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Punyaham is the word mainly used to refer to holy water or the water that has been sanctified by mantras. It is mainly used for purification purposes. Some scholars are also of the view that the word, Punyaham means sacred day or an auspicious time blessed for a particular deed or karma.

Surya, or the Hindu Sun God, is invoked and propitiated for Punyaham.

The word Punyaham has different meaning for different communities – for example Punyaham is mostly associated with purification ceremony among Hindus in Kerala.

For some communities Punyaham is performed for the successful completion of karma with the help of gods and goddesses.

In some other communities in South India, Punyaham ceremony is part of funeral rituals.