Muthu Kuda ෴ මුතුකුඩ

Shine material carefully crafted pearl umbrella for cultural and religion event. This premium quality “Thai Muthu kuda” is reflects a traditional value and it`s made with a shinning fabric and beautifully decorated to cover shrines. This is an ideal spiritual offer for a priest or temple.

The modern-day umbrella is used as protection against rain. However, its original purpose was to shade a person from the sun. Likewise, there is an abundance of references to the usage of umbrellas in art and literature, universally. When it comes to Muthu Kuda in Sri Lanka, it is a device used to shield Buddhist monks from the effects of nature. The noble past of the umbrella

The earliest known umbrellas can be seen in Egyptian artistic form dating back to the fifth dynasty, circa 2450 BC. Moreover, even today, one can see many temple wall paintings depicting a servant holding a parasol (umbrella) over a God. In like manner, this image is mostly depicted during a procession. To put it differently, intricate expertise was needed to hand-make them in ancient times. For this reason, umbrellas became objects of power and status. In particular, they were used to protect important people, such as gods, royalty, and religious leaders. For example, this led to many religions adopting umbrellas as part of their ceremonies. Similarly, Muthu Kuda was associated with Buddhism since its inception.

The significance of the Chatra (umbrella) symbol

As mentioned in ancient chronicles, the Chhatra meaning “umbrella” is an auspicious symbol in Hinduism, and Buddhism. Overall, according to Hindu mythology, it is the emblem of Varuna, also considered an embodiment of kingship. Ultimately Chhatra is also a deity. In brief, a number of deities are depicted with chhatra, and they include Revanta, Surya, and Vishnu (in his Vamana avatar). In Vajrayana Buddhism, the umbrella or parasol is included in the ‘Eight Auspicious Signs’ or Ashtamangala. Yet, the origin of the chhatra or parasol symbolism actually comes from India – the birthplace of Buddha himself. This chhatra or parasol is considered a precious parasol umbrella associated with equality and universality among men.

What differentiates a Muthu Kuda in Sri Lanka? Fabric colour

The fabric of the canopy is made with polyester fabric. It is saffron in colour. We also see many Muthu Kuda in orange colour. Why orange? The orange colour is associated with the Theravada Buddhist followers in Southeast Asia. Thus, there is a connection

The tip

The tip of the Muthu Kuda is riveted to a carved wooden object signifying a sphere.

Wooden Handle

Apart from the canopy, the wooden handle is the single most customisable element of the Muthu Kuda. Accordingly, the wooden handle dominates the larger portion of the shaft.

Perimeter tape

The perimeter tape is fixed with ornate sequins and tussles giving the Muthu Kuda a majestic look.

The shaft

The pole or shaft of the umbrella symbolises the celestial pole representing the connection between heaven and the earth. Consequently, Buddhists give the Muthu Kuda importance as it is associated with a temple in motion


The dome of the umbrella is held aloft by a vertical handle similarly like the mountain upholds the sky, which is identified with the central axis upholding the world. To enumerate, Muthu Kuda made in octagonal shapes are also common. To emphasize, the octagon shape represents the Nobel eightfold path, one of the principal teachings of Buddhism. For instance, it consists of eight practices: right view, speech, resolve, conduct, livelihood, effort, mindfulness, and right samadhi. For example, the dome shape of the umbrella symbolizes wisdom, and the hanging skirt, compassion. Significantly, the composite form of the umbrella signifies the union of these dual elements.

How many panels does an umbrella have?

The usual Muthu Kuda in Sri Lanka has eight panels, and as many as twelve can occasionally be found. At one point, the number of panels in an umbrella was an indication of the quality of attention, the umbrella maker paid to his product. That is to say, the more panels an umbrella has, the more sturdy and long-lasting it will be.

Types of Muthu Kuda in Sri Lanka

There are simple Muthu Kuda designs and ones embellished with triple pagodas. You can also buy Muthu Kuda printed with various Buddhist icons. They consist of a “Bodhi Tree” leaf, dharma wheel representing knowledge, and lotus flower representing purity and enlightenment. The conch shell represents the spreading of the teachings of the Buddha far and wide. Also, one will find models ornately decorated with sequins.