Puja thali (in Hindi: पूजा थाली; IAST: pūjā thālī; in English: Prayer plate) or Puja plate is a tray or large container on which the entire puja materials are accumulated and decorated. In Hindu religious occasions, festivals, traditions and rituals, puja thali maintains an auspicious role. Puja thali may be made of steel, gold, silver, brass or any other metal; it may be rounded, oval or any other shaped or with little engravings and designs as much as decoration needed. Puja thali may be costly or cheaper but puja accessories are more or less same.
The following materials must be in a puja thali :
- Turmeric paste/Sindoor (Vermilion) paste/Rangoli color for holy symbols like 'Om', 'Swastika' etc.
- Akshata (unbroken rice grains).
- Diyas and incense sticks(Agarwood).
- Flowers (marigold, rose & various designs with single color petals or a combination of different colors).
- Indian sweets for Prasad.
- Holy water in a container.
Along with these Ghanta (bell), Conch (Shankha), Mangal kalasha (holy pitcher) with holy water, Ghee, Camphor, Betel-leaves, Tulsi, Milk, Fresh fruits, Sandalwood-paste, Kumkum, Murti (earthen images) of deities and gold or silver coins (as needed).
In Diwali occasion, more than one diya might be arranged on thali; in Rakshabandhan, one rakhi is needed. Bael-leaves, datura flowers are essential in thali for Mahashivratri festival. Thus in different occasions and festivals, puja thali decoration varies with importance of the rites.
In Rakshabandhan, a sister prays for her brother for his well being; in hindu wedding ceremony, the thali is used to pray for the bride and groom to welcome his/her into new house. Puja thali decoration becomes a subject of arts and crafts, but ethnic style must be maintained. Nowadays, decorated and well-prepared puja thalis are also available in markets. Designs of traditional Rakhi Puja Thali.
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