Bell Metal Casting of Tamil Nadu
Kumbakonam and Nachiarkoil in Tanjore district of Tamil Nadu, is well known for the practice of Temple Bell craft. The craft is traditionally practiced by migrant gold and silver smiths from Ngercoil in Kanniyakumari district in the 19th century. The settled in the area after having discovered that vandal, the light brown sand on the banks of the river Kaveri, was perfect for box mould casting.
The beauty of the practice is that no modern machines and furnaces are used; rather smelting and casting are done by primitive methods. The art has been passed on from generation to generation.
The craft is extensively used to produce large temple bells, hand-held bells for worship at homes, water pots and tumblers used for rituals.
For the craft, the most important aspect is making of proper alloy consisting of copper and tin to get the correct sound. The ratio for the proper alloy is 80 is to 20 of copper is to tin.