Pooja Mantapa - A dedicated space for the divine..

Pooja Mantapa - A dedicated space for the divine..

Hindu Temple architecture has been developed to emulate a confluence of the arts, dharmic ideals, moral principles and the vedic way of life. Traditionally a Mantap or Mandapam signifies a pillared structure with distinctive Hindu Temple architecture and symbols.

A pooja mandap (ceremonial pavilion) features an inner sanctum or the garba-griha (womb chamber) where the deity presides. The outer sanctum contains a vimana, a tower-like structure covered with symbolic carvings.

The modern pooja mantapa has been adapted to house deities and idols within individual homes and are predominantly crafted with precious wood varieties. Vastu Shastra (Vedic Architecture Principles) considers Sheesham wood and Rosewood as auspicious. which are used with impeccable carvings reflecting Hindu temple artworks.

The exquisite woodwork mirrors inspirations from vedic temple architecture and is filled with Hindu symbols and revered objects. House mantapas can also be made of stone such as granite that is used for ornate traditional temple carvings.

A pooja mandap is a special gathering place for the family or devotees who can come together and pray in unison, especially on special occasions to ceremoniously worship the divine and seek blessings. A home temple also serves as an object to aspire as a rite of passage from one generation to the other. It enables elders to instill religious values, morals and traditions in youngsters.

In a Hindu temple, all the cosmic elements that give birth to and celebrate life - fire, water, earth and other depictions of the divine are symbolically shown. Also represented are the fleeting sounds of bells, incense smells are blended in with Purusha—the eternal nothingness that is the universe.

In temples, mandapas often lie between the sanctuary and the temple entrance. In a large temple other mandapas may be placed to the sides, or detached within the temple compound.

The four pillars of a Mantapa symbolize the four stages of life as per the Hindu Vedas – Brahmacharya, Grihastha, Vanaprastha and Sanyasa. Furthermore, the pillars also signify the four important aspects of a human life – Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha.

There are primarily two styles of temple architecture - Nagara in northern India and Dravidian in the south. There is also a third style, the Vesara Style, which is a fusion of the Nagara and Dravidian styles of architecture. In South India, a pillared hall or porch in a Hindu temple - that may be attached or detached from the building - is called a mandapam.

The shape and significance of the architectural components of a Hindu temple are intended to serve as the site where man and the divine connect, facilitating man's advancement toward spiritual knowledge and truth—what Hindus refer to as moksha—and his emancipation.

Mandapas at home serve the purpose of a dedicated space for divinity. It honors and houses depictions of deities, exalted spiritual masters and ancestors. A mandapa is an enduring symbol of vedic spirituality..