Search Chitra's Food Book

October 21, 2015

How To Do Saraswathi Puja At Home - Ayudha Poojai Celebrations of Tamil nadu

Print Friendly and PDF
Saraswathi pooja celebration at home
A picture of Saraswathi idol from my Golu
Significance of Saraswati puja

Saraswathi is the Goddess who signifies knowledge, learning, arts and culture. She is the symbol of peace and purity. So she is always adorned in white clothes. Saraswati Puja is a popular Hindu festival dedicated to the Goddess of learning Saraswati. This festival is marked as the birth of Goddess Saraswathi. In Tamilnadu, it is popularly known as Ayudha poojai. In this post, I have shared how to celebrate Saraswathi poojai at home in Tamil nadu style. 

In 2023, Saraswati puja/ Ayudha poojai is celebrated on 23rd October, Monday in Tamilnadu.  This day is of special importance for the students as they place their books at the Goddess praying for wisdom and blessings for their success in life. It is an important part of the Navaratri festival, especially in South India. The last three days of Navratri is dedicated to Goddess Saraswathi.

The last day of Navratri, also known as the Mahanavami day is celebrated as Ayudha Puja and Saraswati Puja. It is celebrated at different time in different parts of India. The popular festival Dussehra is celebrated in Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala, Gujarat & West bengal but in a different manner. In Gujarat, Saraswati Puja during Diwali is also known as Sharda Puja and Chopda Puja. 

How to celebrate ayudha poojai at home

On Durga Ashtami day, Books and tools and  are arranged in the puja room i.e in front of the idol of Goddess Saraswati . It should not be touched on the Mahanavami day and they should be removed from the pooja only on the Vijayadashami day i.e the next day of Saraswathi pooja. If you are looking for the detailed Saraswathi Pooja Vidhanam, please click THIS link for stotras and method.

I should have done this post earlier. But its better to be late than never. So I made this post today after finishing my celebration. I have given our pooja procedures, List of things required for saraswati pooja, naivedyam recipes along with details to prepare the menu. Lets see how to celebrate Saraswathi Puja at home as per our South Indian - Tamil tradition.

Saraswathi pooja recipes
Last year's Saraswathi pooja celebration at my MIL's place :)

Traditions of Saraswathi Pooja

Goddess Saraswati is adorned in yellow or white clothes (at home or at the mandir) as yellow is considered to represent the sattva guna – characteristic of purity, prosperity and love.
The beej or seed mantra for invocation of Saraswati Devi is

AUM shreem bhreem saraswataye namah
ॐ श्रीम भ्रीम सरस्वतये नमः

This mantra is often used during the ceremonies conducted to start the formal education of a new child on the occasion of festival. The traditional first lesson or first words are taught to children by their parents on this day.

But we chant the following slokha in front of the God.

"Saraswathi namasthubhiyam varade kamarubhini vidhyarambham karishyami siddhibhavatume sada"

In our house, we celebrate it by keeping the Sarawathi Idol in a decorated plank. Garland with flowers and lotus. We arrange the books and other tools by cleaning them. We keep turmeric & kumkum dots on all the books, tools, laptop and other accessories. The previous day, we sweep the entire house including doors, windows, all electronic and electrical items and keep the turmeric, kumkum dots. So if you celebrate Saraswathi pooja at home, you must keep your house clean.

If you are already doing Navratri Puja/kept golu, you can use the same decorations.

Make sure everything must be ready by the evening of the 8th day of Navratri.

On Saraswathi Pooja day ie ninth day of Navratri, books and tools that are kept for Saraswati puja should not be touched or used. We also do the pooja for car by keeping kumkum, sandal dot and garlanding it. We offer some fruits, puffed rice mixed with peanuts and roasted dal as prasad.

Pooja Requirements

  • Image or idol of Goddess Saraswati
  • Plank/Peeta or a wide plate for placing the idol.
  • A white cloth (vastram)
  • Flowers – Lotus or jasmine.
  • Mango leaves & other decorations
  • Turmeric
  • Kumkum
  • Raw Rice
  • Coconut, betel leaves & nuts
  • Banana & Locally available fruits
  • Banana leaf for keeping neivedyam
  • Other pooja items like oil, ghee, camphor, incense stick and sambrani / Dhoop.
  • Puffed rice with gram dal, peanuts and jaggery
  • Soak raw rice for an hour, drain the excess water. Mix grated jaggery & cardamom to this. We keep this for neivedyam along with other dishes.
Saraswathi pooja recipes

Ingredients for Neivedyam / Saraswathi poojai recipes

On this day, some people make 5 rice varieties like Lemon rice, Tamarind rice, Coconut rice, Curd rice and sweet pongal along with sundal & Pepper vada as shown in the above picture. We too make this menu as Saraswathi pooja falls on Purattasi month. Please refer my 5 rice varieties post in which I have shown how to make the rice recipes quickly using a pressure cooker. We can also make a No onion No Garlic full meals menu with Rice, Vendakkai Sambar , Broad beans Poriyal, Avial or kootu, Nellikai Thayir pachadi, Moong dal/Paruppu, Vadai & Payasam. Soak raw rice for an hour, drain the excess water. Mix grated jaggery & cardamom to this. We keep this for neivedyam along with other dishes.

So plan your menu in advance and buy the vegetables accordingly. Please Refer my No onion No garlic lunch menu post for vegetables to be used and avoided on festivals.

How to make this menu

Soak chana for sundal and urad dal for vada. Generally we do the neivedyam in the morning or during the auspicious time of Saraswathi puja day. Usually it happens in the mid afternoon. So we do the lunch recipes, vada, payasam& sundal on morning. 

Start cooking around 8 am in the morning. You can finish everything by 11am. Inside the cooker, put the dal in the bottom. Keep a tiffin box with the chopped vegetables for poriyal or kootu. Prepare the rice in another cooker. After removing the dal and vegetables, pressure cook the rice by roasting it. Keep a box inside with soaked chana dal. Remove after they are cooked. Make sundal & payasam. Make Dal, sambar, poriyal, pachadi and keep them ready for neivedyam. Click HERE to see how to cook a no onion no garlic lunch menu easily. 

How to perform the pooja

If you are already doing Navratri Puja ie golu, then you can place the idol of Goddess Saraswati in front of your Navratri Golu display. If not, you can place the idol in the puja area.
  • Draw the rangoli in front of the pooja room.
  • Keep the Goddess over a wooden plank or peeta.
  • Decorate the image or idol of Goddess Saraswati using flowers, garlands etc.
  • A white cloth is used to cover the idol of the Goddess. If you are using an image you can skip the white cloth or place it on tray near the image. Usually my mom arranges the books & keep the sarawathi idol over it by covering the books with a dhoti. My MIL Keeps the idol on a wooden plank and arrange the books & tools in front of the GOD. So keep it as per your wish. Sprinkle some flowers on the books and objects.
  • Pray to Lord Ganesha first by chanting a simple prayer “ Suklam Baratharam”.
  • You can light the lamp. Next do the archanai for Goddess Saraswati with flowers and show the agarbhati/ incense by chanting any shloka dedicated to Goddess like Sakalakala Valli Malai in Tamil or any saraswathi sthothram from a book. Click THIS LINK & THIS LINK for slokha in HINDI.
  • After doing the archanai,You can offer the prasadam or neivedyam that you have made.
  • Lastly show the Aarti and finish the pooja.
  • On Sarawathi puja evening, we offer sweet appam, Nei appam OR you can offer idli/dosa if you have freshly ground batter in hand.
Some people do Saraswati Dhanam to a young girl on the day which includes dress material, betel leaves, betel nuts, bananas, bangles and cosmetics.

The books and tools are removed on the Vijaya Dasami day after doing the pooja in the next day morning by lighting a lamp and offering some fruits. Make your kids to sit & read before the GOD. Remove the setup in the good time. Avoid raahu kalam, Yamakandam.

Some Useful links for slokha in HINDI

Disclaimer : I have shared the procedures based on our tradition. Please take the as a reference,consult the elders of your family and do the pooja as per your practice. Beginners can follow this if you don’t have any specific procedure at home.

Source for this post

I hope this post would help beginners to know the procedure of Saraswathi pooja at home. Thanks for visiting this page. Have a great celebration !

Related Posts


Radhe said...

Very useful post Chitra!you have a very good collection of recipes.Awesome work.

Chitra said...

Thank you :)

Unknown said...

Very useful post. Can u pl share how to do thiruvilaku poojai on tuesaday and friday by chanting tamil slokas.tqks in advance.

Unknown said...

Very useful post. Can u pl share how to do thiruvilaku poojai on tuesaday and friday by chanting tamil slokas.tqks in advance.

Chitra said...

Hi, I will make a post soon.Thanks.

Unknown said...

Please can u teach me how to do saraswati puja at hone

Chitra said...

Hello Rahul, I have shared the procedures based on our practice. I am not sure if yours is the same. Please check the link for slokhas in Hindi. It may be helpful to u. Thanks !
Some Useful links for slokha in HINDI

Anonymous said...

Saraswathi is the goddess who blesses her devotees with wisdom. Worshipping and doing puja to her helps to achieve success in your career. To know more details