Among the southern States of India, Tamil Nadu is the primary center for bronze casting. The Stapathis (or artisans) claim to be direct descent from Vishwakarma, the divine architect in Hindu tradition.Panchaloha, a term for traditional five-metal alloys of sacred significance used for making Hindu temple idols (Murti). Making Panchaloha images was a well-kept secret for a long time. This ancient and traditional craft of bronze casting of icons reached its pinnacle under the Cholas; it is done by the lost wax method. In this method, the icon is first made in wax and three layers of clay applied on the wax model. Which is then allowed to dry and the clay coated mould is heated over an open ground oven. This forces the molten wax out through appropriate holes in the icons and then molten metal is poured into the mould. It is allowed to set. The mould is broken after a few days and the bronze icon emerges. Finally chiseling, detailing and polishing done.Notable places for best bronze artifacts are the old Chola Centers of Swamimalai, Madurai and Tiruchirapalli; where they strictly adhere to traditional Shilpa Shastra rules.