Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Tulsi Vrindavan | Goan Hindu Architecture

A visit to most Hindu houses in goa will lead you to see a Tulsi Vrindavan setup at the main entrance or in the rajangan of the house. In the early days Tulsi Vrindavan was made of terracotta and later of mud but today these are beign built of cement. Designs however have remained almost the same and traditional designs have been maintained including the use of bright colours.
Tulsi Vrindavan
Tulsi or tulas is the basil plant (ocimum sanctum) sacred to all Hindus and is grown in homes and temples. Tulsi is sacred to Vishnu or to his consort Lakshmi, and is worshiped as a deity. Many regard it as a metamorphosis of Sita, wife of Rama; others identify this plant with Rukmini, wife of Krishna, while still others hold it as an embodiment of all deities together. Tulsi Lagna or Tulshi Vivah marks the end of Diwali. Called “Vhadli Diwali” in Goa it is one of the most important festivals of the state. No marriage ceremony will be held among Goan Hindus before Tulsi Lagna as it does not enjoy religious sanction.

Most of the big houses have a courtyard called as Rajangan with a Tulasi Vrindavan in the middle. The Rajangan or just Angan was a large space with internal court open to the sky; roofs from all sides of the house drained into it.

This makes the installation of a Tulsi Vrindavan in a hindu house ever more important as this is where Tulsi Lagna is celebrated. Also most other sacred practices and relogious functions also require that the Tulsi leaves from the houses Tulsi Vrindavan are offered to the Goa