By Swami Harshananda
Sometimes transliterated as: Avarana, Avarana, AAvarana
Āvarana literally means ‘veil, cover’.
In temple architecture, it refers to the enclosures or prākāras, surrounding the main shrine, wherein the āvaraṇa- devatās (minor deities, the attendants of the chief deity) are housed, and the utsavamurti (procession deity) and other paraphernalia. In śaivism the word is used for a protective covering, in the spiritual sense. There are eight such āvaraṇas.
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore