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Pushkaralu festival returns to the Ganga

  • Published
    24th Apr, 2023
Context

The 12-day Pushkaralu festival of Telugu-speaking people commenced recently in Varanasi.

About the festival
  • The festival is being organised in Kashi this year after a gap of 12 years due to a unique combination of planetary transits.
  • Godavari Pushkaralu is celebrated once every 12 years when Brihaspati enters Simha Raasi. 
  • In this festival, pilgrims worship their ancestors and the river Ganga.
  • It is the second event of the recent past to be organised in Varanasi, after the Kashi-Tamil Sangamam.

The story behind

  • As per the legend, after severe penance, the devotee Pushkara was blessed by Lord Shiva with the ability to live in water and purify holy rivers.
  • On a request from Brhaspati (Jupiter), Pushkara decided to enter one of the 12 sacred rivers — Ganga, Yamuna, Godavari, Krishna, Kaveri, Bhima, Tapti, Narmada, Saraswati, Tungbhadra, Sindhu, and Pranhita.
  • Each river has its zodiac sign.
  • The river for each year’s festival is decided in accordance with Brihaspati's travel from one zodiac sign to another.

Pushakaram of these rivers is celebrated when Jupiter / Brihaspati transits from one Raasi (zodiac sign) to the other:

  1. The cycle of Pushkaraulu begins with River Ganga when Brihaspati enters Mesha Raasi (Aries). It is celebrated as Ganga Pushkaram.
  2. Narmada Pushkaram when Jupiter enters Vrishabha Raasi (Taurus).
  3. Saraswati Pushkaram when Brihaspati enters Mithuna Raasi (Gemini).
  4. Yamuna Pushkaram is celebrated when Jupiter enters Karkataka Raasi (Cancer).
  5. Godavari Pushkaram when Brihaspati enters Simha Raasi (Leo).
  6. Krishna Pushkaram when Jupiter enters Kanya Raasi (Virgo).
  7. Kaveri Pushkaram when Brihaspati enters Thula Raasi (Libra).
  8. Bheema Pushkaram when Jupiter enters Thula Raasi (Libra).
  9. Pushkara Vahini when Brihaspati enters Dhanur Raasi (Sagittarius).
  10. Tungabhadra Pushkaram when Jupiter enters Makara Raasi (Capricorn).
  11. Sindhu Pushkaram when Brihaspati enters Kumbha Raasi (Aquarius).
  12. And when Jupiter enters Meena Raasi (Pisces), Pranahita Pushkaram is celebrated.
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