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Tarpan is being done at the Jagannath Ghat, Kolkata.
The Tarpan (Offering holy water to the manes) is being done at the Jagannath Ghat, Kolkata, at end of the Pitru Paksha.

Tarpana or Tarpaṇa (Sanskrit: तर्पण, Bengali: তর্পণ, Kannada: ತರ್ಪಣ, Tamil: தர்ப்பணம்) is a term in the Vedic practice that refers to an offering made to divine entities. It refers to the act of offering as well as the substance used in the offering.[1][2][3] Tilatarpana (तिलतर्पण, তিলতর্পণ, ತಿಲತರ್ಪಣ, திலதர்பணம்) is a specific form of tarpana involving libations offered to the pitri (deceased ancestors) using water and sesame seeds during Pitru Paksha or as a death rite.[4]

Kosha Kushi (Bengali: কোশা-কুশী; lit.'Double Spoon') is used for puja. This Kosha Kushi is made of pure copper. Kosha Kushi is used for offering holy water to God and Goddess and also used for shradh tarpan puja. Kosha Kushi is an important ritual item used in the Tantric worship of the Divine Mother.

Tarpana is a form of arghya (an offering). It is offered to all devas as well as the Navagrahas whenever mulamantra is recited as japa.

Instances of welcome tarpana


Tilatarpana is the tarpana (or arghya) offered to pitris (departed ancestors) by male descendants who do not have a living father. This is offered at the first annual shraddha (death anniversary) and during subsequent annual shraddhas, amavasyas (new moon days), sankramanas (solar ingresses), eclipses, and during visits to selected holy places of pilgrimage.

Offering tilatarpana

Posture of hand

The hand while offering tarpana varies for offerings made to devas (Gods, Goddesses and Navagrahas), rishis (sages) and pitrus (departed ancestors).

(a) For devas, the offering is made to flow over the eight fingers of both hands adjoined together other than the thumb known as dev tirtha
(b) For rishis, the offering is made to flow between both palms adjoined tarpan dripping between both palms known as rishi tirtha
(c) For pitris, the offering is made to flow over the left side of the left palm and the thumb of the left hand.known as pitra tirtha.the janew or yajnopavita resting on right shoulder falling to left side on the hip. This is known as the yajnopavita is resting on the left side so the pitra tarpanj should be offered with the left hand. This is the reason to circumambulate the deceased anti-clockwise. The left hand should be used for pind danam. In all other rituals apart from pitras shradha, the use of the right hand is compulsory.


Gingelly is not to be confused with sesame, which is from a large tree; gingelly is a small seed that stores energy and hence is considered a favorite of all Devas, Shani (Saturn) and pitrus. Lord Ganesha is commonly offered pancha-kajjaya, a delicacy made using sesame. Lord Shiva is worshipped with sesame seeds (tilakshata). For Lord Vishnu, Lord Brahma, Goddess Laxmi and Goddess Saraswati, gingelly seeds are used in their favorite eatables. It is used as a homa dravya (an ingredient in the fire offerings) in many havans and homas. Therefore, tila (gingelly) and tilatarpana should not be dismissed as inauspicious.

Reasons for offering tarpana

It is believed that one's pitris eagerly await tarpana. If no offering is made, they return to their places disappointed, and the descendant misses their blessings that he would have received, if he had performed his filial duties. Kosha Kushi  is an important ritual item used in the Tantric worship of the Divine Mother and represents the yoni and womb of the Goddess, as well as the astral body within the physical body and the microcosm within the macrocosm.


  1. ^ "Tarpaṇa |".
  2. ^ "Tarpaṇa".
  3. ^ "Tarpaṇa". A Dictionary of Hinduism. Oxford University Press. January 2009. ISBN 978-0-19-861025-0.
  4. ^ "Indian Hindu devotee performs "Tarpan"". Hindustan Times. Oct 2010. Archived from the original on 2014-12-15. Retrieved 2013-09-30.