Pooja room Torana with Srivaishnava banner


Hello Friends,

It has been a busy time in summer with my sister and her family visiting from the USA.  But I did manage to create this torana for our pooja room, which was a long-time wish of mine. If my readers recollect, I had earlier made two circular pillows for the festivities with the sacred symbols of Conch-the "Panchajanya Shankha" and the Discus - the "Sudarshana Chakra" of Lord Vishnu. Do click on this link to read this post.

I wanted to stitch a torana for the pooja room doorway with the complete set of symbols used in our Mandayam Iyengar community rituals.  
This is the traditional banner with the symbol set consisting of Lord Vishnu's Thiruman and Sricharanam in the center, flanked by the Shankha and Chakra on either sides and finally the celestial bird Garuda and Loyal Hanuman at the ends, all mounted on lotus pedestals.

1. I first made an enlarged photocopy of the banner design to measure 10 cm tall. 
2.  I then cut out a large piece of carton (from an old TV carton) measuring  16 cmx70cm for the back support of the torana. One could also use thicker cardboard for this purpose.
 
3.  I then cut out a long strip of fine velvet in maroon color which was larger than the carton back piece, i.e. 18cmx74cm so that it can finally be wrapped behind. and secured.
4.  Marking the center of the velvet strip, I traced out the banner outlines with white colored carbon paper.
5.  The next steps were to embroider each of the motifs in the banner individually, using various sizes and shapes of beads and pearls in just two colors i.e. gold and pearl white.  
6.  I started out with the central motif of the holy Thiruman and Sricharanam and then added the weapons and finally the Garuda and Hanuman.
7.   I added a pair of flowers in between the motifs and also a pair of traditional mango motifs at each end to further stylize the banner.
Here are closeups of the motifs..
The Holy Thiruman and Sricharanam mounted
on a lotus pedestal
The Holy Sudarshan Chakra
The Holy Panchajanya conch


The loyal devotee Hanuman/Anjaneya
A small flower in between
The Celestial bird Garuda holding a fan
A traditional mango
motif at either end


The finished banner

 8.  Then came the task of adding a gold lace border of 2 cm width to all the 4 edges,  in order to highlight the entire banner and give it a royal finish.

9.  The penultimate step was to pull the edges of the velvet fabric onto the carton back piece and secure it with a series of zig zag stitches using thick black thread.




 10.  To finish it, I cleaned up and wrapped the entire banner in a clear polythene sheet generally used to wrap flower bouquets. I then glued on a long piece of thick gold string on the backside to be able to hang it over the doorway.  Here is the finished banner before mounting..
Please let me know, if you found this tutorial interesting and informative enough.  And do share similar photos and your comments/suggestions!
 

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