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RE:urchava moorthies

From: Sriram Ranganathan (
Date: Sat Jan 12 2002 - 17:43:22 PST

Dear Sri Sreekanth//bhAgavatAs,

In most of the Sri Vaishnava temples you will find two types of idols. One
is fixed, generally referred as moola vigrahams or primary idols or simply
moolavar(s) in Tamizh, and are sculpted according to Vedic guidelines from
special stones. Fabulous as they are, many are thousands of years old and
are very divine, believed to have been provided by the Lord Himself to
fulfill His devotees' request. E.g. Tirupathi / Srirangam. The other type is
urchavars or urchava moorthies, are relatively smaller in size and as the
name indicates are meant to be taken around town in processions during
festivals and provide an opportunity for everyone to experience the Lord.
These are brilliant and wonderful icons usually made of five types of
materials - pancalOka - alloys of gold, silver, copper, brass, and bronze -
and are meticulously handcrafted by professionals per sAstras. What you are
referring to is this type.

During festivals they are skillfully decorated by experienced people to
depict a particular incarnation/form/situation using several custom made
design patterns made of accessories like stuffed and embroidered clothes,
life-sized objects (wood/metal), flowers etc. For e.g. kAlinganardana -
Young Lord Krishna dancing on the hood of the kAlinga snake or Garuda
Evai  - Sriman narAyan and His consort Sri Lakshmi on Lord's transport -
Eagle Chief - GarUda azhwAr.

A lot goes into this and is very much an art - bringing the images to life
and transporting us to real-life situations back when the events actually
happened. Hope this clarifies.

-----Original Message-----
From: sreekanth []
Sent: Friday, January 11, 2002 10:57 PM
Subject: (unknown)

dear all
 i have a doubt. i have seen many pictures in the
different websites. moorthies in different postures.
if we take srivilliputhoor as example. the same idol
is shown in different postures. ie sayanatirukkolam,
mohini alnkaram, palli konda kolam etc where the same
idol have got different leg and arm postures. how is
this made possible are these iods flexible


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