Balindra Pooja is observed in the morning of the thirteenth day of the dark half of Ashwija. First the puja is offered to water. Next morning at moon rise, a pooja offering oil to Krishna is performed. On the New Moon day, Pooja is offered to the image of Bali, which is artistically drawn on the ground in front of the gopuram. This is a popular puja done in the household of most of the South Indian states including Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.
On the next day puja is offered to the cows after they are washed, decorated and fed with special sweets etc. Then, the cows are taken in a procession. A Balindra is molded out of cow dung in a square shape. Shavanthi flowers are stuck on to it. This is worshiped as Balindra. A large number of wick lamps are lighted on this occasion.
In the evening there is an elaborate aarati of Varalakshmi, Mangal Gowri and Swarna Gowri. The objects needed for the aarati which are placed on a thaal (plate)are akshata, (rice grains) haldi, paan and chuna (lime paste) Alternatively, it can also be performed by lighting camphor on a silver plate or with a silver ghee lamp. The day marks the beginning of one month of lighting of the Kartika deepa at the door or threshold. The entire house is lit up and decorated with lamps of til oil and crackers are burst.
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