India is home to rich culture, awe-inspiring traditions and myriad other norms and customs. It undoubtedly, is the heart of all significant rites and rituals which hold special meaning in the lives of people. Speaking of rituals, the Hindu lunar month of Bhadrapada is here. One of the key aspect of this period is the ceremony of Pitri Paksha. Pitri Paksha is the holy observance when the holy rite of sharadh is performed by millions of people every year. It is the propitious period of offering prayers to ancestors, and souls of deceased family members and relatives for their ultimate peace and freedom from the material world.
According to holy Hindu scripture Srimad Bhagvat Gita, the soul is immortal. Though the body perishes, the soul lives on. It is believed that after a person dies, the soul of the person travels through various realms before finally reaching the ultimate realm. Mokhsa, according to Gita, is the the freedom of the soul from the cycle of life and death. It is for this very purpose pind daan and tarpan are performed. Every year Pitri Paksha takes place for about 16 days in the period between September to October. This year, the date starts on September 27 to October 12, 2015. Take a quick glance at the destinations for performing Pitri Paksha.
Gaya is believed to be an apt destination for performing shraadha for its supposedly purgation powers. The place has been mentioned in both Ramayan and Mahabharat as Gayapuri. Pind daan is performed with the use of wheat and oat flour and mud balls. There are about 48 places currently in Gaya where pind daan is performed.
Varanasi – Yet another destination for carrying out Pitri Paksha ceremony. The asthi visarjan or shraadh are performed at holy Ganges at Kashi ji in traditional and religious manners.
Badrinath: It is believed that Badrinath is the place of Lord Shiva. Many important pujas, rituals and rites are performed here for the deceased. Major pind daan offerings are performed at Brahma Kapal Ghat. There is also Alaknanda river bank for the people to offer prayers to their ancestors.
Allahabad: Prayag is the meeting point of many holy rivers like Ganga and Yamuna. The Pitru Pakshi mela begins from the day of “Anant Chaturdashi” of Bhadra Shuklapaksh. The place is a hub for performing religious rituals and millions of people flock here every year.
Kurukshetra: The holy place of Sannihit Sarovar in Kurukshetra is believed to be one of the holiest places to conduct prayers and pind daan. Khurukshetra is of great religious and historical importance and is known for its association with Vedas. Pehowa, a town in Khurukshetra is known for its significance as a pilgrimage. Pushkar: It is believed that Lord Rama performed the pind daan of his ancestors at this holy place of Rajasthan. Ever since, Pushkar has been known as a site for performing holy rituals including shraadh. Pushkar is also popularly known as Tirthraj Pushkar.
Mathura: Beautifully adorned with magnificent temples, the city of Mathura enjoys the stature of a holy destination in India and beyond. Pind daan is conducted at the holy land of Vayurtirth. People flock here to pray for their dead relatives' souls to accomplish freedom from the material world.
Jagannath Puri: Little known is the fact that the otherwise famous holy place Puri has something more to offer than the holy occasion of Ratha Yatra. Known as the home of Lord Jagannath, Puri has lakhs of devotees and pilgrims congregating for pind daan. Puri is situated on sea shore of Bay of Bengal in the state of Orissa.