For centuries, Hindu homes in India have had pooja rooms – a place for daily prayer, worship or meditation. Nowadays, with urban lifestyles favouring apartment living, often, a home does not have a separate room or sufficient space within its tiny layout for incorporating a pooja area.
Without a pooja space, an Indian home would be incomplete! Finding a nook or a corner for it in the living or dining areas doesn’t always work. However, with careful planning, it can be added to a small kitchen.
We’ve picked out 9 different options to give you some ideas on how to incorporate a pooja space in your kitchen.
A cabinet near the wall, with a carved door that sets it apart from the rest of the kitchen cabinets, can provide a space for pooja in the kitchen. The idols and accessories can be arranged on the shelves. The doors can be opened while performing pooja. At other times, the pooja space is behind closed doors to protect it from the smoke and grease.
If you have a free countertop, getting a custom built platform that rests against the wall serves well as a pooja space. The idols can be displayed on the platform, whereas the pooja items can be placed in the under-counter cabinets or drawers. Ensure that the space is at a distance from the stove so that it doesn’t get dirty with the residue of oil and smoke.
Some apartments come with a small pantry or store room attached. Instead of letting the space gather clutter by being used as a storage-shed, consider converting it into a pooja space. Build a door at the entrance to the pantry to keep the space private.
By working with your interior designer, you can incorporate a pooja unit into a corner of the kitchen to save space, like this custom-built unit that makes use of the dead space in the kitchen for a pooja area.
In this kitchen, the space at the entrance into the kitchen is converted to a pooja space by using a floating shelf with drawers underneath. The shelf is used for displaying the idols, while the pooja accessories can be stored away in the drawers. The addition of a colourful laminate in the background enhances the beauty of the space, besides presenting an easy wipe-clean option.
While designing your kitchen, allocate a column of shelves for the pooja space. Install a roll-down shutter to cover the shelves and keep the pooja area clean and private.
If you aren’t particular about having a large ledge with big idols, even a small hexagonal shelving unit that can accommodate tiny statues and pooja accessories can be fixed on an empty wall over the built-in countertop.
A wall niche, like this one, can be built in a quiet corner of the kitchen and used as the pooja space. Adding spotlights and a colourful background wall makes a pooja unit in a kitchen as stunning as any other option.
If there’s no space for a built-in unit, a small readymade mandir can be used as the pooja unit in the kitchen, like this gorgeous carved antique mandir unit in this home.
For more ideas on designing pooja rooms for your home, see this ideabook.