alive a tradition dating back to the reign of the Kachhwaha rulers, a family in the Walled City of Jaipur makes an indelible black ink, or kali syahi, used 250 years ago for writing royal firmans (decrees) and ledgers.

About Indelible Black Ink or Kali Syahi:

  • The fourth generation of the family now produces the ink every Deepavali.
  • While the erstwhile royal family used the ink for its official transactions, the businessmen of the princely State used it to write their accounts. 
  • Even universities established after Independence awarded degrees written with this ink. The ink was believed to ward off evil and bring prosperity to its users.


  • The ink was made of natural ingredients using a traditional procedure handed down from generations.
  • The black ink is prepared on a no-moon night with the chanting of mantras.
  • It is made of kaajal (homemade mascara), gondh (edible gum) and other locally sourced herbal ingredients.
  • The ink has medicinal properties, as some of its ingredients were used in the traditional Ayurvedic system for the treatment and healing of wounds.

Source : The Hindu