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Why did Bharat install padukas of Shriram on the throne instead of His idol?

‘Asking for the paduka’ means ‘placing the head on the feet’ or ‘complete surrender’. When Bharat asked for Shrīrām’s paduka the latter gave them to him. The former carried them placing them on his head such that the big toes faced the front. Then he installed them on the throne and worshipped them. Since then the custom of worshipping paduka of the spiritually evolved began.

After acquiring Shriram’s paduka Bharat took them to Nandigram and installed them there. He did not reside in Ayodhya.

When accepting Shriram’s paduka, Bharat requested Him to inform him about His return from exile along with Shrī Sītā, on the eve of His arrival, so that he could make preparations for His reception. Upon this, Shriram uttered, “So be it (tathastu)”. Click here to read more.

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