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In Hinduism, upachara (Sanskrit: उपचार; service or courtesy)[1] refers to the offerings and services made to a deity as part of worship.

Although the upcharas differ according to the form of the prayer, a typical list of 16, which parallels the process of welcoming an honoured guest, is as follows:[2][3]

  1. Ahvahana: Invocation of the deity
  2. Asana: Offering a seat to the deity
  3. Padya: Offering water to wash the feet
  4. Arghya: Offering beverage
  5. Achamaniya: Offering water to rinse the mouth
  6. Snana or abhisekha: Bathing
  7. Vastra: Clothing or offering a garment
  8. Yagnopavit or Mangalsutra: Putting on the sacred thread
  9. Anulepana or gandha: Sprinkling with perfume
  10. Pushpa: Offering flowers
  11. Dhupa: Burning incense
  12. Dipa or Aarti: Waving of an oil lamp in front of the deity
  13. Naivedya: Offering food
  14. Namaskara or pranama: Reverential prostration or salutation
  15. Parikrama or Pradakshina. Circumambulation
  16. Visarjana: Taking leave.


  1. ^ Apte, Vaman Shivram (1957). "उपचारः". The practical Sanskrit-English Dictionary. Poona: Prasad Prakashan.
  2. ^ Fuller, C. J. (2004), The Camphor Flame: Popular Hinduism and Society in India, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, p. 67, ISBN 978-0-691-12048-5
  3. ^ Lochtefeld, James G. (2002). The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Hinduism: N-Z. Rosen Publishing Group. p. 720. ISBN 9780823931804.