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What are the five metals of panchalogam

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Q. Dear Reader, sir I'd really like to know what is Panchalogam. Some people say it is mixture of five metals. Ok what are the five metals? What is the proportion to be mixed. Please tell me also the history of panchalogam. Please answer my doubt. Thank you.

K. Manivannan
- Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India


First of two simultaneous responses -- +++

A. Panchalogam is a bronze alloy of 5 metals used since ancient times in India for Hindu and other statuary items. I don't have the composition, but am sure that the following reference does. My guess: copper, tin, zinc, lead and? (maybe silver).

"Indexing of antique bronzes for future identification" by P. Chandra Sekharan, Tamil Nadu Forensic Science Laboratory, 30-A, Kamarajar Salai, Mylapore, Madras-600 004, India, in TrAC Trends in Analytical Chemistry, Vol. 6, Issue 8, September 1987, Pages IV-VI, © 1987 Elsevier Science B.V. "India, and in particular the state of Tamil Nadu, has an outstanding collection of antique idols made of..." A download is available for about $30 at www.sciencedirect.com

Ken Vlach
- Goleta, California  

Ken received a special
"Contributor of the Year" award
from finishing.com for his numerous
helpful and well researched responses

Second of two simultaneous responses -- +++

A. The term is part of the Hindu religion. I found many references to it on the web, but every reference just says "an alloy of five metals". Couldn't find out whether it's a generic term that applies to any alloy that happens to be of 5 metals irrespective of what they are, or whether it refers to 5 specific metals. Any readers sufficiently clued up on Hinduism to help?

Bill Reynolds
   consultant metallurgist
Ballarat, Victoria, Australia

It is this website's profoundly sad
duty to relate the news that Bill
passed away on Jan. 29, 2010.


+++

A. Panchalogam - Pancha - Five; logam - metal. This becomes a generic term when five metals are mixed together (but specifically Cu, Sn, Pb, Ag, Zn were mostly used in specific proportions).

Panchalogam Idols are widely found in Tamilnadu, a southern state of India. Historically, most of the idols in ancient temples were made of panchalogam. I am not sure why they used it and I don't know whether it possesses any specific properties, but statues and idols of god were made out of this alloy... and sometimes the utensils used during worship

Tamilnadu happened to be the place because of the concentration of temples over there due to some reason. Taminadu has been the place where you can find as many temples as possible, and ancient too. I have heard that the workability with panchalogam for making idols are good and most of the panchalogam idols are still found buried under earth. They surface when someone digs up for foundations (those idols which slip Government notice are smuggled all over the world, especially to western countries and have very high value in the black market). They are very ancient but still intact.

There are other things used for making idols of god, like they call it: Navabashanom meaning: nava - nine; bashanom - poison -- made out of nine poisons. But when mixed together they become a very good medicine, and no one knows the composition now. It is said that the sages (the sages were called "Siddhars") made this from poisonous herbs and no one can replicate the things now written in those books as it is very hard to interpret the language used and it is also written in such a tricky manner that it was very hard to decode. Many of the books (written on palm leaf) by the siddhars were stolen or missing and it's now hard to find these stuffs in Tamilnadu too. There are still some specialized workers on panchalogam, and it follows family tradition and is kept as a secret within the family. But for specific details complete research can be done on this subject, and there are research materials available in the universities of Tamilnadu about this subject.

Good luck on your search for panchalogam.

Karthik Thambidurai
electronic components - Norwood, Massachusetts


February 9, 2011

Q. Well, everyone knows that Panchalogam is an alloy of 5 metals.
But does it constitute Gold?
Some say yes, some say No.
Can anyone of you confirm if Panchalogam constitutes Gold or not?

Sangeetha G
Archaeologist - Chennai, TamilNadu, India

[identical question copied and pasted by]

Karigalan sellaiyah
- malaysia, petaling jaya

July 15, 2011

A. No, of course not, cousins. Gold atoms have 79 protons. No other atoms do.

Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Brick, New Jersey


March 1, 2012

A. The five metals are: gold silver bronze copper and iron. I would know because I am a Hindu priest.

P May
- Toronto, Ontario, Canada


December 4, 2012

A. The five metals are gold, silver, copper, lead, zinc also.

K. Uvaraj
- Chennai, Tamilnadu, India


February 14, 2013 -- this entry appended to this thread by editor in lieu of spawning a duplicative thread

Q. What are the five metals of panchalogam?

Sankar Murugan
interest about metal - Tirunelveli, Tamilnadu,Iindia

January 16, 2014

A. Bronze is not a part of panchlogam. Bronze itself is an alloy of copper and tin. Only base metals are there in panchlogam. They are gold, silver, copper, iron and lead.

Sadasivan Pillai
Private - Mumbai, India

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