Pushkaram – worshiping of rivers

Pushkaram (Pushkaraalu or Pushkar) is festival dedicated to worshiping of rivers in India.pushkar

There are 12 major holy rivers in India and prayers are offered and holy dip is taken along the banks of these rivers.

  • Pushkaram for each river comes once in 12 years.
  • Each river is associated with a zodiac sign, and the river for each year’s festival is based on which sign Jupiter is in at the time.
  • Pushkar mean nourisher
  • Pushakara is a Brahmin who was granted a boon from Shiva after severe penance to live in water and purify holy rivers.
  • On a request from Bṛihaspati (Jupiter), Pushkar enters one of the 12 holy rivers when Jupiter traveled from one zodiac sign to another.
  • The Pushkaram tradition is not mentioned in the early Hindu texts but it is part of the medieval Hindu rituals.

The sacred rivers include:

# Rashi Zodiac sign River Pushkaram Next Pushkaram
1 Mesha Aries Ganga (Ganges) April 22 – May 5, 2023
2 Vrishabha Taurus Narmada April 22 – May 5, 2024
3 Mithuna Gemini Saraswati May 15–26, 2025
4 Karka Cancer Yamuna June 2–13, 2026
5 Simha Leo Godavari, (Maharashtra Telangana and Andhra Pradesh) 2027
6 Kanya Virgo Krishna, (Telangana and Andhra Pradesh) August 12–23, 2016
7 Tula Libra Kaveri September 12–23, 2017
8 Vrishchika Scorpio Bhima (Maharashtra, Karnataka, Telangana).

Tamraparni (Thamirabarani) river (Tamil Nadu)

September 12–23, 2018
9 Dhanus Sagittarius Tapti, (Pushkaravahini).  Brahmaputra (Assam) March 29 – April 9, 2019
10 Makara Capricorn Tungabhadra March 30 – April 10, 2020
11 Kumbha Aquarius Sindhu (Indus) April 6–17, 2021
12 Mina Pisces Pranhita (Parineeta) April 13–24, 2022


  • Pushkaram celebrations include reverence of ancestors, spiritual discourses, devotional music and cultural programmes.
  • Snanam (holy dip), Dānam (charity), Japam (recitation of mantras), Archana and Dhyana (meditation) – done by the devotees
  • The festival lasts for a year as Jupiter remains in the corresponding zodiac sign for the same duration.
  • The first 12 days (Adi Pushkaram) when the Jupiter enters the zodiac sign and the last 12 days (Anthya Pushkaram) when it exits the zodiac sign are considered as most auspicious as Pushkar will travel with Jupiter as Jupiter moves from one Zodiac house to another
  • A dip in the sacred river is believed to erase all sins.

More info on Krishna Pushkaram – 2016

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