By Swami Harshananda
Kautukabera literally means ‘image with thread’.
Temples have two types of images:
- Dhruvabera- fixed permanently in the garbhagṛha or sanctum sanctorum
- Utsavamurti- image kept separately in a room or a shed which is used during the processions on special days. It is generally a smaller replica of the original image made of pañcaloha or bronze.
‘Kautuka’ is the technical name for a sacred thread that is wound round the right wrist of the utsavamurti on the night prior to the rathotsava or procession festival. Hence, this utsavamurti is also called ‘Kautukabera’.
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore