Know Gowri festival significance , Bagina , celebration in Bengaluru , special foods

Gowri festival is a Hindu festival that honours Goddess Gowri, the mother of Lord Ganesha and the consort of Lord Shiva. It is celebrated a day before Ganesha Chaturthi, which marks the birthday of Lord Ganesha. Gowri festival is also known as Gowri Habba, Swarna Gowri Vratha or Hartalika Teej. It is observed by married women and young girls in Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra.

The origin and significance of Gowri festival are based on various legends and beliefs. One of them is that Goddess Gowri visits her parents’ home on Earth on this day, and Lord Ganesha comes the next day to take her back to Kailasa, the abode of Lord Shiva. Another legend is that Goddess Gowri performed a severe penance to obtain Lord Shiva as her husband, and Lord Ganesha helped her in this endeavour. A third legend is that Goddess Gowri created Lord Ganesha from the turmeric paste that she used for bathing, and Lord Shiva beheaded him unknowingly, but later restored his life with an elephant head.

The significance of Gowri festival is to worship Goddess Gowri as the epitome of femininity, beauty, purity and power. She is also considered as the goddess of fertility, prosperity and auspiciousness. Women observe this festival to seek her blessings for their marital bliss, longevity of their husbands, well-being of their children and happiness of their families.

Gowri festival is celebrated with great devotion and enthusiasm in Bengaluru, the capital city of Karnataka. The preparations for the festival begin a few days in advance, with women buying new clothes, jewellery, puja items, fruits, flowers and sweets. They also clean their houses and decorate them with rangoli (colourful patterns made with rice flour or chalk powder), mango leaves and banana stems.

Know Gowri festival significance , celebration in Bengaluru , special foods


On the day of the festival, women wake up early in the morning and take a bath. They wear new or traditional clothes and adorn themselves with jewellery and flowers. They perform the Swarna Gowri Vratha, which involves fasting and offering prayers to Goddess Gowri. They place a clay or turmeric idol of Goddess Gowri on a decorated plate or tray filled with rice or wheat grains. They also place a kalasha (a brass or silver pot filled with water and topped with a coconut and mango leaves) beside the idol. They invoke the goddess by chanting mantras and singing songs. They offer various items to the goddess, such as turmeric, vermilion, bangles, comb, mirror, blouse piece, coconut, betel leaves, betel nuts and fruits. They also offer modakas (sweet dumplings) or obbattus (sweet flatbreads) as prasadam (sacred food). They tie a sacred thread with 16 knots around their right wrist as a symbol of protection from evil forces.

One of the main rituals of Gowri festival is to exchange morada bagina (also known as gowri bagina) among married women. Morada bagina is a bamboo tray or basket filled with various items such as rice, pulses, cereals, jaggery, coconut, turmeric pods, bangles, blouse piece and other accessories. It is considered as a symbol of prosperity, abundance and goodwill. Women give morada bagina to their relatives, friends and neighbours as a gesture of sharing happiness and blessings.

Gowri festival is also celebrated with delicious food items that are prepared specially for this occasion. Some of the common dishes that are made on this day are:

  • Chitranna: A rice dish flavoured with lemon juice, mustard seeds, curry leaves, turmeric powder and peanuts.
  • Tovve: A dal dish made with toor dal (split pigeon peas), green chillies, tomatoes, tamarind, ginger and spices.
  • Semiya payasam: A kheer (pudding) made with vermicelli (thin noodles), milk, sugar, cardamom powder and dry fruits.
  • Kayi holige: A sweet flatbread stuffed with grated coconut and jaggery mixture.

These dishes are offered to Goddess Gowri as neivediyam (food offering) and then served to the family members and guests as prasadam.

Gowri festival is a joyous occasion that celebrates the divine motherhood of Goddess Gowri and her son Lord Ganesha. It is a time to express gratitude to the goddess for her grace and benevolence. It is also a time to strengthen the bonds of love and friendship among women by exchanging morada bagina. It is a festival that fills the hearts of people with devotion, happiness and prosperity.