How does one imbue a crude piece of metal with the magic of reflection and enliven its contours with animation?
How does one convert a piece of metal alloy into a mirror?
No one knows.
It is an ancient secret jealously guarded for centuries by a family in the quaint town of Aranmula in the Pathanamthitta district of Kerala. A marvel of art and craft that dates back to the Vedic Age, the Aranmula Kannadi ('mirror' in Malayalam) is one artifact that has baffled and earned the respect of metallurgists from across the planet.
Indigenous to Aranmula, this mirror is made from a mysterious blend of metals. The story behind it goes that it was divine intervention that helped the craftsmen create the composition, which led to the birth of the unique Aranmula Kannadi. Only traditional materials and methods have been used till date to create this sophisticated piece of metallurgical marvel. It is said that the metal used in the manufacturing of this unique mirror is an alloy comprising copper and tin. To add to this is the unique process involving days of polishing the metal piece to achieve the desired reflection.
Traditionally, it is believed that the handmade Aranmula Kannadi will bring prosperity, good luck and wealth to the home in which it is kept. It is also an integral part of the ashtamangalya, which comprises eight auspicious items that are part of Hindu ceremonies like wedding.
It would be sheer wonder for one to sit down and take time to watch the craftsmen create the most elegant handmade mirror that mankind has ever seen from an ordinary piece of metal.
If you were to take the effort to understand the amount of dedication, sincerity and devotion that each craftsman pours into his creation, then you would understand why each Aranmula Kannadi deserves the pride of its position amidst the most beautiful works of art in this world. The Aranmula Kannadi is a legend in itself.