Ghatasthapana- First Day of Bada Dashain

Posted on Oct 24, 2012 by sabindangol under Trekking

Tags: Dashain,Ghatasthapana,Festival,Culture

Ghatasthapana – MUST HAVES

In any kind of religious worship, especially in the Hindu religion, every material used – be it kalash or abir(vermillion powder) or even soil – everything has its own significance. With Dashain on our doorsteps, you must be busy preparing to celebrate.

The very first day of this revered festival is known as Ghatasthapana or Kalashsthapana and for the completion of this religious ritual there is need of extensive puja materials.

This year, Ghatasthapana falls on October 16 and the auspicious time to perform this ritual is at 11:07 am, as per Prof. Dr. Madhav Bhattarai, President of Panchanga Nirnayak Samiti.

But before making preparations for the ritual, know the religious symbolism of various materials used during Ghatasthapana carry.

Cowdung and Rato Mato

In the Hindu culture, cowdung is a sign of purity. Before performing any kind of puja, the particular place where the puja is to be performed should be made pure. For this, the place should be wiped with cowdung so that it is regarded as pious. And it’s the same with Rato Mato(red mud) too.


Kalash ( a pot of clay or copper), is the symbol of Goddess Shakti. It is decorated and is filled with holy water and Goddess Shakti is believed to reside in the Kalash during the Navaratri period.

Soil or Sand

The soil or sand always is a symbol of the mother Earth. The seeds sown in the soil or sand on the day of Ghatasthapana grow into shoots which we wear on our heads during the day of Tika as blessings. The Kalash is placed in the centre of a sand block and the remaining bed of sand or soil is seeded with grains.


The sowing of the Navadhanya(seeds), its sprouting and growth is believed to bring peace, properity and joy in the household. Five different types of seeds(maize, barley, wheat, sesame, paddy) are sown and the shoots are used by the people as the Goddess’s blessing, though people these days mostly use maize and wheat only.

Panch Pallava

Panch Palava is a collection of five leaves of different plants – mango, bar, peepal, chaap, and dumri. It symbolizes divinity and should be offered during the Ghatasthapana puja.

Fruits and Food

Prasad is important in any Hindu ritual worship which can be from fruits to anything edible item that is offered to God. All our incivility transfers to the food we offer to God and when the God accepts it, he enlightens it with knowledge and light making us divine. When we share the knowledge we gained with our fellow beings.

Piece of Clothes

Clothes mean something to wear and cover ourselves; it’s the same with God too. We offer piece of red, yellow and white cloth to dress them and we can use the pieces of cloth as blessing from God. The red color cloth symbolizes power, yellow symbolizes knowledge and white symbolizes purity.


The flower offered to the deity always stands for the good that has blossomed in us.


Known as God’s fruit, coconut is offered to God during every ritual and symbolizes divine consciousness. The other fruits we offer symbolize our detachment, self-sacrifice and surrender.

Image of Goddess Durga

The statue or image of the Goddess means something that is devoid of the ill effects or planets or grahas.


Dubo is a holy grass used during the rituals. We don’t offer it to Goddess but it’s a must during the Ghatasthapana when it is offered to Lord Ganesha and is believed to bring prosperity and success in one’s life.

Saubhagya Set

We offer saubhagya set to the Goddess which includes all the cosmetics used by a married woman. It is believed that Goddess grants long lives to all the male members of the family of the woman offering them.


It is grains of rice mixed with vermillion powder. The vermillion powder stands for human emotions. When the powder is mixed with rice and curd and put on our foreheads, it symbolizes great respect to our mother Earth.

Gokul Dhoop and Bateko Dhoop

The incense(gokul dhoop, bateko dhoop) burnt stands for human desires for various things in life.

Lamp and Oil

The lamp represents the light in human beings that is the soul, which is offer to absolute. And the uninterrupted lamp(akhanda jyoti) reduces the negative energies around us.

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