India’s Decorative Art Traditions

In this series of short blog posts, we will highlight some of India’s decorative art traditions. Feel free to add to information posted here, such as more details about the art form or even interesting stories/legends associated with them.

Aranmula Mirror

Aranmula mirror, unlike the normal “silvered” glass mirrors, is a metal-alloy mirror which eliminates secondary reflections and aberrations typical of back-surface mirrors. The exact metals used in the alloy is a family secret of one extended family in Aranmula in the southern state of Kerala. Metallurgists suggest that the alloy is a mix of copper and tin. It is polished for several days to achieve the mirror’s reflective surface. These mirrors are considered one of the eight auspicious items or “ashtamangalyam” that accompany a bride to her new home. These unique metal mirrors reflect Kerala’s rich cultural and metallurgical traditions. The origins of the Aranmula mirror is linked to the Aranmula Parthasarathy Temple . According to legend, centuries ago, the royal chief brought eight families of experts in temple arts and crafts from Tirunelveli district in neighboring Tamil Nadu to Aranmula to work on the mirrors in the Parthasarathy temple.

(Above information put together from the Net)

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