Shiva Pradosham/Pradosh Vrata in Hindu Religion: why to observe Pradosham

Shiva Pradosham

Pradosha, also spelled Pradosh or Shiva Pradosham, falls on the 13th lunar day (Trayodashi) during the waxing and waning phase of moon in the Hindu lunar calendar.

Occurring between 4.30 pm to 6.00 pm on Trayodashi, the Pradosha time is propitious to pray Lord Shiva and invoke his blessings. It is believed that worshipping Lord Shiva at Pradosh day will relieve from sins and gives Moksha. Among the poojas performed by the devotees of Lord Shiva, the Pradosha puja is considered to be more auspicious. It is believed that during Pradosha period all the universal beings and Gods come down to earth and attend the worship.

The importance of observing Pradosha is described in Pradosha Mahatmyam from Shiva Purana and hence Shiva devotees observe Pradosha Pooja with high sanctity. Pradosha indicates the meeting of the Sun and the Moon in a horizontal line during their movement on their Axis.

Pradhosha Vrata Significance:-

According to the Shiva Puranas, observing a fast on Pradosham Vratam is regarded as highly auspicious and beneficial. One would be blessed with wealth, children, happiness and honor. While the fast is undertaken by all Shiva devotees, but all women who have been longing for a son specially observe this. Also, praying to Lord Shiva during the course of the fast is said to liberate the devotee from all his previous and present sins and evil deeds committed. According to one legend, Lord Shiva is believed to have drunk the Halahala poison during Pradosham. This poison was mixed with the Ocean of Milk (Samudra Manthan).

Pradosham of Shiv

Shani Pradosh – Sani Pradosham

According to Hindu belief, Lord Shiva swallowed the poison on a Saturday and this is called Sani Pradosh or Shani Pradosha. Sani Pradosham is classified into Uthama Shani Pradhosham, Mathima Sani Pradhosham, and Athama Sani Pradhosham.

Uthama Sani Pradhosha is the Sani Pradhosham that comes during the Tamil month of Chithirai, Vaigasi, Ayppasi and Karthigai during the waxing period. Mathima Sani Pradhosham occurs during the Tamil month of Chithirai, Vaigasi, Ayppasi and Karthigai during waning period. All other Shani Pradhoshams come under this category Athama Shani Pradhosha.

Maha Pradhosham

Maha Pradhosha is a yearly rite which falls during February – March (Magha in Sanskrit, Kumbha Masam in Malayalam, and Maasi in Tamil) before Maha Sivarathri. Pradosham is carried out regularly in all Lord Shiva Temples across the country.

History of Shiva Pradosham Vrat or Why to observe Shiva Pradosham

According to Hindu Puranas, the gods (Devas) and the demons (Asuras) were stirring the milky ocean to extract amritam (nectar), with Vasuki (the serpent king) as a rope. As Vasuki underwent severe scratches due to the churning, she emitted a powerful poison which is capable of destroying the world. The helpless celestials pleaded Lord Shiva to save them. In order to save them, Lord Shiva swallowed the poison. Goddess Parvati stopped the poison in Lord’s throat and it is believed that his throat turned to blue.

As a result of this, Lord Shiva came to be known as Thiruneelagandan or Neelakandan (the one with Blue Throat).

Shiv Puja

Shiv Pradosh Puja

It is said that on the Trayodhasi (thirteenth moon day) day, the gods and demons realized that they had committed a sin of not praying the God and prayed for forgiveness. Lord Shiva Shankar forgave them and danced in between the horns of the Nandhi’s (Celestial Bull) forehead.

This time is called Pradhosham. It is believed that if anybody prays Lord Shiva in that time, he fulfills their wishes and gives them mukthi.

Pradosha pooja is one of the most sacred and important among the poojas performed by Shivites to the Graceful Lord Shiva. In Shukla Paksha (15 moon days from new moon to full moon) and Krishna Paksha (15 moon days from full moon to new moon) the evening of the Trayodasi (thirteenth moon day) between 4.30 pm to 6.00 p.m. is called Pradosham. It comes once in fifteen moon days. Pradosha time is to pray Lord Shiva and invoke His Blessings. Praying in this time will free us from sins and gives Moksha (hence the name Pradosha). During Pradosha time, a special type of circumbulating called “Somasutra Pradakshinam. During Prodhosha time anointing (Abhishekam) the Shiva deity with the Following is considered fruitful.

Pradosham Calender 2016

Milk Gives Long Life
Ghee Gives Moksha state
Curd Gives Good Children
Honey Give Melodious Voice
Rice Powder
[Arisi Podi]
Frees from Debts
Sugar Cane Juice Gives good health and removes enmity
Pancha-amrutham Gives Wealth
Lime Juice Removes fear of Death
Tender Coconut Gives enjoyment and full satisfaction in life
Cooked Rice [Annam] Gives Majestic life
Sandal Gives Lakshmi’s grace
Sugar Removes enmity

Rudra is always known to be easily pleased and through the praise contained in Sri Rudram, the fierce Rudra is calmed and becomes ready to grant us every conceivable blessing as requested in the Chamakam hymn.

Buy the Shiva-Parvati Pradosha lamp here: Shiva Parvati Pradosha lamp- please Shiva and Karma removal


How to perform Somasutra pradakshinam during shiva pradosham

Explained by: C S RajGopalan
During the Pradhosham time Somasutra pradakshinam is the suggested way of circumambulating Sivalingam. In some of the temples this is followed always. A point to note here is that the Gomukhi is never crossed. Gomukhi is the place where the water after anointing (abhisheka tirtham) would be flowing northwards out. By doing this way of pradakshinam one does not step over this holy water.

“வ்ருஷம் சண்டம் வ்ருஷம் சைவ ஸோம சூத்ரம் புனர்வ்ருஷம்

Soma Sutra Pradikshinam

SomaSutra Pradikshinam

சண்டம் ச ஸோம சூத்ரம் ச புனச்சண்டம் புனர்வ்ருஷம்”

“vrusham chandam vrusham saiva soma sutram punavrusham
chandam cha soma sutram cha punachandam punarvrusham”

First saluting the Rishabha devar (Holy Bull) go anti-clockwise and salute chandishwar (not crossing the gomukhi). Now return in the clockwise manner salute Rishabham and continue clockwise till the Gomukhi (not cross it again). Then return in anti-clockwise direction salute the Rishabham again and proceed towards chandishar. From there return back clockwise without worshiping Rishabham and reach the gomukhi. Finally return back anti-clockwise from there to salute Rishabham and continue to chandishwar and return back to Rishabham and worship the shiva lingam (at the altar) by viewing through the space between the two horns of the Holy bull. This is one pradakshinam. 3 such times pradadakshinam to be done.

If you carefully observe the curve traced by doing the pradakshinam is very similar to the periphery of the CRESCENT. Hence this way of circumambulating is called SOMASUTRA PRADAKSHINAM.



  1. very nice how manye days doing this vratham

  2. k r vishwanathan says:

    Highly informative! I would like someone to explain the importance of Shivalinga being worshipped. Why Shivalinga is more important than the Lord Shiva Himself? Please respond to my ignorant questions as I believe that being a Brahmin knowing the answers to the above would enable me explain to my children…

    • What u being a Brahmin makes it a point for replies, nonsense example just ask for a reply not stamp a caste

      • R.sundaram says:

        You are 100 correct. Here your caste factor does not come .All caste people are worshiping SHIVA.Simply tell I want to know the significance that is enough.
        for you and All others to know it.

    • All vrat, upasana etc will culminate in Advait Gyan i.e. Gyan of Brahman (not Brahma, one of Trinity) or supreme consciousness. Linga or Lingam means symbol (unfortunately christian and muslims denigrate Hindus as penis worshipper, whereas Sanskrit word for penis is ‘Sishna, not Linga). However, as Shiva Lingam is sign of Shiva. As Lingam, Lord Shiva worshipped as Nirakara, Advait (formless) form, which is ultimate reality i.e.Brahman, which is formless, shapeless, beyond one’s knowledge, mind, intellect. Hence, by worshipping Lingam or Sign of Formless Brahman as Shiva, one could attain Nirvana quickly. Hence, Lingam worship is much more beneficial than worshipping of Murthy.

  3. Hi sir,
    I m married for 5 years. No children yet. Had misscarriage once.
    I was told to do Prado Sha pooja.
    As we are in a small studio apartment. I have only lord shiva photo.
    Can u plz tell me how to do pooja. What all mantras to tell.
    Today was Prado Sha from morning I made my mind to do pooja in evening.
    But morning had a quarrel with parents.
    As I have very big problem between inlaws and parents. Both of them hate eachother.
    My inlaws demand more respect more farmalities like inviting to festivals by my parents etc etc.
    My parents Dnt know about farmalities. As me and my husband are in america
    We can’t handle situation.
    So maNY quarrels happend.
    Eveng I cried so much alone and slpt in front of god.

    Plz tell me somthing

    • Girish Yogiraj says:

      I have recently been in a similar situation in the Chicago suburbs, & can sympathize completely with your difficulties! Under such circumstances it is very difficult to practice the Dharma at home. Is there not a Shiva Mandir nearby where you can make your vows & offerings? If not, Lord Shiva resides in your heart, also in the rays of the sun. The forest & the lonely places are his residences. At vey least, you can offer your prayers & vows to Lord Shiva in the rising sun ( whenever you can catch sight of the sun in your location) & observe the vrata wholeheartedly. At the conclusion of the Vrata, remember to dedicate the merit. Ask lord Shiva to bless the minds of all your quarrelsome family members with shanti and compassion. If I may ask,what city do you live in?

  4. chandran suppiah says:

    Chandran suppiah taiping perak malaysia
    Thank you so much for this powerful informations. Hope all our hindu colleagues follow this to overcome their problem in this material worlds and try to wash up theirs sins and karma by fasting, praying, and ask for forgiveness from MAHA DEVATHE DEVA SIVAPERUMAN. OM NAMASIVAYA SIVAYA NAMA OM

  5. what is mantra to be recite while applying sandalwood to linga

  6. Actually am allergic to Sun & get Sun burns for the light morning Sun also.Please give the permanent remedy for Sun burns.

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