Kumaragara (कुमारागार)

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Kumaragara (Samskrt: कुमारागारः) refers to the infant care room specially designed to take care of a newborn child and mother. The design of this room has been discussed in depth by Ayurveda scholars. The special room for newborn is intended for isolation, protection and monitoring of the growth & development of the child.

परिचयः ॥ Introduction

Newborn children, infants, toddlers were taken care of with lot of care and affection in ancient times. Their physiological needs, vulnerability to environmental harmful factors, health status and wellbeing parameters were well-known to the ancient scholars and they had given a complete guide to fulfill all these necessary things in detail. Therefore Ayurveda has proposed isolation of newborn baby with mother in a separate room where arrangements can be made as per the special health needs of a baby. In this way the baby and mother can be protected from known and unknown harmful factors and gradually the baby can become capable of surviving in the outside environment. Birth of the baby occurs in Sutikagara (सूतिकागारः). The child with mother remains in Sutikagara upto one and the half month post delivery and then the child enter Kumaragara specifically designed to cater the newborn child's needs.

Nishkramana samskara (निष्क्रमण संस्कारः) refers to one of the rites of passages of the baby in childhood. This ceremony of samskara is performed in the 4th month post delivery. It is a samskara performed to mark the first exposure of the bay to the outside world. It is at this time when the newborn child is taken out of the house and taken to some other place (to the temple) for the first time in child's life. Till this period the child stays in Kumaragara with the mother.

In todays time we see that neonatal intensive units, special care neonatal units pediatric clinics and pediatric wards are designed in a specific manner and attractive way to make it acceptable by the child and fulfill the child's needs. Thus Kumaragara is an ancient time concept described in Ayurveda for infant care and it can be seen practiced even today in a modified way on the basis of similar logic.

व्युत्पत्तिः॥ Etymology

The term Kumaragara can be split into 2 parts, Kumara and Agara.

  • Kumara (कुमारः)- The child
  • Agara (आगारः)- house or the dwelling place.

Thus Kumaragara refers to the house of a child.

कुमारागारविधि॥ Structure and arrangements in the Kumaragara

The details of building and designing Kumaragara can be found in Ayurveda texts.[1] The details are as follows,

  • Who should build it?- Vastuvidyakushala (architect) should build the Kumaragara. Thus a specialist in the field of architecture who is conversant with science of building should construct a dwelling place for a child.
  • Measurements and built- It should be specious. A congested or small room is not recommended. Measurements may vary but it should be a rigid & firm structure.
  • Specifications- It should be pleasant, well lit, well ventilated but non airy. The doors and windows should be designed in such a way that the air coming into the room should come in direct contect with the child.
  • Cautions- The place should be properly disinfected and made insects or pests free. Any wild animal, dogs, insect, serpent, mice and flies should not get entry into it and the design should be made taking this into consideration.
  • Facilities- It should have all the necessary facilities and equipment like beds, quilts, covers, etc to suit any season. The beddings used for a child should be soft, light weight, clean and have mild fragrance. The beddings soiled with urine, feces, sweat or insects should be immediately discarded, washed, cleaned and new ones or the cleaned ones only should be used. The soiled beddings should be properly cleaned and disinfected before next use.
  • Amenities- It should be separate from the rest of the pert of house or any other room but at the same time should have connected bathroom, toilet, kitchen and easy access to water connection.
  • Rakshavidhana- Before bringing the child into the room, the place should be properly purified, sanctified and sterilized in a traditional way by performing raksha vidhana (protective measures in the form of pujas, prayers and rituals for the protection of the child, bali (sacrifices), Homa (fire sacrifices), mangala (auspicious chanting and sacrifices), Prayashchitta (repentence) as prescribed in vedic texts.
  • People inside the room- Entry should be permitted to only those who are clean (sanitized), aged and experienced family members who can properly guide and only those who have care & affection in heart for the child. A vaidya should have access to this place easily or should visit frequently.
  • Herbs used for fumigation of the room and bedding- Multiple herbs like yava (barley), sarshapa (mustard), hingu (asafoetida), vacha (sweet flag), guggulu (comifora mukula) etc can be used along with the ghee for making dhupana (fumigation).
  • Wearing auspicious gems and amulets - The ayurveda acharyas have accepted the use of various gems and amulets or constant contact of some sacred herbs proposed by experts of Atharvaveda, as a measure of protection of a child from external harmful forces.

मणयश्च धारणीयाः कुमारस्य खड्गरुरुगवयवृषभाणां जीवतामेव दक्षिणेभ्यो विषाणेभ्योऽग्राणि गृहीतानि स्युः; ऐन्द्र्याद्याश्चौषधयो जीवकर्षभकौ च, यानि चान्यान्यपि ब्राह्मणाः प्रशंसेयुरथर्ववेदविदः||६२|| (Char. Samh. 8.62) maṇayaśca dhāraṇīyāḥ kumārasya khaḍgarurugavayavr̥ṣabhāṇāṁ jīvatāmeva dakṣiṇebhyo viṣāṇebhyo'grāṇi gr̥hītāni syuḥ; aindryādyāścauṣadhayo jīvakarṣabhakau ca, yāni cānyānyapi brāhmaṇāḥ praśaṁseyuratharvavedavidaḥ||62|| (Char. Samh. 8.62)

कुमाराधारः॥ Support staff to look after the child

Kumaradhara is the term used to indicate the nurse, supporting staff or maids that take care of the child, monitor, nurse and attend to all the necessities of the child. Ayurveda acharyas have suggested to look for the staff who have following qualities so that they will take appropriate care of the child.[2] Thus the Kumaradhara should be,

  • सदाचारो Sadachari- following righteous behaviour, good and wholesome deeds. Should have right moral values.
  • नातिस्थूलो Natisthulo- Should not be obese since he/she will have to run behind the child wherever he/she tries to go.
  • न लोलुपः Na lolupa- Should not be greedy
  • कर्त्तव्यस्तत्राद्यो बालचित्तवित् - The person should have the skill to understand what the child wants. The mood/psyche of the child should be first understood to the person and he/she should be able to behave as per the child's needs. If these needs are understood well, usually the child wont cry long. But at the same time whatever is really necessary and good for the child should be done. Only then it becomes easy to handle the child and keep the child happy and calm.

The staff that is otherwise selected who is adharmika (devoid of dharma or moral values), ill behaving or greedy in nature and practices bad ways of living will negatively influence the child and also make the child a similar person. Therefore the staff appointed to take care of the child should be selected very cautiously.

क्रीडाभूमिः क्रीडनकाः च॥ Play area and toys for the child

Kridabhoomi refers to the play area for the child and Kridanaka refers to the toys. Both these things potentially affect the child's growth and development. Thus these should be carefully selected and maintained.

क्रीडाभूमिः॥ Kridabhoomi

The play area should be even surfaced, devoid of pointed, injurious and harmful objects.

It should be clean and devoid of excreta, sand, pebbles, thorns, needles, sand or gravel.

The place should be sanitized using water medicated with Vella (Embelia ribes), Ushana (Black pepper or dry ginger) and Kana (pepper) or neem (Azadirecta indica) infused water. [3]

क्रीडनकाः॥ Kridanaka

Toys are inevitable part of a child's world. Different types of toys having different properties or characteristics are used by children at all stages of their childhood. Toys serve as the stimuli for growth and learning of a child. Thus Ayurveda acharyas have enlisted few qualities of toys which should be looked for while selecting and giving children their toys.[3] The toys are referred to as Kridanaka in Samskrit and their desirable characteristics are described below,

  • Toys should be preferably made up of jatusha or laksha (लाक्षा॥ lacifer lacca). If we look at the properties of laksha (medicinal and purified lac) it is known to be haemostatic (stops bleeding from wounds, injuries etc.), strengthens bones, helpful in diarrhoea/dysentery and moreover it is moldable.[4] [5]Therefore even if the child licks or tries to bite the toy only the medicinal lac will be ingested and it will not harm the child instead will provide health benefits. One can clearly see the vision and in detail thinking of ancient Ayurveda acharyas in proposing use of such toys for children.
  • The toys should make delightful and gentle sounds to attract attention of the baby.
  • Toys must be colorful and attractive
  • The size of the toy should be large so that even inadvertently the child wont be able to ingest or gulp it.
  • Toys should be soft and should not have pointed edges or corners which cause harm to the child.
  • Toys should be made of shape of domestic animals like cow or horse. Or else of the shape of fruits.
  • Toy which can be potentially fatal for the child or has dreadful appearance which can cause disgust and fear in a child should not be given to play.


  1. Charaka Samhita (Sharirasthanam Adhyaya 8 Sutra 60)
  2. Ashtanga Samgraha (Uttaratantra Adhyaya 1 Sutra 44)
  3. 3.0 3.1 Ashtanga Samgraha (Uttaratantra Adhyaya 1 Sutra 47)
  4. Manohar R, Nithin. (2018). A REVIEW ON LACCIFER LACCA. World Journal of Pharmaceutical Research. 206. 10.20959/wjpr201810-12282.
  5. Charaka Samhita (Sharirasthanam Adhyaya 8 Sutra 63)