The Mandir


Mandir Design

Many UK Mandirs are conversions. However Mandirs built to tradition Indian designs will contain the following features.

  • A pyramid shaped roof (shikhara) to symbolise the Himalayas where the deities live.
  • A porch facing the rising sun.
  • Steps leading to the shrine (shoes may be left here).
  • A prayer room.
  • A shrine room (vimana) where the murtis can be found.
  • A bell to ring to attract the deities attention.

Objects found in the Mandir

The following objects can be found in the Mandir: 

  • Murtis to represent the deities.
  • Bells to attract the deity’s attention.
  • Coconuts to represent Ganesha.
  • Arti trays for arti ceremonies.
  • Offerings of fruit, flowers and money.
  • Fans to show that murtis are treated with respect.
  • Musical instruments for bhajans – religious songs.




Puja is an act of devotion which can be carried out at home or in the Mandir.

A puja tray is used. It holds:

  • A bell which is rung to let the deity know the worshipper is ready to worship them.
  • Incense to carry the prayers to the deity.
  • Water, flowers & fruit to offer to the deity.
  • A spoon to be used to offer the water.
  • A diva lamp
  • A container of kum kum which is placed on the forehead of the deity.


  • At an Arti ceremony an arti tray holding 5 flames is circled before the worshipper.
  • They circle their hand over the tray and then over their head to receive the deity’s blessing.
  • The five flames represent the 5 elements- wind; air; water; fire; earth.


  • Havan is a sacred fire which is burned to worship the god of fire – Agni.
  • A metal container is filled with wood.
  • The fire is lit.
  • Ghee, incense & rice are sprinkled over the flames.
  • Prayers and hymns are chanted.
  • The havan could be used to bless & purify a new home.
  • The worshippers receive the ashes from the fire.


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