Pitru Paksha- A Complete Guide on Rituals, Do’s, Don’ts and Dates


Pitru Paksha is the period of 15 days when Hindus pay homage to ancestors. It is also known as Mahalaya Paksha and normally starts one or two days after Ganesha Visarjan. The last day of the Pitru Paksha is known as Sarvapitri Amavasya where if the death of any deceased person is not known then his/her Shradh can be performed on this day. Tarpan, Shradh, feeding the Brahmin and pind daan are performed in order to please the ancestors.

Feeding the Brahmin– It is an important part to complete the Shradh ritual. Offer food to the crows before food is offered to priests.

Tarpan– It is the offering of the water when mixed with white flours, kusha grass, barley and black sesame. It also reduces the effect of kaal Sarpa Dosh.

Pind daan– It is the offering made to the ancestors in the form of honey, sugar, ghee, cow’s milk and rice.


The story goes back to the time when Karna died and went to heaven where he was only offered food made of gold. One day he got irked with the food only made of gold that he asked Indra that why he was being offered food made of gold when he did so much charity when he was alive. Indra told Karna that this was so as Karna was only donating gold and gems but he never offered food and water to any poor. Karna realized his mistake and asked Indra to send him back to earth where he could feed the poor and needy. He stayed back on Earth for 15 days and these fifteen days are known as pitru paksha.

Procedure of the Shradh rituals

  • The ritual of this puja involves the eldest member of the family, particularly the eldest son of a family.
  • Take a bath and wear clean clothes.
  • Wear a ring made of kush grass. Kush grass is a symbol of kindness and is used to invoke ancestors.
  • Offer balls made from barley flour, sesame seeds and rice as a part of Pind Daan.
  • Take a blessings of Lord Vishnu by offering grass known as darbha grass.
  • Offer the food, especially prepared for Shradh to crow as it is deemed as the messenger of Yama.
  • Offer food to priests.
  • Read holy books like Ganga Avataram, the tales of Nachiketa, Agni Purana and Garuda Purana.
  • Have a meal with family members.

Pitru Paksha Mantra

“ये बान्धवा बान्धवा वा ये न्यजन्मनि बान्धवा:।

ते तृप्तिमखिला यान्तु यश्र्चास्मत्तो भिवाञ्छति।।”

What should you not do during Pitru Paksha?

  • These days are only dedicated to ancestors and your puja will only be successful when you do perform the rituals with no negativity in mind. So, make sure you remove all negative thoughts before you start rituals.
  • Don’t take non-vegetarian food or food with onion and garlic.
  • Don’t instigate any new beginning like buying new clothes, buying a new home, starting a new business, celebrating birthday or getting engaged etc.
  • Don’t harm dogs, cats and cows during this period. Instead, offer them food and water whenever you can.
  • Request priests to not eat anything after they have taken your offerings.
  • Avoid using kaala namak, carrot, jeera, mustard oil while preparing food in this period.

Shradh Date & Day

Purnima Shradh,  September 16, Friday.

Pratipada Shradh,  September 17, Saturday.

Dwitiya Shradh  September 18, Sunday.

Tritiya Shradh 2016/Chaturthi Shradh,  September 19, Monday.

Panchami Shradh,  September 20, Tuesday.

Shashthi Shradh,  September 21, Wednesday.

Saptami Shradh,  September 22, Thursday.

Ashtami Shradh,  September 23, Friday.

Navami Shradh,  September 24, Saturday.

Dashami Shradh, September 25, Sunday.

Ekadashi Shradh,  September 26, Monday.

Dwadashi Shradh,  September 27, Tuesday.

Trayodashi Shradh,  September 28, Wednesday.

Chaturdashi Shradh,  September 29, Thursday.

Sarva Pitru Amavasya Shradh,  September 30, Friday.

Nana/ Nani Shradh, October 1, Saturday.

If you want to know how to perform these pujas in detail or facing some issues while performing these pujas, then you can get in touch with our Astrologers/Pandits by calling at 9555966666.

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