The most famous bronze craft in India is the ancient statue of Nataraja (Lord Siva in dancing posture). But in Kerala bronze (bell metal or gun metal) popularly known as Odu is used for making small and big vessels, lamps etc. Huge wick
lamps in different sizes and shapes like the Nilavilakku, Thookkuvilakku - hanging lamp, etc are widely used in each and every house.
The Valkannadi (literally tailed mirror) is representative of Lakshmi - the
goddess of prosperity. Other pooja articles like the Kindi (water container of a particular shape with a sprouting nozzle), Uruli (wide shallow cooking vessel), Thattu (plates), etc are exquisitely crafted in bronze. Most of these are now only available in curio shops as collectors
items. The originals are pretty expensive. The Malayalee kitchen once almost fully occupied with odu ware are now replaced by stainless steel, aluminium, ceramic and glass ware.
But even today for rituals and religious occasions 'Odu' wares are still used. A
variety of bronze (Vellodu) is often used for making the uruli and it has more alloy content of lead.
The odu is cast mostly in northern Kerala. Places like Payyannur and Kunhimangalam in Kannur, Irinjalakuda in Thrissur, Pallippuram in Palakkad - are all in the
northern regions and towards south Aranmula and Mannar in Alappuzha district have several bronze casting units.