The famous Aranmula Kannadi (Aranmula metal mirror) is an auspicious traditional handcrafted mirror made by bell metal. This unique art is born in Aranmula, Kerala, located on the bank of holy river Pampa which is the place of God Parthasarathy. Thus Aranmula Mirror is linked with Aranmula Parthasarathy temple. In Purana this mirror is described as the Mirror of Goddess Parvathy. The speciality of Aranmula Kannadi is its unique making procedure and metallurgy which is now traditionally known to a single family in Aranmula. This mirror is made out of a metal combination. Local paddy fields mud is also used. It may take many months to complete an Aranmula Mirror. The finished mirrors need to be polished for one or two days to achieve their highly reflective surface. This polished face of the metal mirror not only resembles glass but also reflects the images very clearly. The belief is that keeping an Aranmula Kannadi in one’s home, shop, office will bring them all prosperity, good luck, wealth and happiness in their life.
The uniqueness of the Aranmula Kannadi (mirror) is that the reflective surface is not Mercury-backed glass but metal. When you place a fingertip on a normal mirror, you see a gap between the front edge of the glass and the image on the reflective backing layer. However, in the Aranmula Mirror, this gap does not exist. This is the best tip to find out the originality of this metal mirror. The Vishukkani or Vishu Kani has many items that represent prosperity and is auspicious, including an idol of Lord Vishnu or Lord Krishna, like the traditional, bell-shaped metal oil lamps (nilavilakku), and other items like "konna" (Laburnum) flowers, betel leaves, betel nut, fruits, grains, fresh lemon, cucumber, vegetables, coconut, kajal, an Aranmula metal mirror and currency notes or coins kept inside traditional bell-shaped metal pan called "uruli'.The idea is to wake up to auspicious items to ensure the rest of the year brings good luck and prosperity.