The bell-metal industry of Assam is the second-largest handicraft sector after bamboo craft. Bell-metal is an alloy of copper and tin and the craftsmen of this industry are referred to as ‘Kahar’ or ‘Orja’. The objects made are mostly used in domestic and religious purposes.
The tradition is believed to have started ages back and the craftsmen still prepare the objects manually adhering to the age-old technique by implementing the old tools required for burning and shaping the metal. Historically, this craft form dates back to the 7th century AD. Various written records reveal that the bell metal industry of Assam existed from the time of Kumarbhaskarvarman, the king of the Varman Dynasty, when, the Kumar of eastern India gifted drinking vessels to Harshavardhana of Kannauj.