Tulsi Vivah and other festivals

Festival - Tulsi Vivah

Some more photos of Tulsi Vivah celebrations decorations rangoli , aarti , cotton garland

Tulasi kota decoration or Tulasi katte decoration for Tulsi marriage festival









This aarthi song in Kannada is sung for Tulsi Pooja , recalling it from memory, I learnt from my mother,  the video below is from my YouTube Channel

It starts with Varava kode thayi varava kode


Aishwarya rangoli with kaavi border  with battery operated lamps 

- a blend of old and new traditions



Auspicious rangoli are drawn for the Tulsi plant or maadam in Tamil  and for Tulsi Vivah .  The videos of these rangoli are in my YouTube channel.  The play list of these kolam/ muggulu  designs is at

Tulsi Vivah or Tulsi plant  rangoli 

Some rangoli vidos from my YouTube rangoli Channel - Rangolisansdots


Apart from auspicious rangoli designs for Tulsi Vivah we can actually have a representation of a Tulsi plant or madam using a 5 by 5 plus  3 by 1 plus 5 by 1  dot grid some free hand patterns for leaves and branches and cotton buds.  The pictures below should be self explanatory.







The Tulsi Vivah ( marriage of Tulsi withVishnu say the puranas) is also celebrated as Uttwandwadasi.  The image of Tulsi Devi is placed on the Tulsi plant.  Since we celebrate a marriage Tulsi is adorned with a mangalsutra.  Garlands made from cotton and flowers like jasmine are used to adorn the plant.  I have added the pink and red roses that bloomed in the rose plants in flower pots I have.

Growing your own floral plants, watering them see the buds bloom into flowers, using the flowers for puja gives me a lot of mental satisfaction. However, flowers and rangoli have a lot in common, both are beautiful, colourful and both last for a very short time.



Amla aarti - an aarthi with amla or wild gooseberry is one of the important features of Tulsi Vivah festival.  The number of amla is usually five. Place a cotton wick on each amla  and aarti is performed. 
  These are the couple of roses (pink and red ) that I have used for Tulsi vivah festival.                                              

The pictures above from the Tulsi Vivah performed by me in November 2013.

The photo above is the Tulsi Vivah celebrated at my eldest sister's house.  The face of the Goddess was purchased in Srirangam, near Trichy in Tamil Nadu.  Pooja is performed to the Tulsi plant, with the face of the Goddess placed on it.  Amla (wild gooseberry) twigs are placed near the plant.  Aarthi is performed with pieces of amla fruit. Offerings include laddus made from ground nuts, roasted gram and puffed rice. Please note carefully the decorations made with flowers from her garden and a vastra made from cotton  I think the whole arrangement radiates holiness.  Doesn't it? ( Thank you Akka,  for the  photo.  I have uploaded the photo as per your request.  She is one of the most wonderful persons you can meet.  She has been my friend, philosopher, guide and my mentor. I owe a lot to her.)

One of the most important rangoli that is drawn for the Tulsi plant is the Hridaya Kamalam - a dot rangoli design showing a lotus design as viewed from the top.  I have added  video to my YouTube channel showing this rangoli drawn with two parallel lines to make the lotus design more intricate.  The parallel lines are of different colours.   How ever if you like to see the basic rangoli design go to Hridaya kamalam - a lotus rangoli.                                                              
   Offerings for Tulsi Vivah Puja include ladoos made from peanuts, roasted gram, rava ladoo, moong dhall and puffed rice (nel pori urundai in Tamil ). One of them puffed rice ladoo is shown here.

How to make puffed rice ladoo or nel pori urundai  ?

Clean the puffed rice off any paddy husk that may be present.  For 100g of puffed rice take 25 g of jaggery.  Add the jaggery  to water and heat it and dissolve  to a stage when a drop of the solution  is placed on water it can be easily rolled into a ball.  Add dry ginger powder and cardamom powder to puffed rice. Coconut sliced into small pieces can be added to the jaggery syrup (it is optional). Gently pour the syrup on pufffed rice (nel pori ) mix thoroughly and roll the combination into ladoos.    


Some photos showing the steps involved in preparation of nel pori urundai or aval pori urundai




The photo below, the  Tulsi plant found in many homes in India.

The Tulsi plant is held in  reverence in  many parts of India.   It is a ubiquitous part of Indian culture and hence many Indian  households.I understand  that many studies have been conducted by experts on the medicinal value of the plant. However it is beyond the scope of this blog to discuss it. 


Lamps are lit at the base of the Tulasi maadam or Vrindavan daily in the evening.  In the morning water is offered and puja is performed with haldi and kumkum. On Fridays and other festivals it is decorated with cotton garland and Hridaya Kamalam is drawn . The photos below give an idea.

My kolam videos

Rangoli / kolam for Tulsi Plant 
Navratri decoration ideas


Ananta Vratha festival

Ananta Vrata is celebrated on the fourteenth day before the full moon day in the month of Bhadrapada ( usually falls between 15th of August and 15th of September ).  While Jeevthi Pooja is celebrated by a mother for the welfare of her children, Ananta Vrata is celebrated for the welfare of the couple for fourteen years from the year of the marriage .

It performed using a khalasa as we do for Varalakshmi Vratham.  A vessel is filled with water and a red cloth tied around it. In some families a snake like shape is made from darba grass and placed inside the vessel.  Two red strings with fourteen knots are placed in pooja.   After the Pooja  the strings are tied to the the right shoulder.  This ananta as it is called is preserved till the Puja for the next year.  This ritual is continued for fourteen years after which it is completed  for that particular couple.  

Kheer made from wheat and dosa without fermentation is offered to Ananta Padmanabha.  My mother prepared what is called guloni a side dish for the dosa. Guloni is made from rice and grated coconut.
Rice is fried in ghee and soaked in water. After half an hour grated coconut is added to this rice. Cardamom. powder is also added.  Grind the mixture in a mixer. Boil on a stove for a few minutes.  Add sugar according to your taste.
Dosa without fermentation is by using the flour immediately after grinding without allowing it to ferment.

 Another important offering is sweet dosa.
Maida and wheat flour are taken in the ratio 1:1. For one measure of  maida or wheat flour add three-fourth measure of jaggery. Jaggery is grated and added to water till it soaks well. Filter it to remove stones if present !.

In this solution add the maida and wheat flour mixture , cardamom powder and stir well.  This wet flour is used to make sweet dosa.


Festival - Mangala Gowri Vratham

It is performed for first five years after marriage.  The idol of Mangala Gowri is handed over to the married lady.  She performs this puja every year after marriage for five years on Sravana Tuesday (Mangala vaar) i.e on all Tuesdays of the month.  This is done for a happy married life.  Betel leaves and nuts ( eight numbers) are offered to Goddess (Gowri or Parvathi) and eaten by the husband and wife.  Offerings include wheat flour modhakam and a kheer with wheat flour ball in milk.  Sixteen wicks are made from cotton, dipped in ghee and aarti is performed with these wicks.

 Festival - Savitri Vratha

This festival falls during June (Jyeshta month full moon day).  Legend has it that Savitri after penance could get back the life of her husband on this day.  So this vratha or puja is performed on this day for the welfare of the spouse.  After the puja five married women are invited to the house and offered haldi-kumkum with mangoes. After fasting from morning a feast is arranged in the afternoon with kheer (sweet porridge ). A portrait of Savitri is decorated with turmeric, kumkum, cotton garland (called vastra ) and flowers It is also called Vata Savitri Vratha (probably because Vata refers to fig tree )

Butter murukku thenkuzhal ottu pakoda recipes

Butter murukku pieces - savory recipe for Diwali or evening snacks

What we need is rice flour that is readily available in the stores or rice flour that is home made by soaking rice in water , spreading it on a clean cloth , drying it in shade and then dry grinding it.

Then white sesame seeds , asafoetida , green chillies wet ground in a mixer , butter and salt

  • Take three measures of rice flour , 3/4 to 1 tea spoon butter is added.
  • All other ingredients are added one by one.  
  • Green chillies paste and salt can be varied according our taste.
  • Mix will adding water little by little
  • At this step we can check whether salt and chillies are as per our requirement
  • We should prepare the dough as and when required only.  Do not prepare the entire dough at one stretch
  • After preparing the dough use the murukku achchu or template with single star shaped opening 
  • Take oil in a vessel and when it has been heated to the right temperature
  • Place the dough the in the achchu and make the murukku .
  • It is sufficient if we make only pieces , they are easy to serve and make also !
  • Hot butter murukku pieces an ideal evening snacks with tea during monsoon and also for Deepavali recipes of the savory variety is ready.



Ottu pakkoda or ribbon pakkoda- savory recipes for Diwali or evening snacks ideas

The ingredients are gram dhal flour , rice flour , sesame seeds , red chilly powder and asafoetida and butter ( optional ) or hot oil

  • For three measures of rice flour add one measure of gram dhal flour
  • Add salt , asafoetida,  white sesame seeds, chilly powder to this
  • Salt and chilly powder can be varied according to your taste
  • Add some butter or hot oil and mix well .
  • After mixing thoroughly add water little by little to make a dough
  • Prepare only the required amount of dough as and when needed. 
  • Make the dough little by little to make few ribbon pakkodas at a time
  • Using the ribbon pakkoda template in the chakli maker fry in hot oil
  • Serve with hot tea  in the evening for snacks.






Diwali savouries South Indian savory recipes

Apart from sweets , savoury as we call them also form an important part of Diwali celebrations in Tamil Nadu.  In those days , preparations had to be made days in advance.  All the sweets and savouries were prepared and had to be stored carefully to save them from the ants and from the kids also !  There is a tradition of exchange of gifts in the form of sweets and savouries with neighbours and relatives who come to our house.  

Thenkuzhal Diwali savory recipe

  • Five measures ( azhakku ) raw rice is taken in a bowl.  It is soaked in water for half and hour.
  • Then we should drain all water, and dry in shade under a ceiling fan, spreading the rice on clean cloth
  • Another option is ready made flour is available in the shops and that may be used.
  • After the rice is dry , dry roast in a vessel without oil. Only light roasting is required 
  • For five measures raw rice , take one measure urad dhal and dry roast in a vessel
  • Mix both the ingredients and dry grind at the local "machine" as we call here.
  • To the ground flour add salt , cumin seeds and asafoetida as required
  • I add a little oil to this mixture, some people add butter instead of oil
  • Sprinkle water , little by little and prepare the dough.
  • Take oil in a vessel and when the oil becomes hot turn the stove to sim position so that the savory gets cooked evenly
  • Using a kuzhal make the thenkuzhal rolls and fry in the oil.
  • Once the oil  stops sputtering remove the thenkuzhal.
  • Break one , if we can see a small hole at the centre then we are sure we got the right "padham"
  • Happy Diwali !