From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia
Revision as of 16:03, 15 December 2016 by (Links to existing pages added by LinkTitles bot.)

(diff) ← Older revision | Latest revision (diff) | Newer revision → (diff)

By Swami Harshananda

Sometimes transliterated as: Asta-dhatus, ASTa-dhAtus, Ashta-dhaatus

Aṣṭa-dhātus literally means ‘eight metals’.

In temples, the original icon in the garbhagṛha or sanctum sanctorum, called ‘dhruvabera’ is generally made of stone and is permanently fixed. As the temple rituals evolved into elaborate proportions, the need for a subsidiary image, a replica or a representative of the original, also arose. It was this image made of Aṣṭa-dhātus that was taken out in procession on festival days. Hence it was called ‘utsavamurti’ or ‘procession-image.’

These images were made of ‘aṣṭadhātus’ or 'aṣtalohas' i.e. eight metals viz.,

  1. Gold
  2. Silver
  3. Iron
  4. Tin
  5. Lead
  6. Copper
  7. Zinc
  8. Mercury (or brass).


  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore