City beckons goddess Lakshmi

City beckons goddess Lakshmi

Shopping for fruits and flowers apace at 8th Cross Malleswaram in Bangalore on the eve of  Varamahalakshmi festival on Thursday. DH PHOTOShopping was brisk for the first big festival heralding the festive season for the Hindus, after the month of Ashada. A precursor to the Ganesha festival in the month of September, enthusiasm was high as people could be seen buying flowers,  plantain stalks, vegetables and fruits for the festival.

Varamahalakshmi vrata signifies the value of togetherness. As per the legend, a poor Brahmin woman Charumathi lived in Vidarbha. Appeased by her good conduct, the Goddess appeared in her dream and shared the secret to prosperity with her. Charumathi was blessed with wealth and noble children after she performed the vratha.

The vratha is observed prior to the Shravana Poornima. For the puja, a mantapa is decorated with flowers, plantain leaves and rangoli. A traditional kalasha, filled with water, rice, silver coins and precious items and decked with flowers and coconut, is placed inside the mantap. A holy thread, dipped in haldi and kumkum is tied around the wrists of women who perform the puja.

It is customary to offer vermillion, gifts and bagina to five married women, in turn seeking their blessings. The vratha demands the preparation of five kinds of sweets (pancha baksha). The ubiquitous payasa, other sweets, traditional kosambari, rice delicacies and curries feature on the menu.

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