--> Skip to main content

Darpana in Hindu Murtis and Sculptures

Darpana means a mirror. Darpana is not glass mirror. It is highly polished metal plates of various designs and they served the purpose of modern day mirrors. Darpana style mirrors are still made in South India especially at Aranmula in Kerala. There are also rare murtis of Hindu Gods that hold a darpana.

Even today, glass mirrors are not used in many temples in South India especially in Kerala. There are Darpana (speculum mirrors) as large as three feet by two feet. One can have darshan of the main murti in the temple through it.

In Hindu sculptures the darpana is in circular or oval form and is mounted on a well-wrought handle. The most famous sculpture with darpana is the Darpana Sundari (beauty with mirror) at the Chennakesava Temple at Belur in Karnataka.

Darpana sundari sculpture can be found in many temples in South India.