My Trip to Different Cultural & Heritage Zones in Kerala – Mannar
The city of Alappuzha, formerly known as Alleppey in Kerala State. It is referred to as the “Venice of the East” owing to canals, backwaters, beaches and lagoons. The backwaters of Alappuzha forms one of the main tourist attractions in Kerala.
It was a pleasure trip to the Venice of the East and the place offers knowledge about the cultural and heritage zones of Alappuzha. Alappuzha is rich in cultural and traditional assets including – Kuttanad – Rice Bowl of Kerala, Pathiramanal, Ambalappuzha Sri Krishna Temple, Arthunkal Basilica, Mannarassala Temple, Haripad Sree Subramanya Temple, Chettikulangara Devi Temple, Alappuzha Boat Race held at Punnamada lake, Traditional Brass & Bronze metal industry in Mannar, Edathuva church, Coir Board, etc. Each of these cultural sites have a lot to tell about their history.
One of the main things that attracted me was about the Traditional Brass & Bronze metal industry in Mannar. It generated a question in me – What is the specialty of traditional handcrafted Brass & Bronze artifacts in Mannar?
I visited Alappuzha during the month of October and I felt the cool climate with a hot cup of tea. I remember those precious time and I surely want to share my experiences in this blog.
Mannar is a small town located in Alappuzha District of Kerala state, India. Mannar is located on the banks of the Pamba River, Manimala River and Achankovil River. Mannar is also known as “The Bell Metal Town of Kerala”. Mannar owned this name due to the beautiful handcrafts like Oil Lamp, Vessels, Bells, etc. made out of Brass, Bronze, Silver and other metals which are produced from here. During my visit, I learnt that artifacts from Mannar adorn many temples and Cathedrals across the world. I was very interested in watching the metal workers at work in the making process of these beautiful handcrafts.
I came to know that there are so many traditional furnaces (Ala in Malayalam) in Mannar where the traditional workers manufacture their beautiful handcrafted products. It was a cherishing proud time for me when I realized that many special products like Aalvilakku – Chettikulangara Devi Temple, Uruli at Mattancherry, India’s biggest Temple Bell in Shimla have shared their space in “Limca Book of Records”. The most important items include – Kinnam (Plates for taking food), Traditional Nilavilakku or Ganapathi Vilakku, Christian Cross Oil lamp (Sleeba Cross Lamp), Uruli, Chempu (for parboiling paddy), Kindi or Gindi (A vessel used in temples for Poojas and taking water for washing hands & feets), Vastu Vilakku (The lamp which is used to demolish architectural defects), Nira Para, Unniyappa Chatti, Hindu Deity Idols, Kavara Vialakku, Ashtamangalyam, Pooja Brass Bronze Items, Thookku Vilakku, Manichitrathazhu door locking system, Nataraja Idol, Mayil Vilakku, Annapakshi Vilakku and other Kitchen Utensils.
The attractive features of traditional Brass / Bronze metal handcrafts of Mannar is that it has no cracks or defects. This is due to the fact that, mold which is used for casting the metal is made from the silt of the Holy River Pamba. The mold made up of silt is strong enough to withstand the temperature in the furnace during the making procedure. Literally, we can obtain the defects free items from the traditional makers. I wished to share the collections of Handcrafted Metal products of Mannar to my viewers across the world so that you can enjoy, feel the elegance and own those valuable assets. The trip to Alappuzha, particularly Mannar opened the second treasure to us ie, Traditional Handcrafted Metal Items of Mannar.