Aranmula Kannadi (special type of mirror produced at Aranmula)

Aranmula kannadi is

special type of mirror produced at Aranmula,

a village in the state of Kerala in India. These unique metal mirrors are the result of Kerala's rich cultural and metallurgical traditions.

The British Museum in London has a 45 centimeter tall Aranmula metal mirror in its collection.

The origins of the Aranmula metal mirrors are linked with the Aranmula Parthasarathy Temple.

Legend has it that eight families of experts in temple arts and crafts were brought by the royal chief to Aranmula from Tirunelveli district to work in the Parthasarathy temple centuries ago.

Some undisclosed metals are alloyed with copper and tin to cast the mirrors. The procedure and metallurgy is now only known to a single family in Aranmula. To achieve their highly reflective surface, the finished mirrors need to be polished for one or two days.

The major differences between an Aranmula kannadi and a normal mirror are:

• The Aranmula kannadi is not created from glass but from a special metal alloy.
• It is a front surface reflection mirror, so the secondary reflections and aberrations typical of back surface mirrors are not present.