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Showing posts with label POOJA PROCEDURES. Show all posts
Showing posts with label POOJA PROCEDURES. Show all posts

March 6, 2016

How To Celebrate Maha Shivaratri – Celebration Procedures and Recipes List

Maha shivaratri celebration

Image source : Up-Rising in flickr 
Maha Shivratri is a Hindu festival celebrated every year in reverence of Lord Shiva. It is also known as Padmarajarathri. It is celebrated all over South India(In Tamil nadu, Karnataka) and North India. Shivaratri literally means the great night of Shiva or the night of Shiva. It is celebrated every year on the 13th night/14th day of the Maagha or Phalguna month of the Hindu calendar. 

This year 2022, it falls on March 1st.  On shivaratri day, fasting involves refraining from eating any food and not sleeping through out the night.  Followers visit Shiv temples and bath the idol of Lord Shiva and follow rituals to please the lord. Devotees begin the day by worshipping the Lingam of Lord Shiva in temples.

According to Shiv Purana, the following items are a must: Shiva Linga must be bathed with water, milk and honey. Also, bilva patra must be offered to the lord as it purifies the soul. Vermilion ( a reddish orange paste) must be applied over Shiva Linga after bathing, it represents virtue. Symbolizing longevity, different kinds of fruits are offered to the Linga for the fulfillment of wishes.The worship is then concluded with Lord Shiva’s Aarti. The day is considered auspicious for women. They fast and pray to the Lord to get blessed with blissful married life, while unmarried woman would pray for an ideal husband like Shiva.People chant “Om Nama Shivaya” all through the day.
There are different stories based on different puranas on why we celebrate Maha Shivratri. Some of these stories are mentioned here.
  • According to a few books, Maha Shivratri is the night when Lord Shiva performed the Tandava.
  • Based on a few other puranas, it is believed that Lord Shiva drank “Aalahal” or poison on this day, and was known as Neela kanda then after.
  • Some believe that Lord Shiva married Goddess Parvati on this auspicious day.

Tradition of Drinking Thandai

Since Lord Shiva is regarded as an ascetic god, Maha Shivratri is very popular with ascetics. Thandai, a drink made with bhang (cannabis), almonds, and milk, is essentially drunk by the devout on the day as cannabis is said to have been very dear to Shiva.

Food and Fasting

People fast for the whole day on Maha Shivratri. They start the day by worshiping the lingam of Lord Shiva. People eat satvik food such as sabudana khichdi and thandai (bhang). Devotees also wear Rudraksh beads on this day. According to mythological stories, rudraksh beads are believed to have been originated from Lord Shiva’s tears.

It is believed that simply by worshipping the lingam after a bath helps devotees achieve the blessings of Lord Shiva and moksha. All sins are forgiven and spirituality is awakened. So, with a clear heart and soul, worship Lord Shiva on this Maha Shivratri and be blessed all your life.

Source :

Maha shivaratri kolam

Ingredients required For Pooja

Visit my In-laws blog “Learn Kolam” to view Kolams for Maha shivaratri.
  • Flowers for decorating Lord Shiva
  • Lamp
  • If you wish to perform abishekam, keep some milk, honey, ghee, curd and water.
  • Bilva ( Bael) patra leaves/ Vilvam in Tamil
  • Coconut, Betel leaves, Nuts & fruits
  • Incense stick
  • Camphor

How do we celebrate Maha Shivratri

In my family, On Shivratri day, we take bath in early morning, draw Rangoli in the entrance & in front of Pooja room ( I usually draw Chariot kolam). We decorate the Lord with flowers especially Bilva Patra/Vilvam and perform pooja by chanting “ Om Nama Shivaya” for 1008 times. We fast from morning to evening. In the evening around 4pm , we take bath again and make neivedyam for Lord shiva. Around 6 pm, we offer Sweet puttu/ Rice Jaggery puttu / Arisi vella puttu in Tamil, Boiled Sweet potato and field beans ( based on their availability in market) for Lord Shiva, do the pooja and finish with Mangala Aarti. 

Along with this, we make a no onion no garlic rice upma, Sambar  without onion, garlic and buttermilk. We have the same for dinner around 7 pm. We don’t have the practice of being awake the whole night. If you wish to perform abishekam, you should not sleep through out the night. Abishekam should be performed every three hours. i.e First three hours with milk, Second three hours with curd, third with ghee and fourth with honey (Overall 12 hours). After abishekam decorate with Bilva leaves. Lord Shiva will be more happy when decorated with Bilva leaves more than jewels. The next day morning, we cook & eat a No onion No garlic meal and finish our fasting. We are not supposed to have tiffin items as the Vrat won’t be fulfilled without having this menu.

In North India, People offer varieties of recipes like Thandai , Sabudana Kichdi , Sabudana vada, Lauki halwa, Kuttu ki poori, Sabudana Kheer, Motichoor ladoo and Kachori.

It is believed that simply by worshipping the lingam after a bath helps devotees achieve the blessings of Lord Shiva and moksha. All sins are forgiven and spirituality is awakened. So, with a clear heart and soul, worship Lord Shiva on this Maha Shivratri and be blessed all your life.



Arisi Vella Puttu / Sweet puttu

Rice upma

Javvarisi upma

Sambar ( Skip onions in this recipe 

Neer mor/ Spiced buttermilk

No Onion No Garlic Lunch Menu


Sabudana kichdi


Homemade thandai powder

Sabudana vada

Sabudana Kheer 

 18 Payasam varieties collection

Lauki halwaKuttu ki pooriDahi aloo

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.

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January 12, 2016

Pongal Celebration Procedure – How To Celebrate Thai Pongal At Home

Pongal celebration

Hello Friends, Today’s post is all about the most popular Tamil festival, Thai Pongal celebration at home (also known as Makara Sankranti in other parts of India) along with Pongal recipes link. I have shared the details about Pongal Festival/Makar Sankranti and its pooja procedures of our home along with pictures of our last year celebration. It is purely of Tamil nadu style and it may vary as per your custom and tradition. So this post would be more of essays with images. Please excuse me. I hope this post would help beginners and newly wedded girls to start their Thai pongal festival celebration on their own.

Pongal (Thai pongal/Surya pongal) is a harvest festival of Tamilnadu, South India. It is one of the most important and popular Hindu festivals. This four-day long harvest festival of Tamil Nadu, Pongal is all about thanksgiving to nature and takes its name from the Tamil word Pongal means "boiling over" and is held in the month of Thai (January-February). 'Pongal' literally means overflowing and is named so because of the tradition of cooking the new rice in pots until they overflow, which is a symbol of abundance and prosperity.

Pongal is usually celebrated from January 13 to 16 every year. In 2022, Pongal takes place from January 14-17. The main festivities occur on January 13/ bhogi day  This festival marks a period of plenty, peace and happiness. On the first day known as Bhogi, people clean their homes thoroughly and in the evening, all unwanted goods are lit in a bonfire. The second day is Perum Pongal, the most important. It is also called Surya Pongal because people worship Surya, the Sun God and his consorts. Women decorate the central courtyard of their homes with beautiful kolams  (Visit my in-laws blog for kolam ideas), done with rice flour and bordered with red clay.

Traditionally they cook pongal in clay pots on stoves made of stones and offer Sun God along with Freshly grown seasonal vegetables, sugar cane, legumes and pulses. The third day, Mattu Pongal is meant to offer thanks to the cows and buffaloes, as they are used to plough the lands. Jallikattu, a violent taming the bull contest, marks this day. On the last day, Kanum Pongal, people go out to picnic packing Varieties of rice. The festival of Pongal is mainly associated with the rural people. People wish each other on this day. Pongal wishes are exchanged between family and friends, and there are celebrations within the family.

Click this kolam picture to view pongal kolam designs from my in-laws blog :)

Disclaimer : I have shared the procedures based on our tradition. Please take this 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.

Please watch the video below for making sakkarai pongal in venkala paanai / sweet pongal in bronze pot

Pongal Kolam Designs

How to celebrate pongal festival
What is Pongal Dish ?
The most important part of the Pongal festival is cooking the Pongal dish. A sweet version of pongal called Sakkarai pongal is made with rice mixed with moong dal and cooked with ghee, cashew nuts, raisins adding jaggery (a type of unrefined sugar). A spicy pongal called Ven pongal/Ghee pongal is also prepared adding lots of ghee and spices like pepper & cumin. 

Traditionally, pongal is cooked in clay pots, on stoves made with stones and wood used as fuel. When it starts to boil over, everyone shouts out "pongalo pongal".

Things required for pongal celebration
  • Pongal Pot – Either Clay pot or bronze pot or pressure cooker
  • Clay stove – If using (optional)
  • Rice flour & color powders for kolam –  Click here for rangoli/kolam designs
  • Manjal kothu/Turmeric plant
  • Mango leaves/Maavilai
  • Banana leaves ( we use 5 to 7 leaves)
  • Betel leaves & nuts(Vetrilai paaku)
  • Banana
  • Coconut
  • Sugarcane
  • Vegetables for offering God like sweet potato,  yam, panag kizhangu, pumpkin, arbi, raw banana, field beans, all country vegetables. 
Ingredients required for cooking

Usually we make Sweet pongal, white pongal/paal pongal, Sambar with 7 vegetables, Poriyal or kootu, Thayir pachadi, Paruppu/dal along with Vada, Suzhiyan & adhirasam. Click HERE for Pongal recipes collection. Visit my in-laws blog for kolam ideas.
  • Raw rice / pacharisi
  • Moong dal
  • Jaggery ( Buy sugar candy if making kalkandu pongal)
  • Milk
  • Water
  • Cardamom seeds
  • Jathikai/Nutmeg
  • Edible camphor
  • Ghee
  • Cashews, dry grapes, cloves
  • Salt
  • Toor dal
  • Urad dal for vada
  • Rice flour & jaggery for adhirasam(optional)
  • Chana dal, jaggery, maida, rice flour ( for making suzhiyan, optional)
Vegetables to buy:
  • 7 vegetables ( broad beans, sweet potato, cluster beans, raw banana, yam, arbi, field beans, pumpkin)
  • Gooseberry or Lady’s finger for pachadi
How to celebrate pongal festival

 Pongal festival – Pre Preparation

On bhogi day, wash and clean the entire house. Clean doors, windows & keep turmeric, kumkum dots. If you have the practice of burning old things, you can do it on this day. We used to discard the old clothes. Wash all the blankets, pillow cover, screen cloth. Wash the lamps and other pooja vessels. Decorate it and keep it ready for next day pooja. If using clay pot & stove buy them. If using cooker or bronze pot, wash and keep it ready. Tie the manjal kothu around the pot. Draw three lines with wet viboodhi (pattai) and keep a kumkum dot on the pot.

 Buy all the required ingredients for cooking & pooja on this day and keep everything ready. On bhogi night, after finishing the dinner, clean the gas stove and draw three lines using viboodhi(viboodhi Pattai) and place kumkum dots on all the sides of gas stove. Refer picture to get the idea. 

If you have the practice of making suzhiyan, adhirasam and obbattu/ poli, prepare them and store in a box. Soak the urad dal & grind vada batter. Refrigerate it over night. If you wish, you can wash the entrance and draw the rangoli too.The next day morning, you will be having enough time to make neivedyam recipes and perform the pooja quickly. Clean the pooja room and draw a rangoli in the place where you are going to spread the banana leaves for neivedyam.

On Pongal day, wake up at early morning 4am because we are supposed to do the pooja during sunrise at around 6am. So wake up early and take head bath. Some people make pongal at the auspicious time of the day. So you can plan accordingly. 

First make sambarporiyal/kootupachadi and paruppu. Keep everything aside. It takes 45 minutes including chopping & cooking if you have two cookers in hand. My mom keeps pongal in our backyard by using stone/ clay stove and bronze pot wheras my MIL keeps pongal in gas stove. She uses bronze pot. So make pongal according to your family practice. 

Now keep the bronze pot ( please refer THIS POST with video if you are making pongal in bronze pot) or cooker ( Refer THIS POST for cooker). Make sweet pongal and paal pongal. When it starts to boil over, shout out "pongalo pongal". Pray for your family’s well being and prosperity. After making pongal, keep it near the pooja room. Make the urad dal vada at the end to maintain crispness. Now everything is ready for pooja !!

How to celebrate pongal

Pongal Pooja Procedure

Generally Pongal neivedyam is for Sun God. But we do it for our Veetu theivam, Maga maayi and Sun God. So we have offered all the dishes in 9 leaves. But in general, spread 5 leaves for Sun God. 

In those 5 leaves keep sweet pongal, vella pongal, pongal sambar, 7 kai kootu in little quantity. Light two lamps in front of the banana leaves. Spread a banana leaf and keep all the seasonal vegetables like sweet potato, pumpkin, yam, arbi, panag kizhangu. Keep sugar cane pieces, banana, betel leaves & nuts. Break a coconut and keep it. Fill uzhakku (rice measuring pot) with rice. Now do the pooja and mangala harathi. Finish the pooja. 

After the pooja, my mom distributes a glass of milk sweetened with jaggery. We call it as “siruveetu paal”. It tastes really yummy and we love it. If you wish, you can make it too. For that, make jaggery syrup and strain it. Add boiled milk to it. Add crushed cardamom. Mix n serve !

To make a simple pooja, just spread two banana leaf in the backyard/ terrace or pooja room. Light two lamps on both the sides. Keep the vegetables on the banana leaf. Keep a uzhakku full of rice.  Place the coconut, betel leaves and nuts. In another banana leaf, spread the cooked sweet pongal, paal pongal and seven vegetable kootu. Offer to Sun God and do the pooja.

Prayers Chanted on Pongal

Aditya Hridayam or Surya Ashtotaram or Gayatri mantra can be recited Or you can simply mediate and say some simple prayers.

After The Pongal Puja
After the prayers, some water and flowers are sprinkled on the kolam and pongal dish. You can also sprinkle some uncooked rice mixed with turmeric (akshata).

After final prayers, pongal, other dishes and fruits are distributed.

Looking at Sun’s reflection in water
In some regions, there is a ritual to look at the Sun’s reflection in a vessel filled with water. Some communities add turmeric and kumkum to the water and look at this reflection. Another unique ritual is to look at sun through the gaps of fingers.

Source : The hindu blog

Disclaimer : I have shared the procedures based on our tradition. Please take this 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.

Continue Reading...

September 3, 2015

Krishna Janmashtami | Krishna Jayanthi Celebration At Home - Pooja Procedures

Krishna janmashtami celebration at home

Yesterday I got a request from a reader to make a post on Krishna Janmashtami celebration / Gokulashtami celebration at home. So I have discussed how to celebrate Krishna Jayanthi/Gokulashtami/Krishna Janmashtami at home by Indians especially South Indians in a very simple way. I have also shared a video on how to draw Krishna feet using rice flour paste. Pooja procedures I have given here is based on my family's tradition. It may vary from place to place. So take this as a reference and get the guidance from your family elders.

As you all know,  Krishna Jayanthi is celebrated as the birthday of Lord Krishna. It’s a most important and sacred day for Hindus. People pray to Lord Krishna on this day and seek his blessings for a happy and good life.Krishna Janmashtami is observed on Ashtami – the eighth day of Krishna Paksha month/Shravana month i.e between mid August & early September. This year it falls on August 19th, 2022 - Friday evening. It is celebrated all over India. 

In Tamil nadu, Kerala, Karnataka and North Indian temples, Gokulashtami is celebrated in a grand manner. Festivities begin before dawn and extend all day until midnight, the exact moment of the anniversary of Krishna’s appearance. Many people observe fasting on this day till midnight and worship Lord Krishna. After Janmashtami pooja, they break their fasing by eating sweets and prasad offered to God. As a fasting rules, people consume only fruits, milk and drink lots of water. In my house, we don't have the practice of fasting on this day.

At home, we do a simple pooja in the evening i.e after 6 pm. On those days, my MIL used to do the pooja around 11 pm at night. So its better to do the pooja anytime after 6 pm till midnight. Midnight is the exact time that Krishna appeared on this planet, so it is the most auspicious and spiritually inspiring time to perform pooja.

Temples prepare at least one hundred and eight different food dishes on Janmashtami. At home, Tamil people do the pooja by offering flowers, neivedyam recipes like seedai , murukku, laddu, appam, payasam/Kheer etc and  performing Mangala aarti to Lord Krishna Idol or photo. If you are not able to prepare all these dishes,don’t worry - Krishna says in the Bhagavad-gita, “If you offer me with love a leaf, flower, fruit or water, I will accept it.” So offer whatever you can - it’s just your love and devotion that matters.

Please click here for the full collection of Krishna Janmashtami recipes of my blog ! I have also shared a No cook Aval panchamirtham recipe with fruits to make a simple neivedyam.

Visit my in-laws blog for kolam ideas.

Krishna jayanthi recipes


Please click here for the full collection of Krishna Janmashtami recipes of my blog.

Gokulashtami recipes

  • Krishna Idol or photo frame
  • Flowers/Garland for decoration
  • Fruits like apple, pomegranate,Orange,banana, guava etc
  • One coconut for neivedyam
  • Betel leaves and nuts (Vetrilai paaku)
  • Oil and ghee to light the lamp
  • Rice flour and colors for drawing  Rangoli and Krishna feet.
To offer in front of GOD
  • A small cup of milk, curd, butter, Poha/Aval mixed with jaggery or sugar.
These offerings are must and should even if you don’t prepare sweets and snacks.

Ingredients for making neivedyam recipes
  • Raw rice and Rice flour ( for making seedai , murukku and paal payasam )
  • Sesame seeds or cumin seeds
  • Coconut
  • Jaggery ( For vella seedai and appam)
  • Banana ( for appam)
  • Sugar ( for Milk payasam)
  • Milk ( for payasam/Kheer)
  • Urad dal and Roasted gram dal ( Pottukadalai ) ( For making seedai, murukku)
  • Butter/Ghee for snacks
  • Cooking oil ( to deep fry)
  • Do the shopping two days before the festival and finish making the deep fried neivedyam recipes like vella seedai , Uppu seedai , Kai murukku etc on the previous day of festival. Store them in an air tight box after everything cools down completely else they may turn soggy. DO NOT TASTE IT UNTIL YOU FINISH POOJA.
  • Wash the lamps and other pooja vessels on the previous day night and keep the turmeric, kumkum dots.Put the threads and oil the lamp. Suppose if  you don’t have enough time, you can do this job the next day morning or afternoon as we are going to do the pooja only in the evening after 6 pm. So its your choice.
On Gokulashtami afternoon, mix the ingredients for sweet appam and make payasam in cooker. Cook the appam around 5.30 pm. Around 4 pm in the evening, sweep the house and entrance. Draw Rangoli in the entrance and in front of the Pooja room. Draw the krishna feet from entrance till pooja room. Decorate the krishna idol by keeping flowers and garland. Make him ready for celebration :)


In many houses in South India, people draw footsteps of Lord Krishna from the entrance of the house to the Puja room. These footsteps are drawn with rice flour paste and drawing these footsteps is a sign of welcoming Lord Krishna to home. Women draw patterns of tiny footsteps like those of infant Krishna. I have given a video below on how to draw krishna feet using rice flour. Please watch it to draw easily.

how to draw krishna feet

How to draw Krishna Feet - Video

Take a broad plate such that your hands should fit in. Dilute the rice flour adding enough water and make the paste. Do not make it too thick or too thin. Its consistency should be like dosa batter. Now fold your hands as if you are punching someone😉. Dip your side of the hand in the rice paste. It will be coated with the paste. Now make the impression on the floor. Keep 5 dots for fingers. Draw the right leg first. Repeat the same procedure using your left hand for drawing left leg. Do this alternatively. Draw both the legs together near the entrance and pooja room. 

Refer the stepwise pictures for clear understanding. For drawing legs of baby Krishna, fold your hands tightly and make the impressions as shown in pics. If you want to draw slightly bigger legs, watch this video. Alternatively, you can ask your kids to make impressions on the floor. They would enjoy doing this and help you out .


After you finish the decoration and neivedyam preparations i.e after 6 pm, place the decorated Krishna on a plank/Peeta. Offer all the neivedyam recipes, fruits, curd, milk, butter in front of the God. Light the lamp and do the pooja, perform Mangala harathi. You can sing Krishna songs or read Bhagavad Gita/Sri Krishna Ashtakam OR simply chant “Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya “means “Om, I bow to Lord Vasudeva or Lord Krishna’'in front of the GOD.

To perform a simple pooja without any special neivedyam recipes, just garland the Krishna idol, garland it. Light the lamp, Place a small cup of milk, curd, butter, Poha/Aval/rice flakes mixed with jaggery or sugar. Do the pooja and mangala harathi. Please check the picture below for reference.

Krishna jayanthi celebration at home

The next morning, do the pooja with a simple neivedyam like dry grapes or candy (kalkandu). Remove the idol at a good time of the day ( Avoid Rahu kalam and Yama kandam ).

DISCLAIMER : The details I have shared here is purely our family’s method of celebration. It may vary from place to place based on your traditions. So please take this as a reference, consult the elders of your family for more guidance.

Thanks for visiting this page. Wish you all a very happy Gokulashtami :)

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August 22, 2015

Varalakshmi Vratham-Pooja Procedure/Puja Vidhanam

Picture Courtesy – My friend Archana

In this post I have shared how to do Varalakshmi vratham Pooja at home with details about the decoration, things needed, requirements for pooja, slokhas, Varalakshmi viratham neivedyam recipes and also about a simple Varamahalakshmi pooja at home for first timers. Hope beginners would find this information useful to you. Usually Varalakshmi pooja is celebrated in last Shukla paksha/ Valarpirai, Friday of Shravana month. This year 2022, there is a confusion between 5th and 12th August. On 12th August, Prathama thithi starts around 7 or 8am in the morning  based on what panchang you follow. So this year Varalakshmi pooja falls on Friday,  AUGUST 5, 2022.

Varalakshmi Vratham/Varamahalakshmi festival is the most auspicious festival celebrated by married woman(Hindu) to commemorate Goddess Mahalakshmi."Vara" means "boon" and Goddess Lakshmi grants all boons to those who performs pooja with utmost devotion on this day

Varalakshmi Vratam is a most popular festival in South Indian states like Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamilnadu & North Indian states like Maharashtra & Orissa. Worshipping Goddess Lakshmi on this day is equivalent to worshipping Ashtalakshmi ( 8 Lakshmi)– Goddesses of Wealth(Shri), Earth(Bhu), Learning(Saraswati), Love(Priti), Fame(Kirti), Peace(Shanti), Pleasure(Tushti) and Strength(Pushti). 

This pooja is performed for the well being of family members especially for the life of Husband & to get children, wealth etc. Every year Varalakshmi Vratham is observed in Sravana (in Telugu) month (Avani in Tamil & Sawan in Hindi). It is celebrated on Friday preceeding the full moon day (Pournami). Those who cannot perform it on that day, can do it on any other Friday in that month. On this day, married woman should observe fasting till they finish the puja.

In my family, both Mom & MIL don’t have the practice of doing Varalakshmi Viratham but every Friday we used to do Vilakku poojai for Goddess Mahalakshmi. But still I am making this post as per a reader's request. A reader from Chennai mailed me to share the details of Varalakshmi Vratham with pooja vidhanam/procedures and slokas as she is a beginner. 

So I thought of asking my friends who perform Varalakshmi Vrata every year in a grand manner. For making this post, I took the help from two of my friends Shalini and Archana. When I told them about this post, they became very happy and shared their pooja procedures along with their Varalakshmi decoration pictures.

Shalini gave me a book titled “Aadi, Avani maadha Pooja Vidhanam” in which all the important festivals like Ganesh Chaturthi, Varalakshmi Vratham, Naga Chathurthi and Garuda Panchami were discussed in detail with slokhas in Tamil. Not just that, Shalini spent nearly 3-4 hours over phone , explained each and everything about the pooja while I was drafting the post. Without the help of Shalini, this post would not have come up in my blog. I must really thank God for giving me such a helpful friend in all aspects of my life.

 If you are a beginner and looking for Varalakshmi pooja slokas in Tamil, right click on the images and click "Save as", download and save them in your mobile or PC and chant these slokas while doing the pooja. I have also shared some audio, video links for people who look for Varalakshmi vratham pooja vidhanam and idol decoration in Telugu and Tamil . 

Please scroll through the end of this post to check the links. Lets see the Neivedyam recipes list, pooja items requirements list, Things needed for varalakshmi pooja, Pooja procedures, Varalakshmi vratham story and slokhas for Varalakshmi Vrata in step by step.

Please visit my in-laws kolam blog "Learn Kolam" for Rangoli ideas. Lets see how to do Varamahalakshmi Pooja at home :)

Pic courtesy – My friend Shalini made God's face with turmeric powder.

Varalakshmi Pooja Prasadam Recipes

Let me start with the list of Neivedyam Recipes. You can make any 5, 7 or 9 dishes for count.

Check out my list of Varalakshmi vratham recipes of Tamil nadu, Andhra and Karnataka. 

Items required for Varalakshmi Pooja
  • Rice flour & colors – for drawing rangoli ( Please visit my in-laws kolam blog "Learn Kolam" for Rangoli ideas.)
  • Thambaalam/A big plate OR A wooden plank/Peeta
  • Few Banana leaves
  • Raw Rice – as needed ( to spread over the peeta)
  • One Kudam/Kalasha ( silver, bronze or copper)
  • Water scented with Jathikai/Mace, Cardamom, Saffron threads/edible camphor, Cloves(to fill the kalasha)
  • few Mango leaves ( to keep on top of kalasha)
  • One coconut for kalasha and few more for thamboolam bags
  • Turmeric powder ( for making gowri,if you have the practice)
  • Kumkum
  • Chandan( Sandal paste)
  • Akshatha ( Raw rice coated with turmeric/Manjal podi)
  • One lotus flower
  • Face of goddess ( Available ready made in Market)
  • Jewelries ( For Eyes, Nose – Available in market)
  • Dress and blouse piece for Lakshmi ( Buy in market)
  • Flowers and garland ( for archanai & decoration)
  • Betel leaves, Betel nut, Banana ( Vetrilai, Paaku, Vazhai Pazham)
  • Thoram for hands/pongu nool for neck (Thoram is nothing but a sacred thread  coated with turmeric powder with 9 strings and 9 knots whereas Pongu nool is a single thread smeared with turmeric powder)
  • Milk, Dry fruits & nuts ( optional)
  • Fruits ( all seasonal fruits)
  • Panchamirtham ( a mixture of fruits, jaggery, dry fruits, nuts and ghee)(optional)
  • Neivedyam recipes ( Idli, Sweet pooran kozhukattai ( poornam borelu), ellu kozhukattai, Karjikai/fried sweet samosa, Chitranna, Payasam, sweet appam ( based on your tradition).
  • Thamboolam set of kumkum,chandan,bangles, Betel leaves and nuts, Yellow rope, blouse pieces, coconut, banana along with 1 rupee coins) – Make them ready as per the number of ladies you invite.
  • Ready made(plastic) cups and bowls for distributing prasadam.
  • Mahalakshmi stothram book or download the images I have shared here.

About the Pooja Vidhanam book

The slokas I have shared here is from a book titled "Aadi avani maadha Pooja vidhanam". This book was given as a compliment for my friend's mom in Pudukottai and it was published in the year 2000. I don't think whether this book is available in the market. But I am sure you can get the book for Varalakshmi vratham with story, Mahalakshmi Ashtothram in Giri trading agency.
I have shared the title pages of book as per a reader's suggestion. 

Please leave a comment in the feedback section if you get any books of this kind. It would be useful for all the people landing in this page. Thanks ! Please click on the image to see the bigger sized picture.

Varalakshmi viratham pooja book

Pre preparatory works for Varalakshmi Pooja

On Thursday morning,wash all the pooja vessels and kalasha pot.Wash the lamps, keep kumkum dots and put threads. Oil the lamp and keep it ready for the next day use. Make the thoran and pongu nool and arrange the other pooja things in a plate.
You can also prepare the stuffing for sweet pooran kozhukattai, soak the pulses for sundal and grind the batter for idli.

Padi Poojai/Chukkalu pette pandaga(Telugu)on Thursday evening

On thursday evening around 5.30 pm, sweep the entrance of each room (Nilai padi/vaasal padi).  Apply turmeric on the sides and draw 2 lines using kumkum. It is partitioned into three divisions. Put chandan & kumkum dots. This pooja is done to welcome Goddess Lakshmi and it shows the beginning of next day function. 

Light the lamp, perform pooja by keeping some neivdeyam like sundal, sweet appam etc. Read the Varalakshmi Vratham story. I have attached the story picture in Tamil. Please refer it. Some people read the stories on Friday after completing the pooja.So its your choice.
You can also keep the manai/Wooden plank/Peeta and place a banana leaf over it. Spread the raw rice and keep it ready for next day’s pooja. Remember you should not keep the kalasha now. It should be kept only on Friday. Please click on the image to see the bigger sized picture.

Varalakshmi Pooja Story in English
The story happens in a beautiful town called Kundinagaram located in the Kingdom of Vidarbha /Vidharba Rajyam. In that Kundinagram town, Goddess Adilakshmi, being pleased by her devotion tells Charumathi in a dream and directed her to perform the vrata to enable her to fulfil her desires. Charumathi wakes up and tells her husband about the dream. 
Charumathi along with some neighbourhood women takes bath in the early morning hours and prepare a mandapam and invites Varalakshmi Devi. She recites the following sloka along with other women with utmost faith and devotion.
Lakshmi Ksheerasamudra rajatanyam sri rangadhameswareem
Dasibootha samastha devavanitham lokaika deepamkuram
Sri manmanda kataksha labdhivibhat brahmendra gangadharam
Twamtrayamlokyakutumbhineem sasijavandemukunda priyam
Then she wore nine threads / Thoranam to right hand and offers naivadyam to Goddess Lakshmi Devi. On the completion of the first circumstance, she heard she found Gajjelu, Andelu and other ornaments. On the second circumstance, they found kankanams made of navaratnams to their hands. On completion of the third circumstance, they found immense wealth.

Then Charumathi offers Tambulam to the brahmin priests and distribute the vrata prasadam to the relatives and lead a happy life. Since then, Hindu women perform this vrata with utmost faith and trust till today. With this, Lord Eswara concludes telling the story to Goddess Parvathi.


How to make thoram and Pongu nool

Thoram and Pongu nool are nothing but the sacred thread smeared with turmeric powder. Thoram is made by taking 9 strings of thread. Put 9 knots in equal intervals. The number of thoram depends on the number of ladies & young girls at home. Thoram has to be tied around your wrist and Pongu nool is nothing but a single thread smeared with turmeric powder.

You should tie it around your neck.Married ladies wear both Pongu nool and thoram whereas young girls tie thoram alone. Keep the thoram, Pongu nool, 9 betel leaves, 9 betel nuts, 9 banana, 9 dates, 9 turmeric sticks, kumkum box, Karimani mala ( black beads chain) in a plate and keep it ready for pooja. You can do all these works on Thursday night itself.

How to make the kalasha/Kalasam for Varalakshmi Pooja

For making Kalasam / Kalash, Fill the silver or bronze pot(kudum) with scented water (add cardamom, nutmeg, edible camphor etc) till its brim. Some people add kumkum, turmeric powder, dry fruits in the water. Some people have the practice of keeping raw rice, 1 lemon, 9 betel leaves(vetrilai), 9 betel nuts, 9 turmeric sticks( manjal kizhangu), 9 dry grapes, 1 moulded jaggery (Achu vellam), dry fruits & a karimani mala (black bead chain), coins inside the kalasha instead of scented water. 

So please make the kalasha according to your tradition. On the top of kalasha, place 5 mango leaves( keep in odd numbers) and keep a coconut smeared with turmeric. The tail portion of coconut should face upward. Kalasam should face east. After making the kalasha, keep a kumkum dot and keep aside till you make other arrangements.

How To Make Kalasam For Varalakshmi Pooja

The next day i.e Friday, after taking bath, wear a silk saree and some gold ornaments ( old or new). Wash the place where the pooja is going to be held. One should observe fasting till the Pooja is finished( Elderly woman can have milk and fruits). Draw rangoli using rice flour and place the peeta/Wooden plank/Manai OR Big plate/Thambaalam. 

Spread a banana leaf and put some raw rice ( If you have done this on Thursday night, skip this step and proceed to the next step).
Place the kalasha over the rice. Cover the coconut using a new blouse piece( made into cone shape by referring the video link given below). 
To this coconut, an image of Goddess Lakshmi is fixed or the image of Lakshmi made using turmeric powder. My friend makes the face of Lakshmi using turmeric powder as shown in the second picture. In some areas, women place a mirror behind the kalasham. Today, there are specially made Varalakshmi pots  and faces available in the market. So you can buy and fix it with the blouse piece.Now the kalasham symbolically represents Goddess Lakshmi.

Decorate the idol with dress and Jewelries and garlands. You can dress it with a tucked saree or skirt (Pavadai). Put some jewels (Preferably gold) and tie a pongu nool around the neck. It is considered to be the Mangal sutra(Thali) Keep chandan & KumKum dots. Now Goddess Lakshmi idol is ready to perform pooja. Make a cone shaped Ganesh/Pillayar using turmeric powder mixed with water and keep it near the kalasha. Light the lamps at the time of pooja and start doing it.

Please refer this video for decorating Goddess Lakshmi Idol.

How to Perform Varalakshmi Pooja

Lets see how to do Varalakshmi Pooja with all slokhas below. 

Ganesh pooja

Any auspicious festival should be started with Lord Ganesh pooja. So make a small cone shaped Ganesha using turmeric powder ( Manjal pillayar). Place it near the kalasha. Read the sthothram given below and worship Lord Ganesha to do this pooja without any obstacle and after chanting the sthothram, move the Ganesh towards North direction.

शुक्लाम्बरधरं विष्णुं शशिवर्णं चतुर्भुजम् ।
प्रसन्नवदनं ध्यायेत् सर्वविघ्नोपशान्तये ॥

Shukla-Ambara-Dharam Vissnnum Shashi-Varnnam Chatur-Bhujam |
Prasanna-Vadanam Dhyaayet Sarva-Vighno[a-U]pashaantaye

1: (We Meditate on Sri Vishnu) Who is Wearing White Clothes, Who is All-Pervading, Who is Bright in Appearance like the Moon and Who is Having Four Hands,
2: Who is Having a Compassionate and Gracious Face, Let us Meditate on Him To Ward of all Obstacles.
Source : (

Varalakshmi vratham slokha

Avahanam and Anga Pooja
After finishing Ganesha pooja, take some flowers and akshatha in hand and chant the Avahanam slokha. Visualise Goddess Lakshmi in mind and offer the flowers and akshatha to kalasha. Goddess Lakshmi is invited to our house.

Lakshmi Ksheera Samudra Raaja Tanaya
Sree Ranga Dhaameshvari
Daasi Bhootha Samasata Deva Vanithaam
Lokaika Deepankuraam
Sreeman Manda Kataaksha Labdha Vibhava
Brahmendra Gangaadharam
Tvaam Trailokya Kudumbineem
Sarasijam Vande Mukunda Priyaam

Meaning: Goddess Lakshmi, who is the daughter of the king of the ocean of milk, whose abode is Srirangam (with Lord Ranganatha), who is served by all the divine ladies in heaven, who is the guiding light for the world, who has obtained the sustained (continued, everlasting) glance (Grace) from Brahma, Indra and Shiva, whose abode is the three worlds (Bhu, Bhuva, Suvaha) - I offer my prostrations to Thee, the beloved of Lord Krishna (Mukunda). 
Now perform Anga Pooja (Worshipping each body parts of Lakshmi). Offer flowers to Kalasha by chanting Anga pooja sthothram. Refer the picture below for Anga pooja Sthothram in Tamil. Please refer this link in Hindupad for sthothra in English.

Following this, chant Lakshmi Ashtothram(108) by offering flowers to Kalasha.
Refer the below picture for Anga Pooja slokha & Lakshmi ashtothram ( Click on the image to see the bigger sized picture). 

Varalakshmi viratham slokhas

Varalakshmi vratham slokhas

Proceed with thoram Pooja/Nonbu Saradu poojai which is known as Thorakrandhi pooja.

Thorakrandhi pooja / Nonbu pooja

Neivedyam and Mangala Aarathi
Finally, Mangala Harathi is performed for the kalasha. Different types of sweets/neivedyam are offered in front of the God. Nonbu saradu/Thoram (yellow thread) should be tied on the woman's right hand and Pongu nool should be tied around your neck. You can ask your Husband to do this. At the end, take harathi by mixing turmeric & kumkum in water. Sing the Harathi song while taking mangala aarathi.

Mangala harathi song
Mangala harathi song

If you have not read the Varalakshmi Vratham story on Thursday, do it now.
Offer the Thamboolam – Coconut, betel leaf and nuts, turmeric sticks, kumkum, coconut along with flowers, blouse piece, mirror and comb is offered to women in the locality and in the evening an Harathi is offered to Lakshmi with some neivedyam.

Punar Puja - How To Remove Kalasha

Some people remove the kalasha on Friday night. But my friends told me to do it on Saturday. On Saturday morning, after taking bath, perform a pooja for the kalasha. Then dismantle it at auspicious time of the day.  Consume little water as theertha. Sprinkle it all around in the house. Then pour the remaining water in well, trees or tulsi plant. If rice is used in Kalasha, mix it with rice in the house. If you used coins, keep in the locker safe. You can remove the nonbu saradu/Pongu nool and thoram after 3 days or on Saturday. Make some sweets with the coconut you kept in kalasam and enjoy with your family. Do not make any spicy dishes with the coconut. 

If you want to strictly follow all the rules and methods of Varalakshmi Puja, then it would be wise to take the advice from an elderly woman who is regularly performing the puja. What I have shared here is purely based on the procedure given in the book and pooja methods shared by my friend Shalini. It may vary from place to place and tradition. Thanks for visiting this page. Please write few words in the comment section if you find this post useful. I will be more happy to know it.
Last but not the least please find the links which I felt them useful for beginners.

Some useful Links for Slokhas & Videos for beginners

Refer THIS LINK for the detailed pooja procedure with slokhas in English
  1. This VIDEO will help you to decorate Lakshmi Idol & placing Kalasha.
  2. If you want to do the pooja by listening to slokhas chanted by a priest, please refer this AUDIO, AUDIO & VIDEO , THIS VIDEO for Telugu Version. You can just follow the instructions and perform pooja.

How to do simple Varalakshmi Pooja

Some people don’t have the practice of Varalakshmi Vratham but still they may like to perform this pooja in a simple way. For doing a simple pooja: Light the lamp, keep some neivedyam and do the pooja by chanting Mahalakshmi Ashtothram. 

Distribute the Thamboolam and prasadam by inviting married woman to your house in the evening. There are no hard and fast rules in performing the Varalakshmi Puja and you can be flexible on the puja items. Even a simple prayer will please Goddess Lakshmi.

On this auspicious day, lets pray Goddess Vara Mahalakshmi to bless us with peace, health & wealth !!

NOTE from a reader Mrs. REVATI

She has been doing this Pooja since 27yrs. Thanks a lot for sharing this valuable information mam.

 If any close relative from in-laws side dies, we should not perform full puja BUT on the festival day one must take out Amman moham/ face and keep in silver glass or panchatram with rice, tambulam, coin in it in silver or peetalai / brass plate with banana leaf below. Yellow thread should be kept in amman, neivedyam should be done with fruits, beetal leaf, supari, manjal. After that tie sharadu in your right hand.

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