Dindigul Locks

Keep calm and lock the door

Lalit Bhatt
Lalit Bhatt

Dindigul city is also known as Lock city. Dindigul sturdy and reliable locks have been protecting homes and businesses in India and beyond for centuries. Let’s  delve into the history, design, and production of these remarkable locks, as well as the community of artisans who dedicate their lives to creating them. Dindigul lock has received the Geographical Indication (GI) tag in 2019.

Dindigul Lock

Located in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, the city of Dindigul has been synonymous with lock making since the early 19th century. The origin of Dindigul locks dates back to the reign of King Muthu Ramalinga Thevar, who recognized the potential of this unique craft and encouraged local locksmiths to perfect their skills.

Traditionally, Dindigul locks were made of brass, iron, and other metals to ensure durability and strength. The craft has been passed down through generations, and the current artisans continue to preserve the traditional methods and techniques that have made Dindigul locks famous.

What sets Dindigul locks apart from other locks is their intricate craftsmanship and attention to detail. Each lock is meticulously handcrafted by skilled artisans, who can spend days creating a single lock. Some of the key features of these locks include:

  1. Complex internal mechanisms: Dindigul locks are known for their intricate and sophisticated internal mechanisms, which make them difficult to pick or tamper with. These mechanisms often include a series of levers, springs, and bolts that work in tandem to provide robust security.
  2. Customizable designs: The locks can be tailored to suit specific requirements or preferences, with artisans offering various designs, sizes, and materials to choose from.
  3. Durability: Dindigul locks are built to last, with the use of high-quality materials and expert craftsmanship ensuring that they remain functional and secure for years.
  4. Aesthetic appeal: The exterior of Dindigul locks often features intricate engravings and patterns, making them not just functional security devices but also beautiful works of art.

A typical Dindigul lock is a rectangular metal lock made of brass or iron. The lock body has an antique finish, with intricate engravings and patterns adorning the surface. The keyhole is situated at the center of the bottom edge, covered by a small, hinged metal flap. The shackle, which is usually made of iron or brass, arches over the top of the lock and has a cutout on one side to accommodate the locking mechanism.

The key itself is long and slender, with a large circular bow at the end for easy handling. The key’s blade features a series of notches and grooves that correspond to the internal levers of the lock.

The Locksmiths of Dindigul: The community of artisans responsible for creating Dindigul locks is known as the Kammalar or Vishwakarma community. These craftsmen have dedicated their lives to preserving and perfecting the art of lock making, with many learning the craft from their parents or grandparents.

In recent years, the demand for Dindigul locks has diminished due to the rise of mass-produced locks and advanced security systems. However, a growing appreciation for traditional craftsmanship and the unique security features of Dindigul locks has led to renewed interest in this artisanal trade.