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For film, see Tulsi Vivah (film).
Tulsi vivah ceremony

Tulsi Vivah is the ceremonial marriage of the Tulsi plant (holy basil) to the Hindu god Vishnu or his Avatar Krishna. This ceremony can be performed any time between Prabodhini Ekadashi - the eleventh lunar day of the bright fortnight of the Hindu month Kartik to the full moon of the month (Kartik Poornima) but usually it is performed on the eleventh or the twelfth lunar day. The day varies from region to region.[1][2] The Tulsi wedding signifies the end of the monsoon and the beginning of the Hindu wedding season.[3][4]


Tulsi and Vishnu

Tulsi is venerated as a goddess in Hinduism and sometimes considered a wife of Vishnu, sometimes with the epithet Vishnupriya, "the beloved of Vishnu". The legend behind Tulsi Vivah and its rites are told in the scripture, Padma Purana.[5]

According to Hindu scripture, the Tulsi plant was a woman named Vrinda (Brinda; a synonym of Tulsi). She was married to the demon-king Jalandhar, who due to her piety and devotion to Vishnu, became invincible. Even Shiva—the Destroyer in the Hindu Trinity—could not defeat Jalandhar, so he requested Vishnu - the preserver in the Trinity - to find a solution. Vishnu disguised himself as Jalandhar and tricked Vrinda.

Her chastity destroyed, Jalandhar lost his power and was killed by Shiva. Vrinda cursed Vishnu to become black in colour and to be would be separated from his wife, Lakshmi. This was later fulfilled when he was transformed into the black Shaligram stone (actually a fossil), and in his Rama avatar, was separated from his wife Sita, who was kidnapped by the demon-king Ravana. Vrinda then drowned herself in the ocean, and the gods (or Vishnu himself) transferred her soul to a plant, which was henceforth called Tulsi.

As per a blessing by Vishnu to marry Vrinda in her next birth, Vishnu – in form of Shaligram - married Tulsi on Prabodhini Ekadashi. To commemorate this event, the ceremony of Tulsi Vivah is performed.[3][4]

Another minor legend narrates that Lakshmi slew a demon on this day and remained on earth as the Tulsi plant.[1]


The marriage of Tulsi with Vishnu/Krishna resembles the traditional Hindu wedding.[3][4] This ceremony is conducted at homes and also at temples. A fast is observed on the Tulsi Vivah day until evening when the ceremony begins. A mandap (marriage booth) is built around the courtyard of the house where the Tulsi plant is planted. The Tulsi plant is usually planted in centre of the courtyard in a brick plaster called Tulsi vrindavana. It is believed that the soul of Vrinda resides in the plant at night and leaves in the morning.[1] The bride Tulsi is clothed with a sari and ornaments including earrings and necklaces. A human paper face with a bindi and nose-ring - may be attached to Tulsi. The groom is a brass image or picture of Vishnu or Krishna or sometimes Balarama or more frequently the Shaligram stone - the symbol of Vishnu. The image is clothed in a dhoti. Both Vishnu and Tulsi are bathed and decorated with flowers and garlands before the wedding. The couple is linked with a cotton thread (mala) in the ceremony.[4]

Tulsi plant worshipped as part of Tulsi Vivah celebrations.

In Maharashtra, an important ritual in the ceremony is when the white cloth is held between the bride and the groom and the priest recites the Mangal Ashtaka mantras. These mantras formally complete the wedding. Rice mixed with vermilion is showered by the attendees on Tulsi and Vishnu at the end of the recitation of the mantras with the word "Savadhan" (literally "be careful" implying "You are united now". The white curtain is also removed. The attendees clap signifying approval to the wedding. Vishnu is offered sandalwood-paste, men's clothing and the sacred thread. The bride is offered saris, turmeric, vermilion and a wedding necklace called Mangal-sutra, worn by married women. Sweets and food cooked for an actual wedding are cooked for Tulsi Vivah too. This ceremony is mostly performed by women.[1][3] The prasad of sugar-cane, coconut chips, fruits and groundnut is distributed to devotees.[citation needed]

The expenses of the wedding are usually borne by a daughter-less couple, who act as the parents of Tulsi in the ritual wedding. The giving away of the daughter Tulsi (kanyadaan) to Krishna is considered meritorious to the couple. The bridal offerings to Tulsi are given to a Brahmin priest or female ascetics after the ceremony.[4]

In two Rama temples in Saurashtra, the ceremony is more elaborate. An invitation card is sent to the groom's temple by the bride's temple. On Prabodhini Ekadashi, a barat bridal procession of Lalji - an image of Vishnu - sets off to the bride's temple. Lalji is placed in a palanquin and accompanied by singing and dancing devotees. The barat is welcomed on the outskirts of Tulsi's village and the ceremonial marriage is carried at the temple. At the bride's side, Tulsi is planted in an earthen pot for the ceremony. People desirous of children perform Kanyadaan from Tulsi's side acting as her parents. Bhajans are sung throughout the night and in the morning the barat of Lalji returns to their village with Tulsi.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d M.M. Underhill (1991). The Hindu Religious Year. Asian Educational Services. pp. 129–131. ISBN 978-81-206-0523-7. 
  2. ^ Shubhangi Pawar; D. A. Patil (2008). Ethnobotany of Jalgaon District, Maharashtra. Daya Publishing House. p. 400. ISBN 978-81-7035-515-1. 
  3. ^ a b c d R. Manohar Lall (1933). Among the Hindus: A Study of Hindu Festivals. Asian Educational Services. pp. 184–. ISBN 978-81-206-1822-0. 
  4. ^ a b c d e Emma Tarlo (1996). Clothing Matters: Dress and Identity in India. University of Chicago Press. pp. 184–5. ISBN 978-0-226-78976-7. 
  5. ^ Manish Verma (2005). Fasts & Festivals Of India. Diamond Pocket Books. pp. 58–. ISBN 978-81-7182-076-4. 

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tulsi_Vivah — Please support Wikipedia.
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46 news items

Free Press Journal (press release) (blog)

Free Press Journal (press release) (blog)
Sat, 01 Nov 2014 13:26:15 -0700

In the episode of Pithori the proud mother of eight sons too was worshipping the sacred Tulsi plant. Tulsi Vivah or marriage takes place on the 11th day of the bright half of the holy month of Kartik. Actually, it is a mock marriage between the Tulsi ...

The Express Tribune

The Express Tribune
Tue, 21 Jul 2015 05:28:23 -0700

Hindu devotees tie holy thread around the Tulsi plant as they celebrate Tulsi Vivah at a temple in Amritsar on Saturday. PHOTO: AFP. Muslim Rashtriya Manch (MRM), an affiliate of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), has been planting “Tulsi” (Holy Basil) ...
Times of India
Wed, 13 Nov 2013 10:47:35 -0800

KANPUR: The first wedding of marriage season starting November 13, was celebrated at every Hindu household of the city in form of 'Tulsi and Vishnu Vivah' on Wednesday. Several community 'Tulsi Vivah' were also organized to mark the occasion at ...
Times of India
Sat, 08 Nov 2008 16:50:16 -0800

In most cases, the festival of tulsi vivah is an occasion where the family meets. Among the Dhangar-gouly community Dev Diwali is celebrated with joy and devotion. Earlier they used to light their lamps with clarified butter (loni). Clan deities are ...

India West

India West
Fri, 09 Jan 2015 10:07:26 -0800

ShantiNiketan, a unique Indian American retirement community now operating in Florida, is ready to launch a project in the Silicon Valley. Previous Next. shantiniketan-2tulsi.jpg. Residents of ShantiNiketan Florida celebrate Tulsi Vivah Nov. 10.

दैनिक जागरण

दैनिक जागरण
Sun, 02 Nov 2014 22:10:49 -0800

चार मास की योग-निद्रा के बाद भगवान विष्णु के जागने का अर्थ है कि चार मास में स्वाध्याय से अर्जित ऊर्जा को हम सक्रियता में बदल दें, ताकि हमारे सद्गुणों का प्रभाव हमारे कार्र्यों में दिखने ...
Times of India
Sun, 02 Nov 2014 15:15:00 -0800

Astrologers and pundits say that the day marks not only Tulsi vivah but also when, according to Hindu mythology, Lord Vishnu wakes up from a deep slumber. "It's a prosperous day for auspicious events in the entire year," said pundit Pappu Pandey from ...
Free Press Journal (press release) (blog)
Sat, 01 Nov 2014 14:44:44 -0700

Sudha Kheterpal is a British-Indian musician best known as the percussionist in Faithless. She has also played with Spice Girls, K-Klass, Kylie Minogue, Melanie Williams, Jo Roberts, Corduroy, Mark Morrison, Rae and Christian, Ian Brown, Talvin Singh ...

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