Tula Sankranti or Garbhana Sankranti is observed in the Kartika month. It falls on the Maha-Ashtami day. It is celebrated across India with different rituals. The festival is celebrated in Odisha and Karnataka to enjoy the harvesting of rice fields. Tula Sankranti has social, religious, and cultural significance. Holy dips or bath in the sacred river is considered auspicious on the day of Sankranti. Puja is performed to please Goddess Laxmi. The family of the farmers get involved during the puja ceremony and pray to God and consume a rich meal to believe that there will be no shortage of food in the future.
Significance of Tula Sankranti:
During Tula Sankranti, the Sun transits into Tula Rashi. The farmers worship Goddess Lakshmi to get protected from natural calamities or any loss of their crops. Various dishes are offered to Goddess Lakshmi. The celebration is known to reduce famines and drought so that the harvest is plenty and there is prosperity among the farmers. Performing Shradh for a deceased soul is extremely meritorious.
Celebrations and Rituals:
Devotees worship Goddess Laxmi and Goddess Parvati. Goddess Lakshmi is offered fresh rice grains, wheat grains, and branches of Kara plants. Goddess Parvati is offered betel leaves, palm nuts, sandalwood paste, vermilion paste, and bangles. In Odisha, farmers measure the yield of rice, wheat, and pulses so that there will be no scarcity. The temples are decorated. Devotees offer a donation to the needy people. They pray to God for a better future and please him with good deeds.
In Odisha, Tula Sankranti is an auspicious day when the paddy fields are full and yields. The farmers ideate Goddess Lakshmi in the lush plants and worship her. Fresh paddies and rice, wheat plants and Kara, a medicinal plant to ward off insects are offered to the Goddess Lakshmi to seek blessings from the Goddess. It is believed that Goddess Lakshmi protects the farmland from floods, drought, insects, and pests.
In Karnataka, The day is known as Cauvery Sankramana. River Cauvery is worshipped, and its source is Talacauvery. When the sun enters Tula Rashi, a small fountain known as Brahmakundike on the mountains of Brahmagiri Hills starts filling up the Talacauvery. Devotees gather to collect water from the Talacauvery. It is believed that a person can attain salvation if he drinks this water.
Devotees offer glass bangles, areca nuts, three sets of Betel leaves, vermilion, Turmeric and sandalwood paste to Goddess Parvati. Women wear silk sarees and perform puja. They wrap a cucumber or coconut in a piece of bright red or green cloth, decorate it with flowers and jewels known as Kodava Mangalsutra. It is known as Kanni Puje. Devotees worship the almighty by throwing rice and bowing themselves in front of the idol. In other region, people take holy bath and worship Sun God.
Skanda Purana has many stories relating to the origin of river Cauvery. Vishnumaya was the daughter of Lord Brahma, who later became the adopted daughter of Cauvery Muni. He renamed her as Cauvery. Agastya Muni married her. One day, Agastya Muni was involved in religious discussions that he ignored his wife. Due to his negligence, Cauvery fell into Agastya Muni’s bathing tank and overflowed to benefit the earth and the people of Kodagu which was her original wish before marriage. Cauvery meets three other rivers throughout its course from TalaCauvery until it merges into the Bay of Bengal.