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Saturday, May 15, 2010

Aranmula - A Quaint Kerala Village

12 May 2010: Our next stop was at the Aranmula located at a distance of around 7 Kms from Chengannur. First we visited the Parthasarathy temple, located atop a hill, whose architecture is similar to the Chengannur Temple. It is situated on a sprawling campus with many trees and several sub shrines. We witnessed the Thulabharam (weighing a person on the temple scales against items like rice, bananas, sugar etc which are then given as offerring to the deity) of a 6 months baby and pics are enclosed.
Next we visited the Vastu Vidya Gurukulam where we had a morning appointment with the consultant design engineer. Vasthu sasthra is the branch of Veda which deals with traditional Indian way of environmental friendly construction adopting universal principles of creation. This is a combination of science engineering and spirituality. Vastu vidya came from, Sanskrit word Vas & Vidya. Vas means dwell and Vidya is knowledge is stated to spring from Sthapadya Veda the sub Veda of Atharvaveda. Traditional Kerala temple is an excellent example of Vasthu designing. This institution, under Department of Culture, offers consultancy services for Vastu Vidya and Mural painting (Traditional Kerala Temple painting). Enclosing herewith pics of the main office building of the Gurukulam.
Aranmula is situated on the banks of the river Pamba. We went to the local PWD Guest House, a quaint old building with nice rooms recently renovated. There is a full grown jackfruit tree with plenty of green prickly fruits hanging down. From there we had breathtaking view of the river(see pics below). Incidentally these are nice rooms where one can stay at a very nominal tariff @Rs.500/day :Vallam Kali means boat race in Malayalam which is the language of the State of Kerala. It is mainly conducted during the season of the harvest festival Onam in Autumn. Vallam Kali include races of many kinds of traditional boats (paddled longboat) of Kerala. The race of Chundan Vallam (snake boat) is the major event. Hence Vallam Kali is also known in English as Snake Boat Race and now in recent years has become a major tourist attraction. Typical snake boats are 100 to 120 feet long, and hold around 100 rowers. Each of the villages in the region has its own snake boat, which they take great pride in. The battling snake boats of Kerala have over 400 years of history associated with them.(Sorry no pics!)
Aranmula is also famous for its traditional metallic mirrors known as Aranmula Kannadi. It is made of copper tin alloy and the ratio is a closely guarded secret.This is a unique art & handed down from generation to generation. Presently only five families are involved in this art in Aranmula and these families hold a patent. We visited one such family and studied the process of manufacture of this unique and beautiful mirror. See pics below:


  1. Its been like a dream or ambition to own an Aranmula Kannadi of my own!!! To infact learn it. But I know its possible only if I marry a guy from there!!!
    Hope you bought one!!!

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  2. Bhusha,

    Nice to hear from you. in fact we bought two - one for my daughter who lives in the US. Another for my niece who is getting married in October in Bangalore.Plus I already have one - purchased during my last visit to Aranmula in 2005.


  3. As usual, nice informative post with great pictures. I love the aranmula kannadi, too.

  4. Very nice and beautiful pictures with wonderful description. Informative post.

  5. Hi Ram !!Welcome back after a break !!This is a beautiful post with so much of information and lovely shots !!Great post !!

  6. Hi there Ram & beautiful exotic India,
    So glad that it did not take too long to hear from you:)
    The exquisite Aranmula metal mirrorwork, traditional cloth of Kerala, all in all religious origin of Aranmula is worth to visit.

  7. Lovely photos!

    Thanks for your visit!


  8. Hi Ram, Thanks for visiting my blog. Come back anytime. I enjoyed looking at yours and seeing some of the area and traditions in your gorgeous country. I LOVE those mirrors. Wow!!!!

    Thanks again.

  9. Excellent pix! Kerala has always been on my to-do list. I have made it to Cochin and Munnar but I think teh real beauty lies in the villages and interior places.

  10. Comprehensive post of this place and the Aranmula Kannadi.

  11. Beautiful post. The temple and the surroundings are beautiful. The old temples do have a charm and I just love them.

  12. wow!! Nice post!
    I love reading such articles.. I hope such people, places and tradition stays alive through blogs.

    Will come back again for more!

  13. Hi Ram! Interesting post. Always learning...

    Sorry for the absence, but my computer broke down and I’ll be waiting a month for it to be fixed… ;-( Anyhow, I left you a post on the suburbs of Ephesus for you to enjoy. Have a great week!!

  14. Hello Ram:)

    Lovely photos and interesting information.

    As you know Aranmula Boat race is very famous and so also Aranmula mirror.

    Thulabharam is a very unique offering in Hindu temples. Vastu Sastra is becoming very popular.

    The river Pampa is very famous in Kerala especially all Ayyappa devotees take a bath in this river before proceeding to climb the Holy Hill.

    I enjoyed reading your interesting travel and your photos are excellent and they give a real insight into your wonderful post.

    Have a nice day Ram:)

  15. Interesting facts about the 'kannadi'. Great travel story.

  16. Must visit this place one day.
    Have heard a lot about the mirror

  17. NIce pics and supportive write up. You seem to be visiting lots of places.

  18. Nicely told Kerala stories! I hope to visit it one day. Our budget airline,AirAsia flies to nearby places.

  19. Amazing pictures. Very interesting and beautiful!

  20. What a fascinating post. I love those pictures of the weighting of the baby and I have never seen a jackfruit tree before.
    Beautiful images and narrative.
    Thank you so much for your visit and a very kind and substantial comment.;)

  21. Very Nice Posts!!!

    Its really good for someone who love to travel and learn different culture.

  22. Namaste, wonderfully informative. Thank you for sharing. The craft are surberb....

  23. Of course Aranmula temple is very beautiful and unique. There is a below ground level temples too right near the entrance/exit to the river. Last year i visited around 30 temples in Kerala in 3days. Aranmula and Chenganur temple were in my list. Din't know abt kannadi orelse would have bought one.

  24. The traditional architecture of Kerala is so elegant.. makes me wonder where did we go wrong in this century!

    -Mindless Mumbai

  25. Wow, makes me homesick. I miss Kerala and Keralan temples so much!

    Arent the mirrors gorgeous ?

    Thanks for this beautiful post.

  26. Your stories and photos amaze me. Very informative post. Awesome documentation.

  27. very informative information with good photos. Aranmula is such a fascinating place for me, I visited a couple of times there, and my last visit was three years before.

    I've bought a Aranmula Mirror from there, they are running an online shop for aranmula kannadi, they told me when i contact them last time for a mirror for my friend. so that anyone can purcahse it online and they will ship it to you. their website is

    i also bought a 'chundan vallam' but i can't find any source to get it now.

    anyway nice information and good effort. keep it going.

  28. This is my village in Kerala. Such lovely pics. Feel like heading to Kerala right away...

  29. My Travelogue has just touched the 100th post and its dedicated to all my readers!!! Thanks for supporting and appreciating me always!!! :)
    My 100th post - Dedicated to all

  30. Hi..
    Aranamula kannadis are a lovely treasure. Nice write up and a lovely travel blog.

  31. Wonderful snaps... Thanks a lot for sharing...

  32. Aranmula is a sleepy little place where one can relax and unwind. But the jack-fruit tree in the picture which everyone admired is no longer there. It was cut down and a building is coming up there. I wonder how the authorities can be so callous and the people so indifferent. I occasionally visit my ancestral home next to it and one day when I turned up there was no trace of the tree that had been a powerful presence in my mind for the last fifty years.