Aranmula Kannadi and GI Patent.

The Aranmula mirror is unique. Unlike your ordinary mirror which is made of glass with a coating of silver nitrate, this one is crafted purely from metals — a special alloy of copper, tin, silver and some secret ingredients. The exact composition of these metals is known only to the few families in, of course, Aranmula, a village in Kerala’s Pathanamthitta district. While a regular mirror reflects images from its coated layer, the highly polished Aranmula does so directly from its surface. No distortions in the images, claim the makers who are extremely skilled artisans.

The mirror enjoys limited fame. The British museum is said to have a 45-cm long Aranmula and well-to-do Keralites keep one for its snob value (it is expensive) and for its supposed ability to shower good fortune on the owners. Even in these competitive times, the producers, a handful of families who have been making this mirror for generations since the 18th century, appear to doing well, but are clearly dependent on exports to keep their skills alive. They have become more sophisticated with their marketing and have set up a couple of websites to reach out to a wider market. All the same, it was a bit of a surprise to see the Aranmula, faintly remembered as a lost family heirloom, leap out of a list of over 60 products that have entered the Geographical Indications (GIs) registry in India.

GIs are in a way a kind of intellectual property right (IPR) instituted by the WTO that does more than provide trademark protection, allowing producers to get market recognition and often a premium price. It is an IPR that is not so much about the what but the where of a product although quality and authenticity are very much a concern. The major difference between a patent and GI is that while the former protects contemporary innovation, GI rewards the past and helps to preserve cultural traditions by protecting community knowledge. In essence, GI identifies a product as originating from a particular place, and whose quality, reputation or other characteristics are attributable to its geographical source.

In recent months there has been practically a stampede for GI registration in India. Unlike the developed countries which use it primarily for food products (Champagne, of course, and things like Parma Ham), India has extended GI protection to products across the spectrum, from handicrafts to flowers and spices. Thus the Aranmula mirror, along with assorted silks, saris, textiles and embroidery styles, joins soaps, incense, different varieties of jasmines, several strains of rice, tea, betel leaf, pepper and chillies to get the GI tag.

The GI Registry at Chennai, where right-holders can register their products, is getting inundated. The question, however, is how much of a protection a GI offers. For one, other WTO members are not obliged to ensure the same kind of protection to all Indian GIs because there is a problem of hierarchy. Although TRIPS has a single definition for all GIs, it has authorised a two-level system of protection: one, a general protection under Article 22, and the other, a higher level under Article 23 that is applicable only to wines and spirits.

According to some experts, Article 22 is not good enough. It is simply a law against unfair trade practices and for consumer protection and is not really for IPR protection. A producer not belonging to a specific geographical region could still use the GI as long as the product’s true origin is indicated on the label. In other words, an Aranmula mirror could be turned out from, say, Houston in Texas, thus allowing an American producer to free ride on the reputation and market goodwill created by Keralite artisans over two centuries. Tellicherry pepper and Udupi jasmine thus far are not in the same class as wine from Champagne.

As with several other issues, GI is a bitterly contested IPR issue in the WTO with Europe and parts of the developing world ranged against the likes of Australia and the US, a kind of old world versus the new world confrontation. It is unlikely that those fighting for extension of Article 23 protection will have it easy. But before it prepares to take on this global battle India needs to have in mind, if not in hand yet, some strategies on marketing and promoting its GI. These products for the most part are unknown and their commercial potential neither researched nor analysed.

And perhaps, the GI Registry in Chennai needs to apply more stringent yardsticks. As states get more competitive to include as many of their products in the registry, it appears have become a free-for-all. Does a Coimbatore wet grinder, the ubiquitous stone contraption used in south India to grind grains, qualify for GI?


IS it possible to get an aranmula kannadi with superior quality in lowest price? Thats is a difficult question. the answer is NO! You can’t get Original and Traditional Aranmula Kannadi for a price less than Rs.1000/-.

Please beware about offers for aranmula kannadi for cheaper prices. they may not be  the originals. You have to make sure that the one you are buying is Traditional and Original Aranmula Kannadi

Aranmula village and Aranmula Kannadi

Aranmula, a village in the district of Pathanamthitta is well known for its ancient temple dedicated to Lord Krishna also known as Parthasarathy. Here, among its many attractions like the holy river Pamba, the annual regatta of snake boats during the festival of Onam, a traditional know-how continues to amaze the rest of the world. And it is the fine metallurgical art of making metal mirrors or the Aranmula Kannadi.

As per local belief the handmade Aranmula Kannadi is considered as an auspicious object kept in households for bringing prosperity, luck and wealth. As per tradition in Kerala, Aranmula metal mirror forms part of the ashtamangalya set – one of the eight auspicious items that is usually arranged and displayed at functions like marriage. The proper maintenance of the metal mirror, requires the mirror to be kept under room temperature and also away from heat and dust. There is a prescribed method to wipe the mirror to remove finger stains and other marks on it. The wiping movement is restricted to a particular direction and not in all.

Noted for outstanding beauty and shrouded in secrecy, the Aranmula Kannadi is considered a medeival marvel in the annals of metallurgy. It was in use much before the appearance of modern-day glass mirrors. The technical know-how behind the making of this unique metal mirror is confined to only some households of master craftsmen in Aranmula.

The origins of the Aranmula Kannadi are linked to the Aranmula Parthasarathy Temple. The legend says that some centuries ago, eight families of experts in temple arts and craft were brought to Aranmula from Thirunelveli in Tamil Nadu. They were given the task of undertaking works in the Parthasarathy Temple. While working with bronze to make a crown for the presiding deity of the temple – Lord Parthasarathy, they accidentally stumbled upon a unique reflective property of one alloy comprising copper and tin. The craftsmen later tried different compositions, which eventually led to the standards of making the metal mirror, which are still kept as a guarded secret.

A special alloy is used to manufacture the Aranmula Kannadi. The metal mirror manufactured in Aranmula is a front surface reflection mirror, which eliminates secondary reflections and aberrations typical of back surface mirrors. The exact metals that form the alloy are said to be a combination of copper and tin. Besides making the right combination of the alloy, the craftsmen get involved in intensive polishing sessions, which would go on for several days to obtain the desired reflective surface. Even today, craftsmen use traditional, indigenous methods and materials to produce the reflecting wonder called Aranmula Kannadi. It takes great practice and tremendous amount of focus and patience to produce a perfect mirror piece.

To know the quality of reflection on an Aranmula metal mirror, the following example would be sufficient. When you touch a piece of paper on the surface of an ordinary mirror, a gap remains between the paper and the image produced. But, in the case of the Aranmula metal mirror, there will be no gap between the image and the object. This indicates the fact that only a real, distortion-free image is produced on an Aranmula Kannadi.

Aranmula is today one of the model tourism villages declared by Kerala Tourism. It has now become popular as a major centre for cultural tourism in Kerala and attracts visitors, especially those from outside India.

Lowest prices for aranmula kannadi

Many people asking the same question – Why aranmula kannadi is this much costly? since we are getting much bigger ordinary mirrors for this cost?

The answer is you should know the very basic difference between aranmula kannadi and an ordinary mirror. ordinary mirror is made up of mercury platted glass, and aranmula kannadi is a metal, which reflects the light like a mirror, with more clarity than an ordinary mirror.

The method of making aranmula kannadi is very traditional and 100% manual. there is no machines involved in the making process. the human effort for making an aranmula kannadi is huge.It will take 2-3 days to finish a small 2.5 inch aranmula kannadi. the labour cost itself will comes more than Rs.1500. and the material cost will be upto 1000 Rs. this is how the aranmula kannadi is costlier than any other mirrors.

Many people claims that they can give very cheap aranmula kannadi. NEVER EVER BELIVE TAHT! Nobody in this earth can sell an original and traditional aranmula kannadi in cheap price. if somebody is giving it like that, it would be a FAKE ARANMULA KANNADI. check out the quality of mirror some times they give you ordinary glass mirror in the artistic frame.

There is  one place you can get 100% genuine traditional and original Aranmula kannadi. for reach there Click Here