Gauri Puja is a Hindu festival that is celebrated in different parts of India with different names and rituals. It is dedicated to Goddess Gauri, who is also known as Parvati, the consort of Lord Shiva. Gauri Puja is observed on various occasions such as Gangaur, Mangala Gauri, Hartalika Teej, etc.


Gangaur is one of the most popular forms of Gauri Puja that is celebrated mainly in Rajasthan and some parts of North India. It falls on the third day of Chaitra month (March-April) after Holi. Gangaur means "the one who is as bright as the sun (gaan) and moon (gaur)". It symbolizes the union of Shiva and Parvati. Women worship Gauri for their husband's long life and happiness. They also pray for marital bliss and fertility.


Mangala Gauri is another form of Gauri Puja that is celebrated mainly in Maharashtra and some parts of South India. It falls on every Tuesday of Shravana month (July-August). Mangala means "auspicious" and Gauri means "fair". It signifies the beauty and grace of Parvati. Women worship Gauri for their husband's welfare and prosperity. They also seek her blessings for a happy married life.


Hartalika Teej is yet another form of Gauri Puja that is celebrated mainly in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, etc. It falls on the third day of Bhadrapada month (August-September). Hartalika means "the one who was abducted by her friends (harit) on a palanquin (aalika)". It refers to the legend of how Parvati's friends helped her escape from her father's house when he wanted to marry her off to someone else than Shiva. Women worship Gauri for their husband's love and devotion. They also express their love for Shiva by fasting and dressing up like brides.


Some of the common rituals and customs followed on Gauri Puja are:


- Making idols or images of Gauri with clay or wood and decorating them with clothes, jewelry, flowers, etc.

- Placing the idols or images in a decorated altar or mandap at home or temple.

- Offering prayers, songs, dances, etc., to Gauri with incense, lamps, fruits, sweets, etc.

- Performing aarti or waving lamps before Gauri with devotion.

- Applying sindoor or vermilion on Gauri's forehead as a symbol of marital status.

- Tying threads or bangles around Gauri's wrists as a symbol of protection.

- Inviting other women to join the puja and exchanging gifts with them.

- Breaking the fast after sighting the moon or stars at night.


Gauri Puja has many benefits for those who observe it with faith and devotion. Some of them are:


- It strengthens the bond between husband and wife.

- It brings harmony and happiness in family life.

- It enhances one's beauty and charm.

- It grants one's wishes and desires.

- It protects one from evil influences and dangers.