Chudi poojan and its significance

                                     Gaud Saraswat Brahmins(GSB’s) have some very unique traditions and “chudi pooja” is one among them.The monsoon brings along with it  lots of festivals in the Shravan maas along with the chudi pooja. Shravana the month itself is for shravana(hearing holy pravachan),mañana(thinking holy or spiritual dedication), keerthan( singing holy hyms to the lord .This post is a small attempt to make the younger generations know about our rituals and traditions and keep them alive no matter in which part of the world they stay.

                            Chudi pooja is a tradition followed by married GSB women in Karnataka and some parts of Kerala.It is basically worshipping the Sun god and the divine Tulsi plant.There is a saying that  wild flowers and other plants which are not regularly used for pooja had asked lord Vishnu that they too  be given chance to be offered to the lord and hence are used for chudi puja .The customs may differ from place to place and region to region depending upon how the tradition and pooja have been carried on from generations. The pooja starts from first friday OR sunday of sharavan maas and continues till the last friday/sunday.In south Canara the pooja is performed on every friday and sunday and in North Canara it is performed only on sundays. Cochin GSB do perform this chudiye pooja in the name of Sirvan Aitharu . Sirvan Aitharu means Sravan masacho aitharu ( Sravan month’s sunday ). Cochin GSB do perform this only on Sundays & the way of performing the pooja also is quite similar.
            Legend goes that Sita had offered this pooja with wild grown plants/leaves and flowers during her vanvaas and hence this pooja came into existence.The word chudi is believed to be derived from Kannada word soodi meaning bunch.The main requirement of chudi pooja are the durva grass/ dirbhaankur with minimum 5 types of flowers and wild leaves.These are then tied together with the help of banana fibre(vayu) to form a small bunch/bouquet and arranged in a poleru(a brass/steel thali used for pooja).In North Canara the bunch is tied along with a leaf.The area where the tulsi plant is kept is cleaned and washed the previous day.Also the door step -Humboro is decorated with rangoli . this pic of choodis & haldi kumkum is courtesy my friend – Pratibha Rao

See Video for making chudis – video courtesy – Asha Radhakrishna Shenoy
                                      The women take  bath ( washing their hair too ) on fridays and sunday mornings ,wear saree along with the traditional ornaments and  avoid any rice items in their breakfast… they start the pooja with lighting a diya in front of tulsi plant.The tulsi plant is offered water first ,and also a few drops consumed as Achamana ! Then the Tulsi plant is  applied haldi-kumkum and offered a flower.The incense sticks are lighted and placed and naivedya is offered in form of fruits,sweet dishes,dry fruits,panchakadayi or simply sugar as per one’s convenience.The chudis are then offered along with betel nut leaves (panna veedo), aarti,followed by pradakshina of tulsi plant.Leaving one panna veedo and one chudi to goddess tulsi,others are collected and brought to the entrance of the house(humbaru),after applying haldi kumkum the chudis and betel leaves are placed on both ends along with aarti.Then the remaining chudis are offered to the goddess in the puja room.This is the normal procedure or custom followed by all the ladies.So after doing the pooja, one chudi is thrown on the roof of the house ( that is supposed for the Sumangalis who passed away ), one kept by the  tulsi, two at the doorstep ( humbraari) with panna veedo, remaining in the deva kood./pooja room..on all the photos of deities and of course one in our phanti (braid ). Young girls are only given chudis & kumkum & no veedos . Also if the chudi pooja comes on a Ekadeshi – then only chudis & kumkum is given to all without veedos . The pooja is usually done before having breakfast but if that is not possible the women should avoid using rice items in their breakfast and finish the pooja by 12 noon
Here is a pic of the arrangement , pic courtesy – my friend – Padmini Kamath

Another pic of the decorated Tulsi Khatto

                                           The chudis are then offered to elder ladies along with veedo and haldi kumkum and younger ones too but without veedo…. They then wear them on their braids .Veedo is also given to the elder male members.If staying far away the chudi along with haldi kumkum is sent by post and blessings are seeked.
                                                Navi chudi is arranged for newly married separately in the in-laws home and maternal home… . In the first year of marriage where all the elder and younger ladies from the family gather along with other relatives and friends to perform the chudi pooja .Here onwards the lady should carry this tradition wherever she resides.
                                    Traditionally the chudis used for pooja should be in odd numbers like 5 ,9,11,15,21 etc ,even the durva used while making a bunch should be taken in odd numbers like 3 or 5.
                               Now with ladies staying far away from family may not be possible to get all the flowers and leaves used traditionally ,so they may perform this with whatever flowers are available locally.
A little more deatils  about  Kasargod , Mangalore side pujas .Chudi pooja  is started by applying kumkum to the Udka thambiyo (Kalash with water )  at the four sides,add akshath (raw rice) and a phulla pakuli (Flower petal ),a pinch of kumkum inside the water then pour this in the tulsi khatte after keeping all the chudis on the katte !  A few drops Raw milk (without boiling) should be poured inside tulsi katte on sundays only !
This pic is courtesy my friend – Asha Radhakrishna Shenoy

                                     Choodis are believed to have cooling effect on the body due to use of various leaves and flowers along with the durva grass.Also as the collection of flowers and leaves allows us to spend some time in the lap of nature ,it has a great effect on our mind and soul.
           Listed below are the flowers and leaves required for standard chudi.
  1. Ratnagandhi
  2. Ratnapushpa
  3. Gauri pushpa
  4. Kayle dolo(leaf)
  5. Anwaali
  6. Aarti(leaf)
  7. Kangni pushpa
  8. Majra nankut(leaf)
  9. Shankh pushpa
  10. Mithai pushpa
                Since most of us stay in cities & flats – these wild flowers may not be available most make do with whatever flowers & leaves they get.
For Choodi Pooja Naivedya could  be godu phovu, Panchakdayi, fruits, dry fruits or narlu kellein . Second Friday of Shravan is Varamahalakshmi Vrat when some prefer to offer  special prasad like sheera ,halwa etc..  Here’s a poleru showing the naivedya offered ,along with the veedo chudi and haldi kumkum.Some prefer to prepare the sweets every week on fridays and sundays and some only on specific days…we can also offer dry fruits,nuts,fruits as per our convenience .
Here is another poleru by my friend Asha Radhakrishna Shenoy
                         For the whole of Shravan maas  when the pooja is done , women  visit each others home & give & receive choodis , thus enabling them to strengthen family bonds & relationships .
  With inputs from my friends in our group and help in editing by my friend – Usha Bhat
Note :-
Here are the pics of some of the flowers from the list mentioned above  :-
Shankh Pushpa
Mithai Pushpa
Another pic of Ratnagandhi ! These pics are courtesy my friend
Padmini Kamath

These are some of the leaves used in chudi – Pics courtesy – Asha Radhakrishna Shenoy
WhatsApp Image 2020-08-01 at 6.23.37 PM

43 replies to “Chudi poojan and its significance

  1. Well explained in details…thank you for the effort taken in posting the colorful chudis and traditional ones plus Prasad in beautiful PoLeru. How awesome it is to feel nostalgic over little things we enjoyed taking part with our Mom. I do remember my mother explaining the chudi thrown on roof top was for the Malgade`n that have passed on to the other world – just symbolic to think of them with affection, respect and gratitude. Lovely area designated to Tulasi matha!


  2. Great info. Here in the capital city, away from hometown and relatives, i still perform Chudipooja with great Enthusiasm and with passion, the same way my mom used to do. Organise a konkani friends get together so as to enable the chudis. Not all types of flowers r available here. But the tradition is alive. Thanks a lot for the story behind the rituals.


  3. Great info. Here in the capital city, away from hometown and relatives, i still perform Chudipooja with great Enthusiasm and with passion, the same way my mom used to do. Organise a konkani friends get together so as to enable the chudis. Not all types of flowers r available here. But the tradition is alive. Thanks a lot for the story behind the rituals.


  4. Hello, It is a lovely blog. But please consider changing the spelling of Gowda to 'Gaud or Gawd'. There is a huge difference between the two. It is Gaud Saraswat Brahmin (GSB).Thanks!:)


  5. Wow! Thanks for sharing these little details of our Choodi Pooja. I have seen my Amma follow every step that are listed here, without fail. When I read this article, I felt as though Amma was performing the Pooja right before me!


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