India is the only place in this entire world where rituals and customs are performed for a person even after his death. Thus pind daan is one of the rituals which is conducted every year for the ancestors or forefathers. In Indian culture, there is a huge importance and significance of this ceremony. According to the Hinduism and Hindu mythology, the period of Shraddha Paksha falls every year around the month of August and September. It is believed that in this period your ancestors come and stays near you. Performing the rituals will provide them Moksha or ultimate freedom from the cycle of continuous birth and death.

Every year this ritual is performed for 16 days, this year the Shraddha Paksha in 2020 is starting from 2nd September to 17th September 2020. Conducting pind daan in Indian culture is very important without it the souls of your ancestors, relatives and family members is not set to free. However, it is just not a ritual or custom despite, it is a way to show your love and affection towards your forefathers. Hindu sculptures and mythology says that humans soul never dies only the body does. The soul travels from different worlds and realms to attain peace. By performing the tarpan (pind daan) by family members the soul would attain the ultimate peace or moksha.

Every year millions of people from all over the world do tarpan for their ancestors in Shraddha Paksha. And for this ceremony, they travel to some holy places in India where these ceremonies are done. So here is the list of some places where you can perform these ceremonies:

Gaya

Doing pind daan.
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Gaya is the holy city in Bihar. The city is present near the river Falgu. It is one of the most famous and recognised place for conducting such a ceremony. There are 48 places available for this ceremony. While conducting the ceremony some food material is offered as a part of the ritual like rice balls, milk and wheat, etc. In this way, the entire tarpan ceremony goes on the bank of Falgu river. After completion of the prayer, some items and worship material are offered in the river.

Varanasi

People praying while doing ceremony.
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One of the most sacred and holiest cities of India is the Varanasi. Also knows as the world’s most ancient city where you will find river Ganga. Ganga is the holiest river and it flows through all the major Ghats of Varanasi. Ghats are the nearby places of these rivers where you will find ancient temples, brahmins conducting several rituals on the bank of river Ganga. Similarly, you will also see the pind daan ceremony and the submerging the remains after a funeral into the river Ganga.

Ayodhya

People doing pind daan in group.
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Ayodhya is said as the city of Lord Rama, and also the birthplace. Lord Rama is the avatar of Lord Vishnu. The Bhaat Kund which is on the river Sarayu is the prime place where these rituals are conducted. River Sarayu is said to be another ancient river, that’s why the priest performs all rituals in the period of Shraddha Paksha. Even in Ayodhya also most of the procedure is probably the same. First of all, the family members have to take the bath in the holy river and then they can sit for the entire process of tarpan.

Badrinath

Conducting prayers in Badrinath.
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The entire Badrinath is considered a holy place for devotees. Badrinath is present in the Chamoli district of Uttarakhand. The temple present in Badrinath is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and it is also a part of Char Dham. On the banks of river Alaknanda, there is Brahma Kapal Ghat where all the rituals are performed. In Shraddha Paksha, this Ghat is packed with Brahmins who conduct these rituals with proper and correct traditional methods.

Prayagraj (Allahabad)

Submitting the offering in the river.
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Prayagraj was formerly called as Allahabad, lies in the state Uttar Pradesh of India. The city is famous for many reasons first of all it is also one of the most ancient cities of India and Triveni Sangam is also near Prayagraj. The three primary rivers Ganga, Saraswati and Yamuna meet at a particular point which is known as Triveni Sangam. Hence Triveni Sangam is the place where the ritual is performed. It is said that to get free from all your sins and the entire life cycle you need to take a dip in Triveni Sangam.

Mathura

Performing the ceremony.
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The main purpose of pind daan in the period of Shraddha Paksha is to free the soul of your relatives, forefathers or ancestors. It is said that without a proper tarpan the souls of your ancestors will not be free from the realm of birth and death. And Mathura is also a destination where this ceremony is done. On the riverbank of Yamuna, the Vayu Tirth is the place where all rituals are done currently. The Brahmins continuously chants the mantra and perform certain prayers for ancestors. Even the food or prasad is prepared with rice, milk and honey so that your ancestor souls may attain peace.

Kurukshetra

Taking a dip in holy water.
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Kurukshetra holds an important place in the history of India. Sannihit Sarovar is a place in Kurukshetra where you can go for pind daan. This Sarovar is approximately 3 km away from the main city because it has historical significance and importance. Even Lord Rama also conducted the ritual in Sannihit Sarovar. So everyone who comes here for the ritual also takes a bath in this holy water to wash their sins. During the ritual, continuous prayer is worshipped by the brahmin priest. After that offered food is been submitted in the holy river.

Pushkar

View of holy Pushkar Lake.
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For the people who follow the Hindu religion, Pushkar is one of the holiest city. According to the legends, it is said that the holy lake present in Pushkar directly came into existence from the navel of Lord Vishnu. And another famous story which lies behind it is that the lake appeared from the lotus flower of Lord Brahma. These two are the primary reasons for their religious significance. Thousands of people visit the city to do pind daan of their loved ones. There are approximately 52 Ghats present on the bank of Pushkar Lake, where the facility of ritual ceremony and holy bath is available for devotees.

Jagannath Puri

The brahmin chanting the mantras.
Image Source – Google|Image by – jagannathpurihkm.wordpress.com

Jagannath Puri has so much to offer to its people. Firstly it has the holy temple of Lord Jagannath which is quite famous worldwide. Secondly the annual festival or celebration of Rath yatra where millions of devotees take part in this festival. And lastly, the holy city of Orissa is also famous for the holy ceremony of giving moksha to their ancestors. Meeting point of the River Mahanadi and Bhargavi is the sacred place where this ceremony is done. On Shradha Paksha devotees do this ritual to provide moksha to the souls of their family members. Taking a bath in the river is also considered a holy ritual.

Ujjain

Groups of people performing the pind daan in Shraddha Paksha.
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To provide entire freedom or moksha to one who is deceased from this life span or life cycle of re-birth and death the process of tarpan is performed in the period of Shraddha Paksha. Therefore, Ujjain is another holy place present in the state of Madhya Pradesh, India. The holy river Shipra is preset here where all these rituals and other ceremonies are done by the Brahmins of Ujjain. The Ram Ghat is the place where such process is done and another place is the Siddhwat temple.

Suggested post: 10 Most Religious Temples in India | You Should Visit

In the end

In the Scriptures, Vedas and other holy text it is clearly written that without a proper pind daan or tarpan the soul will not attain moksha. Therefore in Hindu culture, there is a huge importance of pind daan.

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