Gouri Ganesha Puja, or Gowri Habba, is an important festival observed in Karnataka on the previous day of Ganesh Chaturthi. It is observed during waxing phase of moon or Krishna Paksha in the month of Bhadrapada in Karnataka and parts of Andhra Pradesh and in Aavani month in parts of Tamil Nadu. Gowri Habba celebrates the extraordinary creation of Ganesha by Goddess Parvati (Goddess Gowri), which symbolizes women’s power to create life.
Here is a general idea to do or observe Gowri Ganesh Puja or Gowri Habba. It must be noted here that the method of performing puja varies from community to community and from region to region. Therefore what is more important is not the ritual but devotion and self-realization.
- Image of Gowri made using Turmeric paste or Clay idol of Parvati. Never use Plaster of Paris versions as it pollutes the water body.
- Threshing pan or Muram
- Betel leaves, betel nuts, coconut etc and other usual pooja accessories
- Purna Kumbha or Kalasha
- Mango leaves
- Cosmetics and gifts for women
- And other normal puja accessories like lambs, incense etc
- Nombu Food – if you are preparing a nombu neividya or prasadam.
Prepare the Purna Kumbha or Kalasha
- Prepare the Purna Kumbha. Take a brass or silver pot and decorate it with turmeric and kumkuma. Fill half of the vessel with water; put uncooked rice, turmeric pieces, almonds etc in the vessel. You can always be flexible.
- Decorate the inner rim of Kalasha with mango leaves. Place a coconut smeared with turmeric and kumkum on the mouth of the pot.
- Place the Kalasha or Purna Kumba on a plate or tray which has uncooked rice spread on it.
Substitute for Kalasha: If you have difficulty in preparing a Kalasha you can take a small container or vessel or glass with water and dip betel leaves in it with tip facing out. This is equivalent to a Kalasha.
The Puja Begins
- The tray containing the Kalasha is placed on a kolam or rangoli or on a table.
- Take a single betel leaf and place it before the Kalasha, which is on a big tray.
- Create an image of Goddess Gowri using turmeric paste.
- Place it on the betel leaf.
- Bangles and other cosmetics are arranged around the Kalasha.
- If clay Gowri is available place it near the Kalasha.
Take the tray containing Kalasha and turmeric Gowri to outside of the house and place it on a table or hand it over to an elder person.
Fill a small vessel or steel glass with uncooked rice and jaggery and place it down on the front door of the house.
Now take back the tray containing Kalasha and turmeric Gowri and enter the house. While entering slowly the kick the glass or vessel containing uncooked rice with right foot and spill the contents.
Enter the house with right foot first.
You can recite – Daya madi pithake Gowri song or play it on your music system.
The Kalasha and turmeric Gowri is placed in the puja room and a usual puja is performed. This symbolizes that Goddess Gowri is now in the house and you can light the lambs, recite mantras and perform puja. You can also offer fruits, flowers and neivediya (food offering).
If you are inviting other married women the gifts are placed in a threshing bamboo basket or Muram
Things needed for giving away gifts
- Threshing bamboo small basket or mat (muram)
- Turmeric powder
- Banana leaf
- Raw rice
- Small bundles of lentils – Red gram, Black gram, Green gram, Bengal Gram, Rava (Semolina).
- Wheat, salt, other spices
- Mirror, comb, bangales, blouse cloth etc – cosmetics
A threshing basket (muram) is decorated using turmeric paste and kumkum. A banana leaf is spread on it and rice is neatly spread on it. Small bundles of red, black, green and
Bengal gram (lentils) is placed on the rice. Wheat, salt, spices and small bundle of rava are placed around the lentils. Mirror comb and other cosmetics are arranged on one side. Use the second threshing basket or muram to cover the filled basket.
Gifts which are placed on the threshing basket are exchanged between married women.
The idol of Gowri stays in the puja room and next day is Ganesh Chaturthi. Special Ganesh puja is held. Goddess Gowri (the turmeric idol or the clay idol) is immersed in water on the day Ganesha is immersed.