Thalampoo Kumkum : How Is it Made and Where To Buy It?
I remember the times I would sit down with my mother as a child, curious about the lengthy rituals that she would partake in while sitting in the pooja room. But, of course, I was not allowed to touch the pooja platter and all that it contained, only to silently observe the meticulous and lengthy rituals from a “safe” distance.
As I grew up, I was allowed to participate in the cleansing rituals, mostly restricted to wiping the washed idols as she patiently rubbed a piece of sandalwood against the grinding stone. The idols were then carefully adorned with dots of the fragrant paste, immediately followed by an equally fragrant kumkum to achieve the traditional decoration standards.
It was much later during my travels that I realised that Kumkum didn’t smell as fragrant as it did at home, and the varieties available in the markets were in unnatural shades of red and pink and very difficult to wash off after use. It took no time for me to revert to the natural alternatives from Madurai for all my uses!
The Importance Of Kumkum in The Hindu Culture
There is nothing as auspicious as the pinch of vermillion (Kumkum) that adorns the forehead of deities and devotees alike. The deep red is synonymous with rituals, respect, and devotion, making it an indispensable addition to every pooja thali in South-Asian homes.
Kumkum is much revered for its purity, divinity, and the auspicious touch it lends to all rituals in the Hindu culture. Our sastras recommend that we apply Kumkum for health, devotion, and spiritual bliss.
Offering Kumkum along with a flower or thamboolam is a long-standing tradition in Indian homes and is not only a mark of hospitality but of blessings.
How is Natural Kumkum Made?
Natural Kumkum is made with turmeric treated with slaked lime to achieve the deep red that we so adore. Turmeric root is dried and crushed to a fine powder, and a solution of slaked lime is added to it to set off a reaction that changes the colour from earthy yellow to a deep red.
This variety, however, is not to be confused with Kumkum made from saffron, which is often not used owing to how expensive it is. As with all rituals, the Vedic texts allow for turmeric to be used as an alternative to saffron derived Kumkum. Hence, the latter is more popular among the natural alternatives.
What Is Natural Thalampoo Kumkum and What Is It Made Of?
The temple town of Madurai has much to offer, and Thalampoo kumkum is one pooja item that is indispensable to our everyday rituals. The fragrant Thalampoo kumkum is made with one special natural ingredient- the screwpine flower.
Thalampoo kumkum is made with handpicked quality turmeric and natural ingredients that add not only to its fragrance but also to its deep colour. The well-known aroma of the Thalampoo kumkum comes forth when turmeric powder is blended with the extract of Thalampoo or the screwpine flower.
The screwpine flower is considered auspicious and is associated with Goddess Lakshmi and is also used when performing Archana to the female Shakti deities to bring abundant blessings.
How To Spot Natural Thalampoo Kumkum From Chemical alternatives?
One key identifying factor is the smell and the colour that Thalampoo kumkum leaves behind when rubbed between the fingers.
Natural Thalampoo kumkum that is made of turmeric leaves behind a yellow residue or stain on the fingers. This can also be observed on a white piece of paper for better observation.
On taking a whiff, the residue must also have a strong and earthy smell of turmeric and the screwpine flower.
Where Can You Buy Thalampoo Kumkum
You can buy authentic, natural Thalampoo kumkum at pooja stores in the temple town of Madurai. You can also conveniently buy authentic Thalampoo kumkum at the Ancient Madurai Studio or online on the Ancient Madurai Website!
Looking to buy Brass kum kum holders and Pooja items? Click here!
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Thalampoo Kumkum?
Thalampoo is a special kumkum made of natural ingredients with an added extract of the auspicious Thalampoo, or screw pine flower.
How Is Thalampoo Kumkum Made?
Thalampoo Kumkum is made with natural turmeric with the added extract of the auspicious Thalampoo, or screw pine flower.
What is Thalampoo In English?
Thalampoo is the Screw Pine Flower found in South Asian regions.
How To Use Thalampoo Kumkum?
Thalampoo Kumkum can be used for all purposes as regular kumkum, be it applying it to idols, using it during auspicious rituals or even applying it on the forehead.