Aranmula Kannadi or mirror is not just another mirror. It is a special type of mirror manufactured at Aranmula, a village at Pathanamthitta district in Kerala. Aranmula kannadi is one among 8 auspicious items included in Ashtamangalya set, used for auspicious functions. This metal mirror is famous for its construction secret and the product got geographical indication also.
The major difference from other mirrors is that this is not made from usual glass. It is made from a metallic compound and almost like the bell metal. Mirror is produced by well skilled craftsmen utilizing their technical skills. Unique manufacturing methods are needed to make Aranmula mirror which makes it the only metal mirror available world wide.
The method of manufacturing is obtained from one generation to another. It is an inherited gift and so its making is kept as a family secret. As this is a unique object, its creation is also mysterious and the beauty of these mirrors is incomparable with anything else
The mirror is so famous and in great demand that there is an 18 inch Aranmula kannadi placed at the British Museum in London. It costs expensive and a major component of the cost is the labour. However, owing to the price, it is now considered a precious and unique artifact. Tourists also are attracted to this and very often go for owning at least one piece.
In Kerala`s Pathanamthitta district lies Aranmula, a culturally-rich village that has been drawing travellers for years. Apart from the holy River Pamba and the annual snake-boat races, this village is widely popular for its Aranmula Kannadi – intricate metal mirrors. Often a part of an Ashtamangalyam (a set of eight auspicious items usually set out during important occasions) set, Aranmula kannadi are made from an alloy of copper and tin, which then goes through a series of rigorous polishing over days, in order to achieve their reflective surface. The final outcome is a stunning hand-made, handheld mirror.