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The Quintessential Pooja Room

What are the ideal things to have in mind when designing your pooja room? What to do when you don’t have a devoted space for a mandir in your small flat? Modern or traditional, huge or humble - Here’s an essential guide to the quintessential pooja room. 

  • The pooja room must always be positioned facing north or east. North-east corner is the most sacred and favourable direction. 
  • The room should not be next to a bathroom or under the stairs. A pooja room should always be located in the ground floor of the house, never the basement. Upper floors must be avoided unless you’re living in apartments or flats.
  • Don’t keep the paintings of gods facing the main door of the house. 
  • Essentially, any item in the pooja room must bring about good vibrations. Carefully prune the area and keep it void of anything illustrating struggle or disorder. Do not hang any photos of the deceased in the pooja room. Other such unfavourable items include footwear, dried flowers, anything made of leather. Broken or chipped idols must be removed.
  • All the idols and paintings of the gods must be oriented along the same wall, so as to avoid them facing each other. Keep them an inch away from the wall.
  • Do not use the pooja room for common storage purposes.
  • Store the oil, agarbathis and other pooja items neatly in a drawer, along the south or west direction. Do not let dirt accumulate and clean the room periodically.
  • Try to have a pyramid arrangement in the pooja, as this maximizes the flow of positive vibrations and good energy. A cone-shaped altar top coated in gold would be the best, or it could be made of wood.
  • The ideal pooja room must have a threshold. A two-door shutter is a must, and should be made of wood.
  • The floor could be made of white marble.
  • The pooja utensils should be made of copper, a highly auspicious material
  • The lamp, agni, or deepam should be placed facing the south-east.

    Gold plated pictures bring a lot of good energy into the room. The cone-topped altar also acts as a harbinger for channeling positivity into the home, the same way a gold kalasam at the top of the temple does.

Gods & their significance

Since the idols of God are brought into the house, where a family resides - there are some thumb rules to be perceived - literally. If someone wants a shiva lingam in the house, it should be no bigger than the size of the thumb. It’s also commonly believed that the idols should be no bigger than 18 inches in size.  

The principal deity is kept in the centre, flanked by pictures of other gods.

The idols should never come into direct contact with the floor. A raised platform is recommended, at a height so that they align with the chest of the devotee.

The cardinal gods must be kept in the east, facing west - Vishnu, Brahma, Shiva, Surya, Indra, Murugan.

Ganesh and Durga must be placed in the north, facing south.

Hanuman alone must be placed specifically in the north-east, facing south west.