Monday, March 14, 2011

How to make a Gudi and do a simple Gudi Padwa puja at home

Gudi Padwa, sometimes spelled as Gudhi Padwa, is a major festival of India. It is an auspicious day for followers of the Hindu faith as it marks the beginning of the New Year in terms of the lunar calendar.

At the beginning of the day, first you should have a warm water bath. Many people first have an oil bath and then a warm water bath. After your bath, you should light the home's diya and worship the deity in your home. Generally, on this day, people also worship Lord Brahma and Lord Vishnu too. Me & my family visit the Kashivishweshvaraya Temple in Mumbai.
Kashi Vishweshwar Temple
Musicians playing traditional religious music outside the temple

Any money that is kept at the feet of the home's deity (which accumulates after pujas at home) is put in the temple's offering box. However, you should not remove all the money - keep at least Rs.11/- + you should offer some money to the deity on the day of Gudi Padwa (denomination can be Rs.11/-, Rs.51/-, Rs.101/-, etc).

The New Year panchang (which is basically a calendar of auspicious and inauspicious dates) is bought on the day of Gudi Padwa and place at the feet of the home's deity.
Panchang placed near God's idol/photo (note the little shrikhand too placed here as an offering)

Puja of Panchang

Then you can begin the Gudi Padwa puja rituals.

Gudi Padwa Puja
Before you do the traditional puja of the Gudi, you need to make a simple rangoli design (usually this is a swastika design) on the ground and put a little mixture of haldi powder and kumkum (turmeric and vermillion respectively) at the center point of the swastika design. You can also put in rangolis of diyas and flowers.

Next, put a bunting (called toran) of mango leaves. This is easily available in the local market, or you can make your own by stringing the leaves on a thread. If mango leaves are not available, you can make a bunting of golden flowers (such as marigold) and red flowers (shoeflowers). Generally, the toran is made with both mango leaves and the marigold flowers.
Torans on sale in the local market (Rs.20 to Rs.100/- depending on the length you need)

Toran at door

You should also prepare a sweet dish. The primary sweet dish for Gudi Padwa is shrikhand, served with hot puris. Due to modern-day's busy schedule, most people buy ready-made branded shrikhand! Before any member of the family eats the sweet dish, a little of it should be offered to the home's deity.

Home-made shrikhand

Readymade badam-pista shrikhand of a popular brand

Now you have to make the Gudi.
Here's a step by step guide to make a Gudi for Gudi Padwa puja:
Step 1: Take a bamboo stick, about medium length.

Step 2: At the very tip, tie a yellow or green cloth (it should have a golden brocade border).
Note: Yellow and green are the preferred colours, but you can also put orange or red (never put a black cloth).

Step 3: Take a few neem and mango leaves and tie it around the cloth.

Step 4: Now tie a garland of red flowers along with a few sugar crystals.
Note: As in the bunting at the doorway, red coloured flowers are used because the colour red is considered to be the most auspicious.

Step 5: Right at the top, over the cloth, put an inverted copper or silver pot (make sure it is clean).

Step 6: Place the Gudi in a slightly tilted way on the right side of the entrance of your home. Most people traditionally place the Gudi in the window. The Gudi is then hoisted (it is considered to be the flag of Lord Brahma) amidst the chanting of mantras by the priest.

Step 7: Distribute the prasad (holy offering).  
How to make prasad for Gudi Padwa: all you need to do is mix (i) a few neem leaves and flowers; (ii) soaked dal; (iii) a tsp. of honey; (iv) a few cumin seeds (jeera); and a pinch of hing (asafoetida).

The next day, drink water from the copper pot which was placed at the top of the Gudi. This is said to transmit the prajapati (creative waves) from the Divine Consciousness.

Photos of Guddis


  1. Good post Vandana,
    Nice information shared for organizing gudi padwa puja at home.

  2. Wen to remove d gudi..Any specific manner, time etc

  3. Is possible any specific reason of putting neem and other things.

    Just to share the reason our earlier generation who used to install mango leaves and torans on the window and doors.
    As mango leaves stays green for long time. the reason is it continues to cook food for it self, that is photosynthesis is still going on, so we get oxygen out of it.
    This improves good flow of oxygen and ventilation as well
    So, if any one has such info please share.
    Anyways happy gudi padwa