Balalayam – What is Balaalayam in the Kumbhabhishekam ceremony?



Balayalam is a miniature temporary structure erected during the renovation and Kumbhabhishekam ceremony in a Hindu Temple. The divine presence of the main deity in temple is transferred from the murti worshipped to a Kalasha. This Kalasha is place atop the Balalayam. ‘Baala’ means mini and ‘Aalaya’ means temple or structure in Sanskrit.

During the Jeernodharana (renovation period) of a temple, the divine presence of the Murtis is transferred to the holy waters contained in the Kalasha (pot). Pooja is done to these Kalashas and Ustava deities (the small murtis of the main murti of the temple that are used during processions).

The Kalashas remain in a miniature structure known as Balalayam. During this time the devotees will not be able to see or do poojas to the moola vigrahas or murtis worshipped in a temple. The scheduled poojas will be done only to Utsava deities.

The divine presence of the temple deity will in the Kalashas atop Balalayam until it is transferred back to the Moola vigrahas or the main murti. Scheduled Poojas to Moola vigrahas will start only on the Kumbhabhishekam day.