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Pradosha pooja is a bimonthly occasion on the thirteenth day of every fortnight in the Hindu calendar. It is closely connected with the worship of Hindu Lord Shiva. The auspicious 3 hour period, 1.5 hours before and after the sunset is one of the optimum time for worship of Lord Shiva.

Pradhosha pooja is one of the most important among the poojas performed to Lord Shiva. Every month twice it is celebrated on the 13th day of full moon and on the 13 day (thriyodasi) of the new moon, between 4.30 p.m. to 6.00 p.m. is called Pradhosha. It comes once in fifteen moon days.

During Pradosha pooja Lord Shiva’s Vahanam, Nandi (the bull) is given the first priority of abhishegam and then to Lord Shiva and other deities in the temple .

Pradhosha time is especially meant for praying to Lord Shiva. Praying in that time is believed to free us from all our sins and gives moksha finally (hence the name Pradhosha). During Pradosha time a special type of circumambulating called Somasutra Pradakshanam  is done.

The origin of Pradhosha is related to churning of milky ocean by Devas and Asuras.

Once the gods (Devas) and the demons (Asuras) were churning the milky ocean hoping to extract Amirtham (Divine Nectar) with the help of Vasuki, the serpent king. Vasuki, who was used as a rope around Mount Meru to churn the ocean couldn’t bear the pain. So, it started spewing venom (Alagala visham). Frightened by the effects the venom could cause, Lord Brahma took to his heels. Lord Vishnu’s bluish body darkened further. The Devas, being chased by the venom , ran towards Lord Shiva and pleaded him for help.

At Kailash, the Devas ran around (circumambulated) Shiva and tried to escape from the poison. But the poison sprout in front of them forcing them to turn back and run in the opposite direction. This repeated a few times before Shiva sent Sundarar to fetch the poison and eventually drank it to save the world.

From then on, the period during which the Devas circumambulated around Lord Shiva is regarded as Pradosha and the way they circumambulated is referred to as the Somasutra Pradakshanam.

Somasutra Pradakshinam is a unique way of circumambulating the Lord Shiva on Pradosam day .

First saluting the Rishabha Devar (Holy Bull or Nandi) go anti-clockwise and salute Chandishwarar (not crossing the Gomukhi). Now return in the clockwise manner salute Rishabham and continue clockwise till the Gomukhi (not to cross it again). Then return in anti-clockwise direction salute the Rishabham again and proceed towards Chandikeshwarar. From there return back clockwise without worshipping Rishabham and reach the Gomukhi. Finally return back anticlockwise from there to salute Rishabham and continue to Chandikeshwarar and return back to Rishabham and worship the Shiva Lingam (at the altar) by viewing through the space between the two horns of the Holy Bull. This is one Pradakshinam. Three such times Pradakshinam to be done. Must not cross the Gomukh from where the abhishegam water of the Lord flows through. If you carefully observe the curve traced by doing the pradakshinam is very similar to the periphery of the crescent. Hence this way of circumbulating is called Soma sutra Pradakshinam.

Nowadays as the temples are crowded Somasutra Pradakshanam is not done instead after abhishegam and alangaram of the deities , the procession diety is carried within the temple complex on the Rishabha (Bull) Vahana 3 times and the devotees too follow chanting ” Om Namashivaya “.

Here am sharing the pictures of yesterday’s (3rd of June 2020) Pradosa pooja done in Sri Bhuvanambika sametha Boologanathar temple in Nellikuppam , Cuddalore in Tamilnadu . The priest Hari being the nephew of my friend shared the pictures of the abhishegam (ablutation with water , milk, curd , sandal , turmeric tender coconut water , lemon , honey Vibhuthi and fragrance powder on the idol) and alangaram (decorating with flowers clothes and ornaments) of the deities as we could not go in person due to lockdown . Feeling blessed to have the divine dharshan of the deities.

Milk abhishegam
Curd abhishegam
Turmeric powder abhishegam
Sandal powder abhishegam
After alangaram
Lord Shiva
Lord Bhairavar
Lord Vinayagar
Goddess Bhuvanambika

Published by Ranjini Madhavan

Iam a homemaker who like to travel to spiritual places and like to share my spiritual tours , pictures and my personal tour experiences .Though am not expressive to put it in words thought it would be easy for others who likes to travel these places so that they may know what all places to be covered and a sweet memories for myself.

9 thoughts on “Pradosam

  1. So informative.. never heard so far about pradosam in detail.. hereafter if we go during pradosam will walk in crescent like direction and see.. The abisekham picture of the temple in cuddalore looks very graceful.. happy that you shared it!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Thank you so much for sharing such beautiful pics 💖
    I became “pavana” by looking at the Pooja pics. 🙏
    Also informative post.
    When in Karnataka I used to give for this Pooja, in Shiva temple. This post refreshed my memory… 🙂🌼🌼

    Liked by 3 people

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