Pooja mandapam decoration Puja mandap

Whether it is Gokulashtami , Vinayaka Chaturthi or Varalakshmi Nombu ( Vratha ) there is a tradition of placing the idols in a mandap and decorating the mandapam ( as we say in Tamil ) .  We can have a blend of traditional and new and unique ideas too for decorating the mantap.  

First the modern methods of decoration.  I have made a Hridaya kamalam or Lakshmi Hrudaya rangoli and a rangoli border using OHP sheet , glass colours, 3D glitter and decorative trinkets.  These two can be placed before the mantap for decoration.

A close up of the Pooja in progress
We can use OHP to decorate the top of the mandapam also.  I have an old mandapam made from rose that is being used in our family for various festivals.  Old is gold , as they say , so we are using this mantap for Krishna Jayanthi, Pillaiyar Chaturthi and Varalakshmi Nombu.

I use a combination of kaavi or geru and lime stone giving alternate white and kaavi colours to the mantap , this probably because of the influence of Tamil Nadu culture where we have temple walls decorated with white and geru colours.

On both sides we have vazhai kannu and mango leaves and the traditional thoranam  made from coconut fronds.

After all the natural decoration we can have some serial lights made from LEDs for some artificial decoration too.


On the base of the mantap , we draw the Hridaya kamalam or Aishwarya kolam  and then place a nuni ilai ( banana leaf ) and have rice on it.  On this is seated the idol or kalash depending upon the festival.


We can have some simple kolam also for the manai or for the base of the mantap as shown in the picture below.  However kaavi is a must and is included in all festival decoration



Kaavi powder is available in many shops .  We take some in a spoon and mix a little water.  Few decades back we used the coconut fibres to draw the kaavi and it was art to get thin lines with coconut fibres and that also needed some practice.  Nowadays we use cotton buds to draw lines of kaavi.
The image below shows Aishwarya kolam being drawn on the mantap base before placing the leaf.

If we live in countries where we do not get mango leaves and banana plant we can have replicas instead.  I have shown very old ones made from brass .




The same decoration idea can be used for Gowri Puja or Gowri Ganesh festival also.  Some call it Swarna Gowri Vratha or Gowri Theej.  My mother-in-law used called Hartalika Puja
Beautiful Kolam before the Puja mandapam
Traditional rangoli designs for Poojaa Mandir
Also for festivals like Sri Krishna Jayanthi
Rangoli for Pooja room or Pooja ghar - traditional padi kolam
Padi kolam for Pooja nearing completion
Poojai arai kolam is ready
The step by step procedure is given in the pics above.  Such rich patterns can be created for important festivals .  There is a tradition of decorating the front portion of  the Puja mandapam with a traditional or free hand rangoli.  Decorate with wet kaavi paste .

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