Kerala Vasthushastra – Common doubts cleared

Kerala Vasthushastra has gained prominence in the recent times. Nowadays while planning a home and preparing its plan, people are keen about including Vasthu rules for home construction. Many firmly believe that only homes made according to Vasthushatra principles will bring health, peace and prosperity of family members living in the house. Through this column I would like to clear a few of very common doubts related to Kerala Vasthu Shastra. Also read: Kerala Vasthu principles for good sleep.

1. Things to be noted while building steps to enter the home

Number of steps should always be an even number. Height of each step should never exceed 15 cm. Also, each step should have at least 27 cm width.

2. According to Vasthu, is it necessary that we should build boundary around our home/plot?

Position of each house is based on its ‘Vasthu Mandalam’ – the central point of Vasthu. So Vasthu Mandalam should be restricted within our boundary. It’s the biggest square inside a property where the house is constructed. If you want to enjoy its full benefits you should construct a boundary around it. If it’s not possible to build a big wall around it now, a small fence to separate the property from the rest of the land is enough. It helps to easily distinguish it from other plots.

3. What’s the position of Kanni room in a home?

Kanni room is the most special room of a house and normally it’s used for pooja purposes. Given a divine value, this room should be kept clean and tidy always to bring prosperity to your home. As per vasthu, this room should be of equal or slightly elevated level comparing other rooms. According to land structure, if it happens to appear in a low elevated level, increase its ground surface level and make it equal with other rooms.

4. Is square the best shape of your home?

Yes, rectangle and square are the best shapes for building homes based on Vasthu. Projected corners and edged structures never suit a home.

5. What material is good for building doors and windows?

Of course, wood as per Vasthu shastra. Now it’s the time of processed wood and steel doors. Though they are cheap and durable, they never give you the comfort of homes with wooden doors and windows.

6. Can we build pooja room in Sreekovil/temple model? As per Vasthu, is there any problem?

Vasthu Shastra doesn’t support the construction of pooja room (place for worship) in temple model. Pooja room of our home is a place for prayers and meditation. It needs a place where we get concentration. To symbolize god/goddess, we can place photo and lamp.

7. As per Vasthusastra, what are the things to be noted while starting the basement work?

In Kerala custom and traditions, a pit is made first and first stone is placed inside it. It is done either at south-west corner or at 10th Rasi. But according to Vasthusastra, the first stone is to be placed in the ground level or above, not below it. Yet there is no change in location or direction (as given above).

8. What are the things to be noted while fixing front door of a house?

The main door with ‘Kattila’ (small block at lower end) is best as per Vasthu. Even while fixing door as per home design, fix the door at a little towards left from the centre of house. But it should never come in same line with the main door of opposite house. Wood can be from used from coconut tree, jackfruit tree or any other of your choice. But use any one type of wood only. The layers of wood (palaka) used for the construction of main door should be an odd number.

9. Can we use concrete ‘Kattila’ (small block at lower end) instead of wood for doors and windows?

We can substitute wood with concrete in constructions. But wooden kattila is durable comparing with concrete, and has longevity. Aluminium is better than concrete, though it’s bit expensive comparing with concrete.

10. When we construct home as per Kerala tradition, can we build Padippura (a traditional arched gateway of Kerala architecture) at southern side as per Vasthu?

traditional kerala home

Each direction has specific Vasthu mandalam, and Padippura is constructed according to it. If it’s constructed in southern side, it’s done only in a simple style. Not only that, it’s not decorated as well.

11. While constructing home, position of bedroom’s door was changed not as per early plan. Architect suggested giving a window exactly in the same place of door (as in original plan). This window now opens to living room. Is it needed?

In normal cases, it looks weird to place windows in bedroom facing living room. When a home plan is drawn as per Vasthu principles, such a case never happens. But when you change the door position, that particular space should not be closed using a wall. A small opening can be done. That’s why window is suggested. A thin or transparent surface can be built instead of a window with open doors. Cooling glass (glass with film) can also be used for this window. As window is not opened, it won’t affect privacy.

12. Can we construct a house exactly in the same place where a well once existed? Or can we level the space which earlier had a well and then use it for home construction?

As per Vasthu, there is no issue. As there was a well dig earlier, it should not affect the strength of basement. You can choose home plans and designs according to it.

13. Can we place mirror in bedrooms?

No issues. Yet as surface of mirror has reflection property, it can create energy imbalance, and that’s why mirror were mostly avoided in bedrooms earlier. It’s a common belief. It’s said that as mirror or other objects with reflective properties disturbs balance of energy, the room never gets positive energy. When you place almarahs with mirror inside bedrooms, you can cover the mirror or provide a provision to close the mirror after use. 

14. Now we plan to build second storey of our house? What are the common Vasthu principles to be noted?

Never exclude south-west corner in the new construction. Also the second storey needs a good surrounding. The height of this floor should be slightly lower than ground floor. Either exclude the area above kitchen portion, or provide another kitchen in the same area if this storey is constructed as a new entity. All the Vasthu principles followed in the ground floor should be exactly followed in this floor as well.

15. Can be do farming in the upstairs, as per Vasthu?

No. But we should avoid plants in home interior. To do terrace farming, take account of the strength of house and structure. Avoid plants contradictory to moringa, curry leaves and neem in the terrace.

16. Name a few trees commonly used for home construction as per vasthu

Jackfruit tree, coconut tree, Aini (Aanjil tree) etc are commonly used. Kambakam (Hopea ponga), Karinthakara etc can also be used as per Vasthu. Never use more than one type of wood to make the main door. You can use teak or jackfruit tree for this purpose. If you construct windows with glass, you can choose teak or jackfruit tree. Hardwoods such as Poovarashu can be used for doors and windows of less significance.

17. Can we use furniture and other parts of old home during the construction of new home?

When we build new home taking things from our old home or ancestral home, it’s not a problem. But using someone else property is not encouraged by Vasthu Shastra.

18. Which is the ideal space to construct store room?

There is no particular space for store rooms, as per Vasthu. Complete all other designs of the home first, and then choose the most effectively area for store room. In old homes, instruments for grinding were usually allocated in the north-west portion.

19. When we place door in kitchen that opens towards outside, should Vasthu principles be considered?

Direction is not significant while placing kitchen doors. Hob is placed in the east side of kitchen, and hence cooking is done towards this direction. So if we place a door in the east side, it takes a lot of space unnecessarily. So it’s a wise decision to provide doors in any direction except east.

20. What are the points to be noted while placing the photos of deities in pooja room?

As per vasthu if you have chosen north-east portion as Pooja room, place photos facing west direction. If it’s in south-west area, photos can be placed facing east. Photos of Rudra deities such as Lord Shiva, Bhadrakali etc should be placed facing home exterior. Mahalaxmi, Saraswathi, Vishnu and Krishna etc should be placed in such a way that they should face home interior.

21. Can we place photos of deceased house members in Pooja room?

As per Vasthu we should never place photos of deceased people inside worship room or light lamp before them. Such photos should be avoided in bedroom too. Instead you can hang their photos in common rooms such as drawing room, dining room etc.

22. Which is the best space for septic tank for a new house?

South side is best for digging the septic tank. Avoid all the four corners as well as four centre portions round the home in the courtyard, and find a place of your convenience.

23. What are the Vasthu principles to build an outhouse?

Vasthu principles are based on the purpose of outhouse. If it’s for women for doing kitchen and household work, north-west portion is the best. If it’s a parking lot for guests, you can choose south or south-east direction. Avoid construction in north-east space. Guest houses can be constructed in north-west portion. To build a chavadi (an open sitout in Kerala traditional style usually made of wood), for a house pointing east, east-south portion is the best.

24. What are the Vasthu principles for giving colours to home?

Green and blue shades are the best. You can also choose white. The colours given to the outer walls of house should not fade quickly and it should match with surroundings. Avoid dark yellow and red shades if possible.

25. When a portion of the home plot is sold, will it affects the vasthu of ours?

May and may not be possible. The exact space for a home in a plot is calculated according to the size of plot and surface area. So, if a portion of the same plot where your home is located is sold, it can affect the Vasthu position of home. But in some cases, it may not affect the vasthu of home.

26. What are the things to be noted while placing water tank? Can we purchase a ready-made tank and place it?

Never place water tanks in any of the four corners, centre portion of any of four directions or the exact middle portion of home. You can place tanks anywhere else in terrace. Vasthu considers tank only as a container which stores water. So the material used for its construction is of less significance. All those things are related to our convenience, health and hygiene. You can buy water tank for your home, no issues.

27. Our house faces east, but the road is in the backside. We would like to renovate our home facing west, towards the road. What are the vasthu principles associated with it?

In this case, new home will face west direction. Accordingly arrange rooms as per vasthu principles. There is no issue to renovate home this way.

28. While living in a rental home, should vasthu principles be considered?

Either it is own house or someone else, vasthu principle never loses its significance. If you live in a rental home for 1 or 2 years, vasthu effects will be minimal. So you need not put extra strain to such thoughts. But if you are to live in the rental home for a long period vasthu principles can be considered.

29. While renovating or reconstructing ancestral homes with nilavara and similar spaces, what are the points to be noted?


Nilavara may be of two types. If it’s related to worship, it’s better to retain those spaces as such while renovating homes. But if they are not of divine nature, such as old storage spaces, you can completely remove them. But never retain them partially. Those wooden parts can be used for doors, cupboards, wall panel, wooden flooring and ceiling etc.

30. While renovating old home with Nilavara (arayum nirayum), what modifications should be done in those spaces?

Such spaces are traditionally built and hence they can be retained as such during renovation. Some people raise ‘Ara’ and build worship rooms. You can retain ‘Kood’ and ‘Melkoodu’ of Ara and reconstruct remaining portions, as per Vasthu. Other parts of the home can be planned accordingly.

31. When we completely demolish an old home and build a new home in the exact place, what are the vasthu principles to be considered?

It’s not possible to build new home exactly at the same place. There will be slight changes. You can reuse wood and other construction materials of old home only if it’s your home (or ancestral home where you lived). But never purchase old goods from someone else for your new home.

32. Which months are best suited for housewarming ceremony?

Avoid Karkidakom and Kon months such as Dhanu, Meenam and Midhunam for housewarming ceremony. While fixing muharat for the ceremony, consider the birth time of the master (householder) of home.

33. Which is the best space to plant moringa around house?

Avoid Kudiyiruppu Parampu (the main plot where house is located) while planting moringa. You can plant anywhere else irrespective of direction.

34. Which is the best space of library? Can a part of bed room be converted to library?

North and north-west parts of the home are best suited for libraries. If your home has an inner courtyard (Naalukettu – traditional homes) library can be built connecting worship room and living room. Bedroom is designed for sleep and library for reading and it’s better to keep them separate – Vasthu suggests. You can provide the nearby room of bedroom as library, Vasthu has no issues with it.

35. What are the points to be considered while constructing pillars in sit-outs?

kerala home

Pillars of worship places can be of odd or even number. But for human dwelling spaces, choose odd number of pillars. Round, square, hexagon and octagon shapes can be chosen for pillars. Avoid carving statues in pillars at home and you can do some other art work.

36. Can we dig mazhakuzhi (rain pits in courtyard)?

You can build mazhakuzhi near to home. Yet while choosing space, east, north and north-east spots are the best.

37. What are the things to be noted while constructing home in a slope?

East direction slanting towards west and north direction slanting towards south (that means west and south directions at the bottom of slope in these two instances) should be avoided. Elevated west with slanting east and elevated south with slanting north have no issues. It’s always a better choice to construct home in a flat plot. At least distance between the levels should be below 1 metre.

38. Our plot is only of 5 cents. Can we construct Nadumuttam (inner courtyard) in this small plot?

To construct a perfect Nadumuttam, it needs at least 18 square metres. Otherwise it remains only as a namesake. As per vasthu principle, you can build Nadumuttam in 5 cent plot. But it may have only less utility value.

39. We have planned to build our home facing west. Can we build gate which falls in the same line of main door?

It’s better to avoid a condition such that centre of both main gate and main door come in same line. When you observe gate from the inner side of house, it may come towards the left side of the centre portion of west boundary. In whatever direction you build your home, fix gate towards the left side from the centre portion of boundary line.

40. Should Vasthu principles be followed for flat?

Any man-made thing holds vasthu principles. So does man-built flats where humans dwell. In the case of flats, the complex as whole is considered as a single entity, not separate flats inside it. Before the construction of flat, Vasthu principles can be taken into consideration.

41. Can we build shop near to home?

It’s better to consider home and shop as separate entities and consider their vasthu principles. Shops where financial exchange takes place can be kept a little distant from home. Yet for certain professionals, such as lawyers and doctors, they can practise it near to home or a room attached to the main house.

42. Should trees be planted at a certain distance from home?

If trees fall on top of roof, it can cause accidents as well as damages to homes. That’s why ancestors instruct never to allow trees to grow above the roof. They also say, shadows of trees should never fall on homes, exactly for the same reason. Add 2.5 feet to the height of the tree. As per Vasthu Shastra, you can plant trees at this distance away from home.

43. To build swimming pool near to home, what are the Vasthu principles to be noted?

It’s always better to build swimming pool outside home (on ground), instead of building in terrace, as per vasthu. North, north-east and east are the best directions for swimming pool.

44. To get good air circulation within home interior, what are the Vasthu tips to be noted?

If your home faces east, in the middle portion of south-west rectangular area of home interior, you should avoid wall and similar distractions facing east to west. If there is a wall, give an opening in the form of door or window. In short, whatever direction your house faces, the centre portion of the interior in the traverse/opposite direction should be left free so that your house breaths easily. 

45. What points are to be noted while arranging dining room?

When you arrange chairs in dining room, majority of people should face east or west in the sitting posture. If it’s a Nalukettu construction, you can arrange dining table near to centre courtyard (Nadu Muttam) so that free air will flow in. More than three doors should never open to a dining room. Take note of this point during planning stage.

Very soon I shall be adding more points here.

Image source: Pixabay

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A freelance writer and blogger by profession since October 2011, interested in writing over a wide range of topics. Hope you enjoy my writings. I belong to one of the beautiful places of the world, Kerala, nicknamed as 'God's own country'.

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