Pooja stands for prayer in Hindi and most Hindu houses have either a separate room or a separate small corner for this purpose. The need for this corner is such that the builders and developers leave a dedicated Pooja space in almost all the houses and flats that they construct. According to Vastu Shastra (or the “science of construction or architecture”) a Pooja room should ideally be located in the northeast corner of the house. This location of a Pooja Ghar (or a prayer room) is said to bring peace and prosperity to the house. Many other conditions also govern the placement of a Pooja room in a household. A Pooja room located under a staircase or adjacent to a toilet or a kitchen is said to bring bad luck to the house. With so many rules governing it, a Pooja room is definitely an important part of the house and since it is a room that you would visit daily, it becomes important to pay attention to its décor. The fact that you go in looking for peace makes it all the more important to ensure that the Pooja room décor is pleasant and sober enough.
Decorating A Pooja Room
Pooja Room Placement
As mentioned above, a Pooja room is best placed in the east, north or northeast directions of a house. It shouldn’t be adjacent to a kitchen or a toilet and must not be located in a bedroom at any cost. The idols and deities in the Pooja room must be placed facing either east or west as, according to Indian traditions, praying facing south or north is considered inauspicious. The Pooja room lamp, a must in Indian prayer room décor, must be placed facing the deities while the materials used for doing the Pooja, or prayer, must be placed in the southeast direction of the room.
As is obvious, a Pooja room is a place to pray, meditate and reflect upon one’s actions and thoughts. This can be seen as a personal confession room whose peace and quiet enable and encourage your dialogue with your inner self and the divine power. Associated with such spiritualism, a Pooja room calls for basic, light colours such as the auspicious light orange, white or even baby shades of blue and pink with the main idea being to stay focused on introspection.
A Pooja room can be decorated in many themes such as the rustic India theme comprising predominantly of woodwork, orange backgrounds and elaborate and colourful floral arrangements. Another theme can be the glass theme which works best if there are too many idols. In such a case, stylish glass shelves with gold or silver borders/patterns can be mounted on wall corners and the idols can be arranged in any desired manner. This theme also extends to glass Pooja thalis (or Aarti plates), glass incense holders and even glass handheld temple bells.
Pooja Room Idols & Mandap
The next thing that makes this room real would be the idols of the deities that you believe in. Although simplicity is a major factor to be kept in mind here, choosing an auspicious looking idol made of bronze or beautifully carved clay would make it that much easier for you to relate to the purpose of the room. The next step is getting the right Mandap. A mandap is the small platform or a room-like structure that houses all the idols in a Pooja room. While selecting the mandap, make sure that it not only matches the look of the idols and the room on the whole but is also sturdy and big enough to hold the idols without looking or getting too constricted and cluttered. Mandaps can be wooden or made of metals like gold, silver, bronze etc.
Pooja Lamps & Incense Stick Holders
The Pooja lamp represents the light within us and depicts our soul which is believed to be a tiny part of the divine power. This small lamp is lit along with camphor and incense sticks and is the chief offering made to the idols. Traditionally, Pooja lamps are made of brass and silver in various shapes, designs and sizes etc. but now huge varieties of clay lamps and other metallic lamps are also available to suit individual preferences. Incense is another important offering that is made to the gods and incense stick holders are available in a variety of shapes, sizes and materials. You can change the incense holders depending upon the occasion and change the look of your pooja room.
No matter what items you are using in your Pooja room ensure that the décor is such that it brings a certain amount of peace to whoever visits the room. A good idea would be to keep the room clutter free and shining clean at all times to avoid distractions.