caravan of mirrors

A glowing piece of history bearing the signature of fine craftsmanship, the Aranmula kannadi (Aranmula mirror) is quietly braving the ravages of time. A vintage reflection of Kerala’s handicraft tradition that flourished around the temple, today it is a requisite wherever classic Kerala is on show. And on show it is for the third successive year at Kairali, the government’s enterprise for arts and crafts of Kerala, in the city.

The hand mirror is showcased in 11 varying sizes at the complex: the smallest is an inch and a half wide and the largest six inches wide. The artisans, belonging to a few families around the Parthasarathy temple in the village of Aranmula in South Kerala, have crafted the mirrors in conventional shapes — in frames shaped like a conch, the sun and a lotus and in the typical long-tailed form.

The mirror in the Aranmula kannadi is no glass, as M. Mohandas, manager at Kairali, explains. “It is a combination of copper and tin that has been polished. The technique of mixing these metals is a secret known only to the families,” he says.

One can also check the authenticity of an Aranmula mirror. “When you fold a paper and place it against the mirror, there will be absolutely no gap between the paper and its reflection in a genuine Aranmula mirror,” explains Mohandas. Kairali’s initiative in exhibiting the mirrors exclusively at its showrooms across the State has given a fillip to the once “sinking” craft and its makers, says Mohandas. In a year, Aranmula mirrors are showcased for 15 days in different districts. A limited view of the artefact not only protects its novelty, but also helps the artisans, who cannot mass produce this hand-made product. In the course of the 15-day show in Kozhikode, roughly 400 pieces will be on display.

“In the first year of the exhibition, the Kozhikode centre registered the maximum sale at Rs 7.7 lakhs, while in the second year we had a sale of mirrors worth Rs 4.5 lakhs,” Mohandas says. Noting the dip in sales, he points out, “When it comes to pieces like the Aranmula mirror, families tend to own just one.” So, at Kairali, plans are afoot to take the exhibition to smaller centres in the years to come to woo new buyers.

Prized gifts

The mirrors on show are priced between Rs 1,100 and Rs 10,000, while there are Aranmula mirrors that are worth about Rs 60,000. The mirrors, once known to niche customers — the Ayyappa devotees who visited the Parthasarathy temple on their way to Sabarimala — are now traversing seas to win admirers. The other day a few pieces were bought from the Kozhikode showroom for the Indian Ambassador to the United States to be taken as gifts on her latest assignment, says Mohandas. The exhibition is on till December 17 at Kairali on Palayam Road.

This is an article published in The Hindu daily.

Aaranmula Kannadi (Aranmula Metal Mirror)

Aaranmula Kannadi (Aranmula Metal Mirror)

Aranmula metal mirror manufacturing was started in the early 18th century. It represents a fascinating area of culture and technological curiosity. Mysterious in its creation, unequalled in its beauty, this metal mirror a medieval Dravidian marvel in the annals of metallurgy was in vogue long before the appearance of today’s silicon glass mirror. This is constrained to only one household of master craftsmen in Aranmula. Aranmula Kannadi is a unique art which cannot be found else anywhere in the world. The making of the metal mirror is a long process that needs enough patience. Some undisclosed metals are alloyed with copper and tin to cast the Aranmula Kannadi in typical clay moulds. The polishing can go on for one to two days so as to achieve highly reflective surfaces.

The technique of production of this mirror is a closely guarded secret handed over from generation to generation of craftsmen.


There is a great difference between ordinary mirror and the metallic mirror. In an ordinary mirror, there is a silver nitrate coating which reflects the light and thus presents the image of the object. There is no silver coating on the metallic mirror. When you touch a piece of paper on the surface of an ordinary mirror, there appears a gap between the object and image, where as in the Aranmula metal mirror, there is a point of touching of two images and exists no gap between the images. The making of this mirror needs intuition, expertise, precision, lot of dedication and to be done in a sacred atmosphere. It is believed that if a a person brings this mirror home, Goddess Parvathy blesses him and will be liberated from all evil forces.

Aranmula Kannadi And Onam

Aranmula Kannadi Online

Another Onam is coming. It is considered as very prosperous to own or gift aranmula kannadi during the Onam time. Onam is the celebration of prosperity, no matter which corner in this globe, every malayali will be celebrating the Onam.

Most of the malayalees will be coming back to their native and visiting their relatives during the onam time. Chingam is the month of celebrations and good luck. because most of the good things will be happening during the month of Chingam. like weddings, House warming etc… So this is the time everybody will be thinking about a very unique and long lasting and a costly gift which needs

to be given to the dear and near ones.

Aranmula Kannadi would be the ideal gift which can given to the near and dear ones during the onam time. because Aranmula kannadi itself is considered as the syumbol of good luck, wealth and prosperity.

Aranmula Kannadi website, is now offering flat 10% Off for every order during the onam season. But make sure that you are placing order well in advance, since there would be a shortage for the mirrors near by the onam time. Artisans would be working day and night to produce the necessary mirrors to meet the orders on time.

For Ordering Aranmula Kannadi for Onam, Click Here



The legendary Aranmula Kannadi ( Aranmula Metal Mirror )

This is a story of a mirror which tells the mystic past, its mysterious creation and its uniqueness of antiquity. Inside the British Museum, London and in the bedroom of Queen Elizabeth, it goes on telling its story of a journey of centuries.

It is nothing but Aranmula Kannadi, the world famous metallic mirror, (kannadi is the Malayalam word for mirror), only available at Aranmula, a small village in Kerala, South India. There has been mentioning of such hand-held mirrors in Puranas and Rigveda. Even the famous carvings of Khajuraho, depict such mirrors in the hands of royal women of courts.

Aranmula kannadi’s Price

Aranmula Kannadi is costly as everybody says.  A typical aranmula kannadi starts from Rs.1500/- and you can get a fairly big one nearly Rs. 7,500/-

Why aranmula kannadi is costly? – Because of its method of making. It uses 100% manual efforts to make the aranmula kannadi from start to finish. No machines are involved in the making of aranmula kannadi. it will take 2-3 days to finish a aranmula kannadi. and while making out of five numbers, almost three mirrors will get damaged. and we can get only two. because its making method is that much difficult and complex.

aranmulakannadi buying online

How can you buy an aranmulakannadi? you can buy aranmulakannadi in many ways. either you can come down to aranmula and order your aranmulakannadi there, or now you can do it via online.

we’ve got many queries about how can i buy aranmulakanadi, or whether i need to comedown to aranmula to purchase one. but we also know it very well that, coming down to aranmula is not practical for most of the people, so we decided to offer the service online.

now you can go to and call the numbers provided there or simply mail to with your favorite model. our representatives will always ready to help you and our service is round the clock.

Which is the best gift from kerala?

Many people are asking “Which is the best gift, we can give to someone, that is very special and unique and lasts forever”? flowers, statues..or something else?

Now, we have an answer, Thats the world famous ARANMULA KANNADI. Let’s see why aranmula kannadi or aranmula metal mirror is the best gift to choose?

If you consider any of the other gifts, which can be made by anyone else in this world. means that can be duplicated, and many of the craft items now a days are made by machines, that means the machine made gifts looks alike, so they are not unique.

But ARANMULA KANNADI is very unique since, every aranmula kannadi is made by hand, and no machines are using for its making. The process starts from taking mud from the local paddy fields in aranmula ( The mud from the paddy fields are very special since they are very sticky and by using that only we can make the mold for aranmula kannadi). Every Aranmula kannadi is handmade and thus no two aranmula kannadi’s wont looks alike. every aranmula kannadi’s are custom made and different.

So, you can’t see any two same aranmula kannadi’s in the world. yes they are absolutely UNIQUE…

the next part is – Aranmula kannadi making is not known anyone else, other than a single family in Aranmula. Its making is still a secret which is handed over through that family’s generations. The components of its materails is a guarded secret, So nobody else in this world can make another Aranmula kannadi.

Thus Aranmula Kannadi became the very best and unique gift you can get from kerala, even from India. Aranmula Kanandi is very Special, Unique and royal gift that can be given to your very special people.