Rumala - Prayer Book Coverlet

Rumala Altar Cloth Drapery and Coverlet
Rumala Altar Cloth Drapery and Coverlet. Photo © [S Khalsa]


Rumala is from the word Rumal meaning a protective cloth. Rumal may be used for a protective covering in which a book is wrapped, or a small scarf used to cover the bare head. In Sikhism Rumala refers to wrappings, draperies and coverlets used as altar cloths to protect prayer books and scriptures, or scarf worn in the gurdwara during worship service or in the presence of Guru Granth Sahib, the Sikhism holy scripture.

Rumala prayer book coverlets are used during ceremonies involving wrapping or unwrapping the Sikh scriptures:

  • Prakash - Opening Guru Granth Sahib.
  • Hukam - Reading a random verse of scripture.
  • Sukhasan - Putting Guru Granth Sahib to rest.

Pronunciation: Ru - mala. U has the sound of oo as in book. A has the sound of a as in hall.

Alternate Spellings: Ramala

Common Misspellings: Ramallah


Rumalas are used to drape, wrap, or cover Sikhism prayer books such as:

mla apa chicago
Your Citation
Khalsa, Sukhmandir. "Rumala - Prayer Book Coverlet." ThoughtCo, Jun. 4, 2017, Khalsa, Sukhmandir. (2017, June 4). Rumala - Prayer Book Coverlet. Retrieved from Khalsa, Sukhmandir. "Rumala - Prayer Book Coverlet." ThoughtCo. (accessed November 17, 2017).