By Swami Harshananda
Mukuṭa literally means ‘that which decorates the head’.
Significance of Mukuṭa
Mukuṭa is also spelt as ‘makuṭa’. It is headwear or crown. In iconographical works, almost all the images, whether of gods or semi-gods or demons or human beings, are shown with some kind of mukuṭa.
Classification of Mukuṭa
There are varieties of the same. Some of them are:
- Kirītamukuta - It is a crown, usually 16 to 24 aṅgulas in height and cylindrical or conical in shape with details like a diadem or a lotus or studded with gems. It is shown on the heads of male deities like Viṣṇu and also the emperors. Sometimes devi images too have them.
- Karandamukuta - It is shaped like a pot or a bulb, it is shown as adorning the major feminine deities and also kings. The lower part of this crown may be studded with precious stones.
- Jatāmukuta - Here, the matted hair is done up like a crown. This is generally shown in the images of Śiva, his attendants and sages. It is even common in some forms of the Devi.
- Śirastraka - In the images of yakṣas and the nāgas, a turban-like headgear, called śirastraka, is provided.
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore