Hand Made Copper Bells of Nirona Kutch


“We can create different sounds based on how we hammer the Bell, so we must have in mind before we make the Bell on what kind of sound we want. There are different unique sounds for Cows , Buffalos, Camels, Sheep. " Old timers ofter refer to bells by their original names of Chota Paila, Paila Dingla, Do Dingla than the sizes. These names were local currency equalivants of Bells bought. Live Stock was once major occupation of Kutch. The Lohar community from Sindh (which is now in Pakistan) bought the craft to Kutch. Primarily used to identify herds by the Maldharis who were pastoral communities in the region, today it is a much celebrated art form thanks to the younger generation aiming to give it a new spin by creating different types of Wind Chimes, Xylophone, Jhumar etc. They make the Morchaang too, an indigenous musical instrument .

Today the tradition of making Bell runs in the family where they passionately learn from the start within the household which Huser Sidhik’s Grandson Faruk says “Hame to Haste Khelte aa jata hai”.

Originally there used to be just three different types of sounds - Sweet, Medium and Bitter. My grandfather, Husen Sidhik once thought why not experiment with sound, and hence after 6 months of listening to various tones that Bells create and honing the art of perfection came our very own Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Dha Ni Sa from Bells”

The artisans used waste iron such as from damaged cars, damaged iron plates etc and recycle them to make Copper Bells making it a recyclable and sustainable craft. To disintegrate Big waste iron plates, they put them into a kiln with the charcoal so that it breaks and they get the desired smooth surface to work on. For making Big Bells, they also sometimes get new raw iron pieces. Natural resources used for Copper Bell making are mud, wood of ‘Prosophis Julifera’(for the clapper) and water.

Talking of which, Faruk says that the melody of sound is such that anything can be created. He makes us listen to the soothing sound of chirping of birds by the bells. He further continues, once there was a client who had come to our shop. He had a very unique problem at his home. There were lot of monkeys who used to come to his garden. Frustrated , he asked do we have a sound to annoy them. I told him that this might help. He installed CCTV camera at his home just to see if this wind chime would work , if at all. The wind chime which I gave him creates 8 different sounds, and the Monkeys used to then run away for real He also has a CCTV footage.

He says that my grandfather just takes few minutes to make the Bell that requires no welding, just interlocking. We were stunned to see how quickly it all happened in front of our eyes. Talking of which, we told him , why does not he register him in Guinness World Record, to which he says, he does not know how to do that!

We insisted on taking a short tour of his own home. A rather sweet chap, Faruk has goals in front of his eyes and his words are convincing as his art is. Talking about his future plans he says, we are aiming global markets and have many folks asking for us. From Fairs in Santa Fe to making their own name by recognition of talent through various other avenues, we wish them all the best!

You can check their Facebook here
You can connect with Faruk at farukluhar5135@gmail.com
You can check my previous posts on Gujarat here
This is part of Fashion Trail of India, you can check my Fashion Trail posts here

The Villages of Nirona & Zura in Kutch are well known for the art of Bell Making. So next time, when Rann of Kutch is on your map, a sweet visit to the village of Nirona would take you deep down into the thriving art and craft form of the region. If you are hungry stop by Bavesh Tiffin Service, an initiative run by a couple serving home style buffet food in their home in Nirona :)

How to reach: Bhuj to Nirona is an hour's drive. We had rented an auto for a day from Bhuj. 

The village of Nirona has many interesting doors..

Piece of Iron.

Thin Copper Sheet..

Carving Copper

                                               Creating a bell within minutes without welding.

Huser Sidhik showing us how it is done! Watch my vlog link here

The crafted.

Bells, so precious, you'd want to take one back home..

And wind chimes with melodies and design.

And many..

And big bells for big bulls :P or to simply hang at your home like how KFC does at their restaurant. 

The Kiln at his home

I love how the home is all 'bells'

And utensils.

And a comb hanger like this!

Raw piece to work on.

1 comment

  1. Awesome Story.



Please introduce yourself here.