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How to decorate Gowri puja coconut / Vayna?

This year while decorating the Vayna/puja coconuts it suddenly dawned on me to make a post on it. So immediately I tried to take pictures as much as possible during the procedure. I took help from my friend and neighbour Anuradha while decorating so that I was doing right. Amma would help me all these years so I never was  serious on the decorating part. Vayna puja is performed by the married G.S.B ladies  if their family follows it. And I am lucky my family follows the tradition since I always grew watching my Amma and Aayi perform since childhood days. I also remember helping my Amma to decorate the coconut though I was not supposed to help. This post is also for my personal use so that I don’t have to trouble anyone with my doubts and also for the ladies who sail in the same boat as mine. Hope this post benefits atleast some. There may be different procedures but we follow this.

To decorate the coconut we must take head bath in the morning and eat satwik food . To be precise rice and rice dishes are avoided, no onion, no garlic and no nonveg. . Traditionally coconuts are decorated on the same day of Gowri puja but we decorate it a day prior. Coconuts are taken in odd numbers. 5,7,9,11,21 etc. Newly marrieds do 101 coconut puja . On the whole decorating coconut is defining Gowri’s face. Some decorate it with great speed by applying kumkum,haldi,sandalwood and haldi on the four fingers and apply simultaneously. But I do it one at a time and keep cleaning my fingers in between. I also use unused ear buds to apply kajal.

In Mangalore we get all the decorating things in a puja shop. We just have to go and ask for ‘Vayna samanu’/ coconut decorating things. Regarding the celebration part I will make a separate post in the coming days.

Things needed to make Vayna

Big coconuts with water in it – 5 or any odd number




Haldi/ turmeric


Sandalwood powder/ Gaandh


How to decorate:

  1. Take the coconut one by one and clean it until smooth with a knife by removing all the husk.
  2. Take a large vessel and fill water in it.
  3. Add little haldi powder in it.
  4. Dip the coconuts in the haldi water.
  5. Take a chalk or Shedi and draw line where you exactly  half the coconut.
  6. Take Kajal and define 2 eyes.
  7. Then apply Sindhur to define mouth.
  8. Next apply Haldi to define nose.
  9. Apply Kumkum above Haldi between the eyes.
  10. Apply sandalwood on the forehead on the top.
  11. Vaina is ready.


Pictorial presentation:


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About SaiGeetha Pai

I am Saigeetha, a homemaker, food blogger, baker and a cook. Cooking is my passion.

One comment

  1. Excellent Sangeetha. Keep posting about traditional Amchigele systems and customs.
    Nice description and depiction.

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