Gowri Habba is dedicated to Goddess Gowri , an incarnation of Goddess Parvati. It is a significant Hindu festival celebrated in Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu and occurs one day before Ganesh Chaturthi.
Goddess Gowri, who is of very fair complexion, is worshipped on the day of Gowri Habba and women devotees observe Swarna Gowri Vratha to seek blessings of the Goddess Gowri, seeking happy marital life.
There is a belief that on this day, Goddess Gowri comes home the same way a married woman comes to her parents’ house. The very next day Lord Ganesha, her son, comes as if to take her back to the abode of Mount Kailasha. This festival is popularly known as Hartalika Teej in Maharashtra and the other North Indian states.
Gowri Habba Puja Procedure:
Gowri Habba puja is the most observed vratha in Karnataka. In Kannada Habba means the festival and the name suggests the vrata or the puja to Goddess Gauri. On Gowri Habba, women observe strict fast. The first and foremost step in Gouri puja is installation of Gauri idol. The Gauri idol made of turmeric is referred as Arshinagauri. On Gowri Habba, either Jalagauri or Arshinagauri is worshipped.
Gauri Habba Puja Steps:
Ganesha puja is performed before the Gauri puja. Ganesha idol is installed and simple Ganesh sloka is chanted. After the Ganesh Puja, Lord Shiva is also worshipped with simple slokas. Shivlinga is offered bath and offered Pushpabhisheka. After Ganesh Puja as well as Shiva pooja, Gauri idol is installed with chanting Gauri avahan mantra. Gauri idol is offered bath with water (Jalabhishekam), panchamrit (Panchamrita abhisheka), and once again with water.
Vastra Yugmam (a special thread like puja item made with cotton, turmeric and vermillion) is worn to the Goddess. Gauri is offered Turmeric powder and vermillion powder are showered along with flowers on Gauri idol. Akshata (consecrated rice) are showered on to Gauri idol. Simple Gauri puja slokas are chanted.
Pooja Materials required for Gowri Habba:
Goddess Gauri is offered mirror, comb, red colour or green colour bangles, cereals, new cloth (red or green coloured), 16 types of leaves, 16 types of flowers and 16 types of fruits along with coconut. 16-knotted yellow thread, also known as Gauri daara, is worn by women to their right hands for the marital bliss. Bagina is the important thing for the Gauri Habba puja.
Atleast 5 baginas are prepared for the puja. One bagina is kept aside for Gauri devi and the remaining Bagina are given to other married women.