Festivals & Significance · Sweets

Dry Kaala Jamuns.


Life is uncertain.  Eat dessert first.  ~Ernestine Ulmer

Gulab Jamuns have always been a very very common yet very delicate dessert. It can be paired with Vanilla Ice Cream for a great summer time dessert for weddings and parties. Gulab Jamuns are a definite addition to our Diwali Day breakfasts along with all the other sweets and savories that Madurai Amma makes…Gulab Jamuns were always made by me. It was not very easy for her to bequeath her right in the kitchen to me. When such opportunities presented themselves, I would take them up with elan and come up to speed. She would be pleased I presume, but she would never articulate her feelings.It would be an awesome feeling, to get up, have oil bath, wear new clothes and burst firecrackers on Diwali morning. The next best thing was of course the breakfast – It was always hot steaming idlis, hot steel tumbler filled to the brim with coffee and a plate full of Diwali Sweets and savories made at home.

I had always managed to pull in customs from both families to add to my own, and I enjoyed doing that a lot. I would try to recreate the dishes staple in my husband`s home for numerous occasions, during his childhood days. Sometimes I brought customs from my own childhood all the while telling stories to the kids, about anecdotes and incidents during those times. It always managed to comfort me…This time around, I wanted to make the Dry Jamun version which my kiddo, and my nephew loves. Hope you try it and like them too!  The ingredients are few and minimalistic and the procedure is also very simple. This is inspired by Nisha Madhulika`s version, with a few adaptations of my own.


For Making Khoya/ Mawa:

1/4 Cup Butter.

1/2 Cup Milk.

1 Cup Non Fat Dry Milk Powder/ Full Fat Dry Milk Powder/ Milk Mawa Powder.

For Jamuns:

Prepared Mawa.

4 Tsp Maida/ All Purpose Flour.

Pinch of Baking Soda.

3-4 Tsp Milk.

For the Sugar Syrup:

1 1/2 Cups Sugar.

3/4 Cup Water.

1/2 Tsp Cardamom Powder.

A few drops of rose essence.


  • The first part of the process is to make Mawa which is the base for the Gulab Jamun. Add butter to a pan and switch on the stove on medium heat.
  • Pour in the milk and whisk it gently. Once its mixed well, slowly add the milk powder and whisk to bring them together. Keep the flame on medium low and keep mixing it now and then. It should NEVER catch the bottom, so this is possible only if you continue to mix on medium flame. The runny mixture will slowly start getting together until it pulls away from the sides of the pan. Switch off the flame and transfer to an air tight container. This is the base for the Gulab Jamun. It will be a mass that holds together.IMG_5410
  • Prepare the Sugar Solution as per the directions below. Set aside.
  • Take a large bowl, topple in the prepared mawa, add about 4 tsp of All Purpose Flour, a pinch of nutmeg and a pinch of baking soda. Knead the dough by pressing with your palm and mixing it all in. The Mawa gets crumbly but because  the oil content in it, the warmth from your hands allow it to soften and bend easily. Keep kneading and if required add a few tsp of milk, a Tsp at a time. Once the dough is smooth and without any cracks keep covered for about ten to twenty minutes.
  • IMG_5417
  • Pour out enough ghee/ oil (enough to completely submerge the jamuns ) in a heavy bottomed kadai.
  • Keep the flame strictly on medium and allow it to get hot enough.
  • Start rolling out smooth balls and slowly drop them in to the kadai. Keep the rest of the dough covered with a moist kitchen cloth. Keep moving the jamuns on medium heat untitl they are uniformly fried on all sides, almost to a dark brown. Drain out the oil and place the jamuns in a dry bowl lined with paper towels.
  • After a few minutes, add it slowly to the sugar solution.
  • Continue and complete all the prepared dough and allow the jamuns to soak for about twenty minutes.
  • Take a dry plate and spread granulated white sugar.
  • Take the jamuns one at a time, roll completely in the sugar and place on a parchment sheet. The residual syrup o n the jamuns help in the sugar coating, Allow to dry.
  • Garnish with silver varq and store in a dry air tight container in the fridge.
  • IMG_5428

Preparation of Sugar Solution:

  • Take 1 1/2 Cups of sugar in a heavy bottomed vessel and add half the water.  Keep stirring on medium flame until the sugar is completely dissolved and it gets slightly syrupy. When you drop the syrup with the ladle, it will slightly fall in a stringy line…but still stay watery. It does NOT need to become one string consistency. Flavor with cardamom powder and  rose essence and still aside.
Festivals & Significance

Navarathri – Significance & Manifestation- Festival of Dolls.

Anubhavati -Tastes from my kitchen

Navarathri – The name itself conjures to me years and years of tradition locked safely in trunks and cardboard boxes and handed down  from generations. My earliest memory of Navarathri was in Madurai in my grandmother`s home near the Perumal Temple. They had this lovely red oxide floor that I oh so love. Madurai amma used to store her lovely dolls in a heavy trunk in the loft.

Every year Madurai amma and appa would lovingly bring down all the dolls, wrapped  up completely in clean cotton clothes, wipe them down and then set them up on the floor ready to adorn the steps of the “Golu”.  We would then “construct” the shelves of the Golu with various things in the home – Singer Merit Sewing machine table would be the central table. Ovaltine Tins preserved from the earlier years on which a plank would support on, would form the…

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Festivals & Significance

Navarathri Golu – 2010 & Significance of Marapachi Dolls.

Navarathri Golu 2010

This year, I have my second daughter is who just turning one this month on the 24`th, so planning for Golu was something  I had postponed to the very end of the day!  I had all the paraphernalia out and I was wondering If I was really out to put myself through monitoring the little one all through the day…and finally It dawned on me, that I really had to do it this year. I wanted the fun of watching her out of the corner of my eyes, to see if she is getting anywhere close, while she watches me closely so she can pounce on the little wax squash that I had added to the vegetable collection and disappear with it!!!. I wanted to experience the joy of seeing her eyes light up when she finds a little gap between the chairs that I have used as reinforcement, just before the golu shelves, and tries to reach out and climb the stairs!!! I wanted this as I know she will be growing up to be a sensible toddler very soon….and I am enjoying every moment of it. I hardly get to chant my shlokams in one contiguous  slot, nor complete my chores at any point of time…but I am enjoying this minute, with my little baby…and loving every moment of it!!!

Marapachi Dolls - Traditionally attired in wedding finery!
Marapachi Dolls.

Every time there is a festival or a special day marked by a religious custom, my daughter would want to know the  reason and the significance of that festival, which led to Significance of Navarathri . Many times this leads me to soul searching for the same . I firmly believe in the Hindu culture and that every ritual has been evolved with a very scientific reason, within the premises of the traditions at that time. The Marapachi Dolls are one such tradition which form one of my prized possessions, of my wedding gifts from my mother`s home.   The Marapachi Dolls , are a pair of male and female dolls, carved out of this reddish wood called “Marapachi” have been a traditional part of every wedding , which is gifted by the parents of the bride.   Tradition dictates that the bommais are brought out in display, every year, at the time of Navarathiri. The bride’s parents present these dolls to the bride and initiate the yearly tradition of Navarathiri Gollu in her new home with her husband. These bommais come as couples dressed in their wedding attire, signifying the start of the bride’s Gollu collection, which then grows over the years with the addition of various clay dolls signifying various Gods and Godesses.

Marapachi bommais are special dolls from Tirupathi, the land of Lord  Venkateshwara. Some explain the word Marapachi as a special kind of
wood that has medicinal values and hence the name Marapachi Bommai .  And like any age-old tradition, you can’t help but wonder, what is the significance of  Marapachi Bommais? Some believe that these dolls were presented to the bride and the groom at the time of marriage as toys for the couple. After all when two people, rather two children, get married at the age of ten what better gift than toys to keep them happy. So, it is reckoned that they were truly for enjoyment purposes to please the little couple. Yet another lore had it that these dolls dressed in their wedding attire helped in capturing the moment in the days where technology was clearly non-existent. In the absence of pictures, what better way to remember the way you looked when you were married !! That seemed to me , to be a lovely explanation for  this beautiful custom.

(Source : Shalu Ramachandran)

Festivals & Significance · Kerala / Palakkad Recipes. · Naivedhyams/ Festival Offerings.

Thiruvadharai – Significance & Learnings – Naivethyams.

Every year, the month of “Marghazi” is of very special significance as it heralds new beginnings, the new year, the music season in Tamil Nadu made redolent with the myraid  performances of senior music stalwarts in the various halls, Vaikunta Ekadasi, and of course Thiruvadharai.  When I actually embarked on the significance of this day I found so many different versions, all of them confluencing on the cosmic dance of Lord Shiva.

This festival occurs on the day of the Arudra star in the tamil month of Marghazi, and is of course of special significance to Lord Shiva. This day also marks the auspicious time for Arudra Darisanam – of Lord Nataraja in the Saivite temples all over Tamilnadu.  This celebration is marked by abhishekams to Nataraja and his consort Sivakami during the full moon night, and worship services such as the Deepa Aradhanai to Natarajar amidst the chanting of sanskrit and tamil hymns and the waving of lamps, in the pre-dawn hours, when the moon still shines bright, an enactment of the dance of Shiva, and a grand procession through the processional streets.

Although there is a shrine to Natarajar, in virtually all of the Saivite temples in Tamilnadu, five of these are considered to be the Pancha Sabhais or the five cosmic dance halls of Shiva. The five dance halls are:

The Hall of Gold – Kanakasabha at Chidambaram,

The Hall of Silver Velli Sabhai at Madurai,

The Hall of Rubies – Ratnasabha at Tiruvalankadu,

The Hall of Copper – Tamrasabha at Tirunelveli and

The Hall of Pictures – Chitrasabha at Kutralam.

The usual Neivethyams that are offered to Lord Shiva are Thirivadharai Upperi & Thiruvadharai Kali. The postings will follow in the later blogs.

Festivals & Significance · Naivedhyams/ Festival Offerings.

Deepavali – Significance and Melee – Deepavali Sweets & Savouries.


Deepavali – The name itself conjures up memories of early morning oil baths, new clothes, sweets and savouries, families getting together to celebrate the occasion of the vanquishing of good over evil.Deepavali as a festival signifies, the conquest of light over darkness.To Hindus, darkness represents ignorance, and light is a metaphor for knowledge. Therefore, lighting a lamp symbolizes the destruction, through knowledge, of all negative forces- wickedness, violence, lust, anger, envy, greed, bigotry, fear, injustice, oppression and suffering.

Festival of Lights.
Festival of Lights.

Most of the best clothes that I have had all through my childhood would be bought for Deepavali. Many times, we would buy this over the Navarathri holidays and get it stiched and it would be most exciting to feel the fabric of silk through my fingers and wait for the big day with anticipation and longing!!! My grandmother would get up very early and have her oil bath and apply oil for all of us grandkids.  This practise signifies “Ganga Snan” or a holy dip in the Ganges. She would then give us the new clothes which we would gleefully adorn after getting her blessings. The kids would run outside to burst crackers. New clothes would be worn and Deepavali Sweets would be eaten by one and all.Some of the sweets and savouries that we make at home for Deepavali are listed here.

Diwali Bhakshanam
Diwali Bhakshanam

Deepavali Sweets & Savouries:

Special Madras Mixture.
Special Madras Mixture.


Festivals & Significance

Navarathri – Significance & Manifestation- Festival of Dolls.

Golu Dolls - Navarathri
Golu Dolls – Navarathri

Navarathri – The name itself conjures to me years and years of tradition locked safely in trunks and cardboard boxes and handed down  from generations. My earliest memory of Navarathri was in Madurai in my grandmother`s home near the Perumal Temple. They had this lovely red oxide floor that I oh so love. Madurai amma used to store her lovely dolls in a heavy trunk in the loft.

Every year Madurai amma and appa would lovingly bring down all the dolls, wrapped  up completely in clean cotton clothes, wipe them down and then set them up on the floor ready to adorn the steps of the “Golu”.  We would then “construct” the shelves of the Golu with various things in the home – Singer Merit Sewing machine table would be the central table. Ovaltine Tins preserved from the earlier years on which a plank would support on, would form the highest shelf. The third one would be constructed from two aluminum biscuit tins one on each side, on which would run a heavy wodden plank.The fourth would be from smaller Tang Tins and of course the lowest would be constructed with a brick and some books. Madurai amma would have a clean bleached and starched white bedspread from Co-optex ready and we would drape it around the 5 shelves and I would , help her secure the sides with little pins. Madurai amma would place the Lakshmi and Saraswathy dolls on the top shelf and then slowly arrange the other dolls in a specific order.The red oxide floors would be resplendant with “maakolams” all the way from the foyer to the altar.

13.Hayagrivar & Ramar Lakshman Sita

When we moved to Madras, to an apartment, the tradition continued unflinchingly. Only this time. Madurai amma and me alone would do everything that needed to be done. My sisters S and D would stand a few feet away, helping us with cleaning the dolls and the like. as I grew older I would go out and buy some craft paper to make little paper decorations on the sides. When I started earning, I bought little lights for Madurai amma`s Golu. Of course, dolls were slowly added over the years, bought from Mylapore , Khadi Gramodyog Bhavan etc. Although the new dolls were bright and lovely, we still  loved the old clay dolls treasured over the years and stood them side by side. We also re-painted some of the old dolls in the local market.

There were the traditional Lakshmi, Saraswathy and Durga. Then there was the Dashavatharam set consisting of the ten dolls of the avatarams of Lord Vishnu.  Lord Rama, Sita , Lakshmana and Lord Hanuman were of course a favourite. The other dolls were Lord Shiva and Godess Parvathi, Sage Agasthya, Lord Buddha, Lord Krishna, Lord Muruga, and of course the traditional “Marapachi Dolls”. They were always in a pair. These dolls are decked up in silk and adorn the golu shelves.

Flowers in the Terracota Uruli.
Flowers in the Terracota Uruli.

What is the significance of this wonderful festival???

Navarathri means nine nights. Darkness is associated with night. What is this darkness? It is the darkness of ignorance. The purpose of the Navarathri celebration is to enable man to get rid of the nine types of darkness which have taken hold of him. When a reference is made to Devi, it signifies the unified form of Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswathi. The three together represent Shakthi. Shakthi is the energy that accounts for all the phenomena of Prakruthi (Nature). Nature
is energy and the controller of that energy is the Lord.

The Navarathri has been divided into three parts the first three days being dedicated to the worship of Durga, the next three days to the worship of Lakshmi and the last three days to the worship of Saraswathi.

Outwardly Navarathri signifies truimph of good over evil.Dussera can also be interpreted as “Dasa-Hara”, which means the cutting of the ten heads of Ravana. So,it`s a resolve to cut the ten heads–passion, pride, anger, greed, infatuation, lust, hatred, jealousy, selfishness and crookedness–of the demon, Ego, and thus justify the celebration of Dussera.

Lovely colourful rangolis
Lovely colourful rangolis

Various Neivedyams are prepared every day of the nine days and offered to Devi. Devotees chant the following:

Lalitha Sahasranamam,

Mahishasura Mardhini,

Ashtalakshmi Stothram,

Devi Mahatmiyam,

Soundarya Lahiri,

Meenakshi Pancharatnam etc.

Colourful Rangolis / Maakolams are drawn in the homes and in front of the Golu Dolls. Little girls dress up in all their festive clothes, and sing songs in praise of Devi. It is very auspicious to offer Tamboolam in the form of Betel Leaves, supari, Kumkum, turmeric, flowers, coconuts, bangles, mirrors etc to little kanya girls and to women. Many homes perform Kanya Poojas.Temples have special poojas for Devi and chant shlokas for general welfare. The final day is the Saraswathi Pooja, devoted to the worship of Godess Saraswathy – to enrich us with knowledge as the greatest wealth.


When I got married, I started my own little tradition.  My mother added to my collection of dolls and my daughter enjoyed the festivities of the season. Now, here in the U.S, I miss many of the dolls, but it`s a tradition I do not want to miss at all. I do have a little of my own dolls, but the rest are from the stores here and its hardly as grand as the one that we have had in India. Nevertheless, the spirit is there, to spread goodness, cheer and righteousness in all our actions.


Festivals & Significance

Sri Krishna Jayanthi – Significance & Offerings to the Lord.

Lord Shri Krishna in a lovely Tanjore Painting at my home.
Lord Shri Krishna in a lovely Tanjore Painting at my home.

Krishna Jayanthi is celebrated as the birthday of Lord Shri Krishna. Lord Sri Krishna was born on the ‘Rohini’ nakshatram (star) on Ashtami day.  The festival Sri Krishna Jayanti is also known as Gokulashtami and Janmashtami. Sri Krishna is Lord Vishnu’s eighth avatar (incarnation) on earth. He is considered to be the Lord’s most glorious incarnations.  Even saying and remembering His name brings joy because Sri Krishna himself was a manifestation of joy at all levels and in all walks of life. In Tamil Nadu Krishna Jayanthi is celebrated with great pomp as its a festival spelling happiness and joy as the saviour was born on this day.

People offer sweets like Vella Cheedai, Aval or Poha Payasam, Butter etc as these happen to be the Lord`s favourites. Many homes have beautiful kolams adorning their homes and little feet drawn in the floors as if to show little Krishna coming in to our homes. Poojas are performed and flowers and neivedhyams are offered late in the evening when the moon rises as this is the time the Lord was born.


In my home, Krishna Jayanthi is celebrated with the utmost devotion and love. From the time I learnt the art of “Yezha Kolams” when I was in school, it was my bounden responsibility to decorate the front yard with lovely kolams and with little baby footprints coming all the way to the pooja sanctum at home. In the mornings, we would help Madurai amma roll out the Cheedai balls and scrape the jaggery for the sweets. My sister and me would thread cleaned mango leaves in to a “Thoranam” and hang it outside our main entrance to the home. The home would be cleaned and decorated to welcome the little Lord!!!

Mango Leaves threaded in to a Thoranam.
Mango Leaves threaded in to a Thoranam.

Prayers Offered:


Sri Krishna Ashtothram


Sri Vishnu Sahasranamam.

Maduraiamma`s Uruli with flowers.
Maduraiamma`s Uruli with flowers.

Neivedhyams Offered to the Lord:

Gokulashtami Neivedhyams
Gokulashtami Neivedhyams

Festivals & Significance · No Need of Onions!!!

YajurVeda Upakarma (Avani Avittam) – Significance & Purpose.

Avani Avittam Menu
Avani Avittam Menu

Avani Avittam, as I remember, was a day when the men of the family went to the temples, in the morning for performing the Upakarma, in the temples. Upakarma (/upaakarma/) means beginning or “Arambham“, i.e. to begin the study of the Veda (Veda Adhyayanam). For example, Yajur Upakarma means to begin the study of the Yajur Veda. Those belonging to the Yajur Veda observe the Upakarma in the month of Sravana (August-September), on the day of the full moon (paurnami). Why begin study of the Vedas on this particular day? This auspicious day also happens to be the day when Lord Narayana assumed the avatar of Lord Hayagriva. Lord Hayagriva as we all know restored the Vedas to Brahma and also is the God of Knowledge. (Courtesy – Ramanujam.org)

The next question is: why do this every year? In the not too distant a past, Veda Adhyayanam was performed only during the period Avani to Tai (from mid-August to mid-January). Therefore, one is supposed to perform an “utsarjanam” in the month of Tai, i.e., a giving up of the learning of Vedas from Tai to Avani. Just like a Upakarma function there was a Utsarjana function in Tai. The period between January to August was then devoted to learning other branches of our shastras. Thus the cycle of Upakarma and Utsarjana with regard to Vedic studies was established. However, this method took 12 or more years to learn just one veda. Slowly this became impractical and Vedic studies continued throughout the year.

The main purpose of the Upakarma function is to offer prayers and express our gratitude to those rishis who gave us the Vedas — the rishis through whom the Vedic mantras were revealed. These rishis are known as “kaanda rishis”.In the Upakarma Homam as well as in the tarpanam, the offerings are made to the kaanda rishis. In fact this tarpanam is so important that it is included as part of  our daily worship.

On the Avani Avittam day(the full moon day bearing the nakshatra “Avittam” in the tamil month of Avani)  Brahmins after a holy dip ,change the sacred thread and wear a new holy thread. This ritual is known as Upakarma, which means beginning. The sacred thread is referred as ‘Poonool,’ ‘Yajnopavita’ or ‘Janeyu.’


Today`s lunch menu was a little spread, consisting of:

Festivals & Significance · Naivedhyams/ Festival Offerings.

Vishu – Significance & Preparation for the New Year.

Vishukkani - All lit up in the morning for us to behold.
Vishukkani - All lit up in the morning for us to behold.

Vishu – the dawn of the new month of Chitrai also celebrated as Tamizh Puthandu or the Tamil New Year`s Day in Tamil Nadu has been a very special occassion inour family. Many of our ancestors had roots in kerala, so many of our cultures and practises have been handed down from them over the years. Although my parents have been born and brought up in Tamil Nadu, we do follow Vishu on April 14`th ever year.
Vishu symbolises the fact that you need to start right and have the whole year right. What we see on the first day of the new year has to be pure, auspicious and signify abundance and good fortune.  Hence the custom of opening one`s eyes to Vishukkani – that which is seen first on Vishu. The preparations for Vishu starts in our home almost a month ahead. All the waste in the house is gotten rid of and cleaned and made pure. Homes are cleaned and painted in anticipation of the oncoming new year.The pooja rooms are also cleaned and the pictures of the Gods wiped clean and decorated with the Kumkum and Chandan.

When I was in school, amma and me would go to Ranganathan street the evening before Vishu, and buy guavas, jackfruit bananas and  yellow cucumber. I do not exactly know the significance of these particular fruits and vegetables, but I have heard that the “Kani” should signify auspiciousness through the yellow colour. Madurai amma would make the pooja room resplendent with her beautiful “maakolams” which are basically rangolis etched n the floor with a watery mix of ground rice paste and water. When they dry up after an hour, they look so beautiful on the marble floors. After we all go to sleep, Madurai amma would set up the Kani.

  • The centre of the Kani would be her lovely heavy mirror laden with a lovely gold necklace. Then she would keep two silver lamps ready with wicks in place and oil poured, right in front of the mirror. The mirror would also have a lovely jasmine garland adorning it, taking care that it does not disturb the sight in front. The mirror when seen on the morning of Vishu, signifies Devi and also the reflection of the things in front of the mirror, shows  that these would be multiplied by her Grace.
  • A coconut would be broken exactly in half, and set one on either side of the mirror with a whole yellow lemon in it. Care should be taken that the lemons are as fresh as possible with no flaws or eyes. I am guessing the lemons and coconut signify prosperity and good tidings.
  • Madurai amma would then set two lovely silver cups one with raw rice and one with raw toor dha, also in front of the mirror. We pray t the Goddess that we shall be in abundance of rice and lentils always.
Coconuts, Lemons, Coins, Flowers, Rice & Dhal
Coconuts, Lemons, Coins, Flowers, Rice & Dhal
  • There would be smaller silver cups filled with silver coins, gold coins etc. Gold coins are symbols of monetary affluence, as well as cultural and spiritual wealth, which the elders of the family must share freely with the younger generation.
  • The Vishukkani is also laden with flowers, fruits as mentioned and some vegetables. We also keep chandan and kumkum in the Kani as it completes the preparation.
Coins symbolising prosperity.
Coins symbolising prosperity.

Madurai amma would wake up very early, light the lamps and the incense sticks and set everything ready for the rest of us to get up and see. She would then close our eyes and bring us to the Pooja room one by one. The significance is to look at such goodness and bounty, which will in turn render our lives with such goodness and bounty. As we open our eyes to drink in the beauty of the lamps, the fragrance of the jasmine, the jackfruit and the incese all in one, the sight we behold is as beautiful every year as if we see it for the first time. The reflection in the mirror only adds to the beauty of the grandeur already resplendant in all its glory. We would see the lemons, the coconuts, the coins, the gold and then finally prostrate to the Lord. After our bath in the morning, its customary to take the blessings of all the elders in the family, for the fulfillment of the new year.

Vishukkani spells out abudance – both spiritually and materially. Food, wealth, good fortune, knnowledge and light, should accompany us at all times. The wonderful sight we behold on the first day of the new  year, must keep with us, all year and permeate our being.This year, I missed the jackfruit and jasmine, which is so charecteristic of my memories of Vishu…Nevertheless, I made my Vishu for my family, in true spirit, with the fruits and vegetables that I could get in here. My daughter was thrilled to see the Vishukkani in the morning….I saw her excitement on her face, and was instantly transported to some ten fifteen years ago….


Happy New Year to one and all.

Festivals & Significance · Naivedhyams/ Festival Offerings.

Significance of Ram Navami & Offerings – Sweet Panagam.


The festival of Sri Rama Navami marks the birthday celebrations of Lord Rama, an incarnate of Lord Vishnu. The main significance behind the celebration of this festival is that the character of Lord Rama signifies an ideal son, an upright husband, a righteous King, and a loving brother and even an ideal man, someone who follow the right path against all odds in life. He was also the true embodiment of humanity. So celebration of Sri Rama Navami is a special reminder of all the noble deeds or ideals for which Lord Rama symbolizes. So if we see it in true sense it is not only a festival to enjoy and have fun there are lot more things to be learnt. It is a celebration of goodness and its victory against all evils. Sacred places associated with Lord Rama, like Ayodhya, Ujjain and Rameshwaram, draw tens of thousands of devotees. In Rameshwaram, thousands take a ritual bath in the sea before worshipping at the Ramanathaswamy temple. There are also lots of Parayanams and satsangs where devotees get together to hear the story of Lord Rama and to sing bhajans in his praise.

One of the most popular offering to the Lord, on this day is the “Panagam”.  I remember my amma making Panagam and offering it to the Lord and then all of us having it and enjoying the sweet from the jaggery and the spice from the ginger…


2 1/2 cups of water.

1/4 cups of jaggery.

1 tsp Grated Ginger.(Originally use “Chukku” or Dried Ginger)

1 tsp powdered cardamom powder.

Dash of Ground Black Pepper.


  • In a vessel, dissolve the jaggery in the measured water and set on the stove on medium low.
  • Slowly add the chukku after mashing it with a mortar and pestle or simply use fresh zested ginger.
  • Add powdered cardamom powder and a dash of ground black pepper.
  • Stir in well and switch off.
  • Offer Naivedhyam to the Lord and sip sweet Panagam.