Utsava Murti Procession
Hindu temples will have sacred images of Gods and Goddesses.
In Sanskrit these sacred images are called murtis,
which literally means, “forms or shapes.” In
general, Hindus worship through the help of these murtis whether in temples or in private homes.
In temples two kinds of sacred images can be found: chala murtis and
The word “chala” means “movable” and “achala” means “immovable.” The achala murti is
the sacred image, usually made of stone, that is permanently
installed in the temple. Such images are generally between
three and five feet in height and are cemented into place.
The chala murti,
on the other hand, is a small sacred image that can easily
be moved by priests. Chala murtis are
generally made of metal and are between one and two feet
in size and they can usually been seen on an altar standing
in front of or to the side of the achala murti.
Another more common name used to describe the movable or
chala murti is
Utsava Murti. “Utsava” means festival, so the
Utsava Murti is the “festival murti” so
called because it can be easily moved around for festival
purposes that include processions, bathing ceremonies and other sacred marriage ceremonies (see kalyana).