Friday, November 12, 2010

How to perform a simple Tulsi Vivah Puja Aarti Ceremony at Home

The Tulsi plant is one of the sacred plants of the followers of the Hindu faith, as this plant is considered to be one of the manifestations of Goddess Mahalaxmi. The Tulsi plant is grown in a large earthen pot and in many towns and villages in India you will see the Tulsi plant growing in the front courtyard of the house, in a structure made from bricks known as Vrindavan (the name Vrinda was Goddess Mahalaxmi’s name at birth).
Vrindavan in which Tulis plant is grown

Tulsi Vivah is the marriage (vivah) ceremony of the Tulsi plant to Shaligram (a black stone manifestation of Lord Vishnu). The Tulsi Vivah Ceremony is performed on the second day of Karthik Ekadashi in the evening.
Date of TulsiVivah Ceremony in 2010: November 17th, 2010

Preparations Requirements for Tulsi Vivah Ceremony at Home
1. Any food eaten on this day should be pure vegetarian only. It is important to prepare a poha (puffed rice) dish.

2. Buy a day in advance sugarcane sticks and pieces of tamarind and amla.

3. The Tulsi Vivah ceremony is either performed by an official priest or by the ladies in the family. Women of all age groups perform the Tulsi Vivah ceremony, although it is said that generally widows do not perform the Tulsi Vivah ceremony.

4. On the morning of the Tulsi Vivah ceremony, after bath, the tulsi plant should be watered and the lunch should be cooked. Generally, in many families lunch on this day consists of rice-dal, puris, a kheer made from sweet potato and red pumpkin vegetable (bhopla). A little part of each of the cooked food is kept in a thali in front of the Tulsi plant as an offering before the family members eat the meal. The actual ceremony is performed in the evening only.

Tulsi Vivah Vidhis Puja Aarti

Step 1: Clean the area around the Tulsi plant. Sprinkle a little water on the tulsi plant and clean the idol of image or picture of Lord Vishnu (or Lord Krishna).  The idol can be a substitute for the shaligram, which is generally brought by the priest who can be called to perform the Tulsi Vivah ceremony. You can do a small rangoli design in front of the tulsi plant pot.

Step 2: Prepare a thali having a diya and red flowers (hibiscus flowers can be used); and another thali containing a saree, a blouse piece, a packet of mahendi, a kohl stick or box, a box of sindoor (red vermillion powder) and a few green bangles.Also keep a thali of fruits, tamarind and amla pieces. The reason for this: The tulsi is considered to be a plant of the forest (van), so anything which grows on the trees is offered as part of the Tulsi Vivah ceremony. 

Step 3: Take 4 sugarcane sticks and place it at 4 corners around the tulis plant pot, connecting them with strong threads. This is the traditional way, done in the courtyards of villages. Alternatively, you can gently insert the  sugarcane sticks in the soil around the tulsi plant.

Step 4: Place a small bright cloth (this is generally red in colour and resembles a scarf or odhni) on the tulsi plant. Apply a bit of the sindoor on a leaf of the Tulsi plant. Throw the red flowers on the tulsi plant. Offer the fruits, tamarind and amla pieces. Say the Tulsi Aaarti. 

Place the thali for the wedding (saree, blouse, bangles, etc) in front of the tulsi plant pot. Light the diya in the thali and perform the aarti of the tulsi plant. Apply a tika of sandalwood paste on the forehead of the idol/image/shaligram of Lord Vishnu (in some homes, a thali of men's clothing is also offered with a sacred thread). Offer a little of the pre-pared poha dish (you can put it in the same thali as the fruits).

Step 5: Once the aarti is completed, a little of the poha is offered to family members and guests. The fruits can also be eaten later. In many homes, the lady who performed the Tulsi Vivah ceremony also eats a leaf of the tulsi plant, symbolically implying that the Goddess has entered her body.

Step 6: The thali containing the wedding items is generally offered to a Brahmini (female ascetic).


  1. Thank you, this was very informative.....

  2. Renu, thank you for reading my blog. It feels good to share knowledge with others.

  3. Thanks for mentioning the Tulsi Aarti. Is it that the day varies from region to region?

    1. Yes Pooja, the day of the Tulsi Puja does vary in different regions of India as well in different communities. Some people perform it on the 11th day of the lunar calendar while others perform it on the 12th day. Another significant aspect of the day is that the days following it are considered to be the start of the wedding season in India.

    2. Is there any occasion when Tulsi is worshiped except Tulsi Vivah?

    3. Ratna, sorry for the late reply. As per my knowledge, in many households, the Tulsi plant is worshipped daily in the morning and sometimes again in the evening. The sacred plant also features during the worship of Lord Vishnu, Lord Krishna and Goddess Lakshmi. Some useful information about why prayers are offered to the Tulsi plant is provided here:

  4. was very informative...

  5. IS this pooja only done by ladies?
    Thank you