The sacred Tulsi worship in Manipur

The Northeast Dialogue

It is a custom to swab the area around the tulsi (Ocimum sanctum) plant in a circular manner daily (sometimes even twice or thrice a day). The tulsi is also a medicinal plant of great value.

Swabbing floor of the rooms and courtyards using mud and cow dung is common in Manipur state of North Eastern India. Manipuris have a specific way of building houses. A typical Manipuri house has a verendah called 'mangol' where the right side is reserved for the oldest member of the family or clan. Then, climbing down the 'dhhari' the edge of the 'mangol' there's the courtyard called shumang in Manipuri. Right in the middle of the shumang is a tulsi plant. These days, concrete courtyards have a well cemented and smoothened circular area around the tulsi plant. Daily worships of tulsi and the sun God are done in the western part of this circular area. 
A few yards to the east of the tulsi plant, there is a shed facing towards the house called 'mamang sang-goi', Mamang meaning east and sang-goi meaning shed. Mamang Sangoi is often referred to the nose of the house and every house without a shed in the east is considered incomplete.
Tulsi has occupied an important place among the Manipuri households.


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