His Dindigul locks secure Tirupati temple doors

A. Murugesan making locks at his unit at Nochiyodaipatti near Dindigul.

A. Murugesan making locks at his unit at Nochiyodaipatti near Dindigul.

A. Murugesan, 54, in his rugged outfit at Nochiyodaipatti near Dindigul is deeply engrossed in perfecting the edges of a 20 x 16 lock when he greeted us in his workspace in front of his house.

This skilled lock maker, who has 44 years of experience, says he can make up to 150 different sizes of locks. His locks safeguard jewellery shops, pawnshops, houses and well known temples around the State too.

The first ever lock he had made for a temple was a two-feet big lock for Sri Abirami Amman Temple in Dindigul 15 years back. His biggest ever temple lock weighed 40 kg commissioned for Parimala Ranganathar Temple in Mayiladuthurai, he says.

He delivered a ‘mango lock’ of 12 inches, weighing 10 kg, a commissioned order for Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD), 15 days back. It took him five hours of heavy work for three days and a ticking brain to make it single-handedly.

The keys weigh 1 kg each. They should be made separately, if lost. He say no key of his will fit in any other lock except its original pair. He made 20 locks for his first commissioned order for TTD in 2013 which he can identify whenever he visits the temple.

His locks adorn temple doors at Meenakshi Amman Temple in Madurai, Sri Soundararaja Perumal Temple at Thadikombu and Shivan Temple in Melur among others.

His locks had crossed seas in 2012 but he cannot remember the temple in Singapore where his lock has been fixed. “It must be a Kali temple,” he says. He has made locks for doors on windmills which were sent to Switzerland.

Mr. Murugesan’s attachment to locks began at the age of 10. He was confident enough to start off on his own at the age of 18 after learning the know-how and skills from his gurus Periyasamy and Perumal whom he fondly remembers.

“Though I worked in a few places, making those small 2.5 inch locks for drawers, it did not satisfy my appetite. Once I moved out, I felt happy and creative in my own space, alone in my den,” he says.

“Machine-made locks break apart even with a stone’s hit but mine is guaranteed to withstand for generations together - the power of handmade,” he says.

His abode does not sport any fancy name boards. When asked about it, he says, “I am happy with my loyal customers and stick to a limited number of orders to work on at a time” he says.

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Printable version | May 31, 2022 12:11:10 am |