Is your home so small that you have no option but to have the pooja room in the kitchen? If so, you are not alone! Gone are the days when the pooja or mandir was a large room in the Brahmastan or the centre of the house. In modern houses and apartments with the limited space, it’s not uncommon to find the mandir in a corner of the kitchen.
According to Vastu Shastra, it is inauspicious to have the mandir in the kitchen, but you should look on the bright side! The effects of a pooja room inside the kitchen are not as bad as when it is in a bedroom or near a toilet, as per Vastu. However, pooja rooms are supposed to be filled with positive energy, which benefits you and your family every time you pray in it. By following certain practices, the ill-effects of having a pooja mandir in the kitchen can be eliminated. Follow these tips to make your mandir in the kitchen a meditative space with a positive ambiance.
In modern apartments with open-plan design, often the only free corner available for placing the pooja space is in the kitchen. If this is the case, arrange the pooja mandir in the northeast corner of the kitchen. The reason for this is that the north-east is the direction that gets the early morning sun, which helps to refresh the energy within the space.
However, as per mandir in kitchen Vastu, when you place the unit in the north east, you should ensure that there is nothing above it. Therefore, placing it on the kitchen counter under the wall cabinets is not an option. Additionally, don’t arrange the idols inside a built-in kitchen cabinet. Instead, place all pooja idols and images on a shelf on the wall or inside a small mandir.
Another factor to consider is the position of the stove in relation to the pooja in the kitchen. Vastu recommends that you place the mandir either left or right of the stove. Avoid having the stove opposite the pooja space, and never install the mandir above the stove or the kitchen sink as this brings bad luck.
You can consult a Vastu architect for advice on the ideal location for your pooja space in the kitchen.
Vastu guidelines are simple regarding the placement of idols or images of god. Since the north east is the best direction for the pooja in the kitchen, the mandir should be placed in the north east, east or west walls. The reason for this is that the morning sun bathes the wall from the northeast or the east, while the evening sun comes in from the west to refresh the energy in the space. Avoid placing the idols in the south.
Besides this, the level at which you place the idols is important from a functional perspective. In a kitchen, you are unlikely to sit when you offer prayers, so arrange the idols at a height above your stomach and not higher than the eye-level when you stand. This ensures that you pray comfortably and can focus your attention on the idols.
Get more Vastu tips for your kitchen.
As we mentioned earlier, it’s best not to include the pooja area into an existing kitchen cabinet. Use a wooden mandir that can be fixed on the wall or a marble mandir, which rests on a kitchen counter with no cabinets above it.
You can find small pooja cabinet designs in various price ranges, starting from INR 2000 for a tiny wooden one. When you buy a mandir, ensure that it is well finished and does not have any cracks or dents. Additionally, it’s better to have a double-door design, not only for Vastu but also because it is more functional. This is because pooja doors should open outwards, and a single door, when opened, would take up more space and obstruct movement inside the kitchen.
Try to choose a pooja shelf design that includes a couple of drawers at the bottom where you can store wicks for the lamp, camphor, incense sticks, match box and other pooja accessories, so that everything is neatly organized and within reach.
Ideally, an open space allows energy to flow freely through it, which is the reason that Vastu recommends arranging the idols on a shelf on the wall with at least an inch between the idol and the wall. However, an open design means that the pooja space within the kitchen should be kept spotless always so that the negative energy doesn’t permeate the mandir. The trash bin should be emptied daily, and the counters wiped down or scrubbed regularly to keep the kitchen clean.
Another factor that worries homeowners who cook non-vegetarian food in the kitchen is whether this will affect the positive energy in the mandir. While meat is considered inauspicious, which is the reason you never find it in a temple, most modern Vastu consultants follow a practical approach for resolving the negativity that it brings into the pooja room in the kitchen. Usually, they advise closing the doors of the pooja room when non-vegetarian food is being cooked in the kitchen. Alternatively, if you have the pooja idols arranged on an open shelf, you can design a curtain that can be drawn to shield the images from the negative energy of the meat.
Brightness is essential for increasing the positive energy in any space, and since pooja rooms need plenty of it, the ideal colours for the area are light yellow, white or light blue, since these shades reflect light and make the area look well-illuminated. Therefore, in a kitchen, try to place the mandir against a white or light-toned wall. If your kitchen walls have a brighter colour scheme, try to paint the background wall of the mandir in a lighter shade. If this is impossible, choose one of the small pooja cabinet designs in marble so that the pure white material adds spirituality to the space.
Like with pooja spaces in any other part of the house, certain Vastu guidelines are common across areas.
- Avoid placing damaged or broken idols in the mandir. The same goes for old idols brought from temples.
- Ensure that you arrange the idols in such as a way that they don’t face each other.
- Get rid of clutter by giving away duplicate idols.
- Keep the dustbin or trash can as far away as possible from the mandir in the kitchen.
If you live in a small house or apartment and are unsure of where to place the pooja in your kitchen or can’t decide on the design of the mandir that is most suitable for the space, ask your interior designer for advice.