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Friday, June 20, 2014


Sumangali Prarthanai or Mangalip Pondugal as it's called is performed to invoke the blessings of the departed Sumangalis in a family for the welfare of  the family members.

Normally  it precedes ( it always precedes and only when not possible it is advisable to tie a rupee coin in a MANJAL wet and dried cloth) a Wedding, Seemantham, Poonal and Grihap pravesham. ( in some families it is not done before Grihapravesam )

If a Sumangali prarthanai  is done by the Girl's parents  , it should be done before the wedding and not after. But if it is a boy's wedding and if is not possible to do it before the wedding, a rupee coin can be kept in a manjal piece of cloth( prepared as per instructions ) and done after the wedding, with the new daughter -in -law.

 Sumangali prarthanai cannot be done after the Poonal or Seemantham. Only a boy's wedding can be followed by a sumangali prarthanai.

However,a sumangali prarthanai can be done after taking a vow on special occasions such as when somebody falls sick or when  it had not been done  for a long time.

Also sumangali prarthanai in the same family cannot be done twice in the same year.However if a wedding falls in the same year if an AYANAM had passed it can be done.

If for any reason one cannot do so, on an auspicious day after  praying to the family deity, a sum of Rs.11/ or so is kept in front of the lord and later tied in a manjal piece of cloth .This amount is included at the time of the pooja.

First, the day  is fixed by seeing the panchangam : a day which comes in Sukhla Paksham ( from amavasya to pournami),  having Siddha yogam or, Amirtha yogam  except  Tuesdays and Saturdays .Best days are Monday, Wednesday, and Friday One should avoid SASHTI, ASHTAMI, NAVAMI, KARI NALL, AAYILYAM and KETTAI. The star of the day should not be the janma star of the lady of the house.

Generally one's NATHANAR (husband's sister) is chosen as the main pondugal. If there is no sister- in -law, one's own daughter, if she is married can be the pondugal. If there is no daughter then the sister -in- law's daughter can be the pondugal.

When the death of  a "Pangali" ( husband  side Appa, Amma, brothers,  their spouses, Thatha, Patti, Perippa, Perimma, Chithi, Chithappa, their Sons and grand children ) happens in a family the lady of the house cannot sit for pondugal for a year till the varushapdigam is over.

A lady cannot sit for pondugal on the fourth day of her monthly periods. It is better to avoid sitting for pondugal if she awaits her periods closer to that day.

The mother- in- law and the daughter- in -law of the same family also cannot sit for the pondugal at the same time even  for two different pondugals on the same day.Which means that only one of them can sit for pondugal on any given day.

Invite 5, 7 9  ( odd number) or more sumangalis as per your choice and  Kanya pendugal  ( above 5 years and not attained maturity ).  Swami ilai 2 nos is added: 5+2, 7+2, 9+ 2 etc. If a sumangali is fallen short of  you can have another kanya ponnu instead of sumangali and a sumangali extra if you do not get a kanya ponnu.

On an auspicious day buy a 9 Yards sari, with  a matching blouse  -could be a Kanjeevaram  silk, raw silk, cotton silk, chungudi, Devendra, Venkatagiri, Poona sari anything of your like, fitting your budget and your family's group choice.

Get blouse pieces for the number of sumangalis and kanya ponnu that you are calling for the function.The blouse piece that you are getting for the pondugal saree is not counted and the kanya ponnu also gets the blouse piece after meals along with others in the thamboolam. Keep some extra blouse pieces so that you can give them to the cook or any other sumangali who visits the house that day; .Remember the sari and the blouse pieces should not have a mixture of black thread anywhere. 

If it's done before the marriage in the house, the pondugal 9 yards sari, the bride's 9 yards sari ( KOORAI PUDAVAI ), the kanya ponnu's dress, the Thirumangalyam, Kodi are also kept in the pooja. Being an auspicious day the Thirumangalyam is threaded in the Yellow Saradu the same day before it is kept in the pooja.

Daughters of the house  and any other married ladies  from relatives and friends can sit as pondugal.

For the sumagalis, if they are nearby invite them the previous day or earlier with  kumkum, haldi, manjal kombu,  oil, shikakai, vasanai podi . Do not  give the the oil and shikakai podi  in their hands, leave them on the table or on the  floor. 

For Vethilai pakku, one can choose apart from the regular blouse pieces [this always goes for circulation] sticker bindis, small baskets, bangles, hair clips, pooja plates etc.

Things to keep ready the previous day 

bananas ,
coconuts for thamboolam,
Glass bangles,
kali paakku,
malli maalai,or Kadambam or Samandi( to be given to all sumangalis , to be kept on saris and Lords'photos )
marudhani cones,
oru kavuli ( 100 nos) vethilai,
small combs, small mirrors,
udirippoo ,( rose, arali, kadambam, mullai ) 
urundai manjal kombu,
zip lock covers .

flower  for sumangaligal 

udirip poo for poojai 

mai potta knife, akshadai 

5 vethilai, manjal and pakku 
Take zip lock plastic covers and put 5 manjal kombhu/ 
powder ,Kumkuma chimizh, Dakshinai,  5 pakku, 
coconut,comb, mirror, bangles,  blouse piece and keep ready to be given along with  5 vethilai on the pooja day
 to sumangalis.( Vethilai is not put into the cover as it will dry in plastic cover.) If the total number of pondugal is 5, the thamboolam packets prepared must be 5 + 2. ( 2 for them to be kept on the Pondugal saree and Kanya ponnu pavadai.

vethilai pakku 

vethilai pakku 

The previous day, the sumangalis of the house after  simple head bath ( madi) should wash the 9 yards saris of the family members along with their dress  accessories and dry them in the sun . Before having their lunch should fold them neatly and keep in plastic covers or jute bags to be used the next day. ( This should be done on the day of the Sumangali Prarthanai. But these days, due to the constraint of space and weather conditions etc, it is done the previous day itself.)

It has become a practice for the sumangalis who come from outside  to get their madi 9 yards sarees themselves and bring from home as they come in their own vehicles. 

The previous night put a big Kalyana Kolam in the    entrance,apply  semman  above the kolam and tie a " mavilai”thoranam in the front entrance.For the maavilaith thoranam,The regular method is to pierce the maavilai after folding into the thread. Instead, use stapler to make a thoranam by just folding the maavilai into the thread. It will look decent. .

for izhai maak kolam:இழைமாக்கோலம்Option 1. Grind rice after soaking for 2 hrs- custom method.
Opt 2. Mix rice flour with water 
Opt 3. Mix rice, maida flour and water. 

For chemman: செம்மண்  If real chemman is not available mix haldi with lime [sunnambhu] 


Keep ready 
a Kuthu vilakku with thick vicks and full of oil, adorned with Manjal or Sandalwood paste, Kumkum and Flowers.It should not be placed on the ground.It should be placed on a plate. Or it can be kept on a wooden plank.
manjal podi 
vasanaip podi
Karpoora thattu  with karpooram ( camphor) 
doopak kaal with sambirani doop stick
match box
mallip poo saram, 
udirip poo
Akshadai  1 cup
Panchapathram uthirini with water
Poojai Mani
Vethilai pakku, banana and a coconut broken into two for neivedyam.

poojai saamangal 

manjal kumkumam, chandanap podi vasanaip podi 
On the morning of the day, the pondugal 9 yds saree along with the blouse piece is soaked in a bucket of water kept in the center of the hall wherein a pinch of manjal podi, vaasanaip podi is added ( and some smear a drop of gingilee oil to the pallu end )  by the sumangalis of the house facing EAST OR NORTH singing 'Gowri kalyanam ' .

9 yards ready to dip in water

sumangaligal dipping the saree 

And then it is squeezed and dried by the one who has a bath and while in wet clothes. ( with madi shuddam) It should be taken out and folded after it has dried completely. The main person conducting the function should not take oil bath.

The MANGALI PONDUGAL SAREE  SHOULD NEVER  BE SOAKED  BY ONLY ONE PERSON AND IT SHOULD ALWAYS BE DONE BY 2 OR 4,5 LADIES ( sumangalis) Also the same has to be done in the hall and not in the bathroom or elsewhere.

To start with, the main sumangali is made to sit on Manai along with other sumangalis available and the kanya ponnu and offer them kumkumam. Ask them to show their feet and apply turmeric paste and Nalangu.( some people apply only turmeric paste)
Oil is applied on the head of aaththu pondugal- sumangaligal after that. After taking bath they will wear the MADI  9 yds sarees that they have already brought or kept.

Now for the Pooja part,
After deciding the place facing east or west according to convenience put a kolam over a palakai /manai, a square kolam in front of the Manai (padi kolam)  and two kolams for the elais( LEAVES) let it dry. ( see pic) Put separate kolams for each leaf as per the number of invities. The Manai is flanked by the main sumangali and the kanya ponnu on each side if possible. Apply Chemman around the kolams.

kolam potta manaigal 

manai poduvadarku munnaal kolam potta idam 

kolams for elaigal 

Fold the dried PONDUGAL saree so that the “ pallu” comes on the top. If the manai is kept in the east facing west, the saree  pallu will be in the north. ( see pic below ) Fold the blouse piece ,keep on the saree .Keep the Pondugal saree on the main Manai. On the next manai keep the Koorai pudavai with blouse piece and in the next place keep the kanya ponnu's pavadai or frock.( Kanya ponnu's frock or pavadai is not washed).Tanjore side people nomally have only one manai without Kanya pondugal manai. Also they do not fold the saree. Chumma kosuvi  murukki vaithu viduvargal.

On the saree  put a mallippoo malai  ,a  coconut  (applied with manjal podi and kumkum )and all the vethilai paakku cover along with bananas . Similarly thamboolams and other accessories are kept on the koorai pudavai and kanya ponnu's dress. NECKLACE or CHAINS are placed on the sarees. The THIRUMANGALYAM AND KODI is also placed on the koorai pudavai.

Then leaves for the sumangalis are placed on the kolams starting from the Swamy Elais.
Elai''s nuni should come to the right side of the person who serves. Keep sombu jalam for each elai.

Some have the custom of placing a mirror behind the palakai ( see picture)

9 yards and kanya ponnu dress

 On the saree  put a mallippoo malai ,a gold chain or a necklace,  coconut  (which is smeared with manjal podi )and all the vethilai paakku cover . Place next the kanya pen's frock / pavadai with the accessories .

sumangalip pudavai, kalyanap pen 9 gajam, and kanyap ponnu dress 

A bowl of Buttermilk Diluted,  seasoned  with Mustard, curryleaves, hing/ asafoetida, salt is kept by the side of the leaf.

neer mor, panagam, sukku vellam 

One bowl of panagam ( mixture of water and jaggery - (vellam) with ginger, lemon and cardamom is prepared and kept along with

Sukku vellam (- dry ginger powder mixed with jaggery for digestion.)

 Nalangu -(mix of haldi  and chunnambu ) and a ball of Manjal podi paste is kept ready.

nalangu ida, manjal,  and manjal chunnaambhu kalandha kalavai for nalangu 

Smear some oil on the tip of the knife and show it in the lamp flame till  a thick black soot is formed  as kajal( kann mai)  and  a bowl of Akshadai .( Rice mixed with manjal podi and ghee and not water)

plastic disposable cups/ glasses



Kalaththu paruppu

Paruppu payasam 

paruppu vadai

thayir pachadi 

 vella pachadi

 vazakkai curry /chips 

avaraikkai curry/ beans  paruppu usili/  urlaikizhangu curry 

 poosani kootu /sambhar

 mor kuzambu 


kadalai paruppu sugar kosemalli

paasiparuppu savoury kosemalli 

 coriander thogayal /kariveppilai thogayal

 mango pickle 

coconut rice / lemon rice /puliyodarai


buttermilk /curds 

Start before or after rahu kalam.

Light the Kuthuvilakku.

When the ladies arrive give them manjal podi paste to wash their legs before sitting for bhojan.

Then give them chandanam, kumkum and  flowers to keep on the hair. Ask them to take their seats.The kajal is also given.

Start serving.
 Every Item should be served starting from the Swamy Leaf in clockwise direction. First sprinkle some water and clean the leaves. A drop of ghee is served in the center of the leaf. 

Then jaggery and banana ( Skin is peeled. If preferred a full banana or the fruit is cut into half ) is placed on the Nuni side of the leaf.If one wants, other fruits like mango grapes and jack fruit can also be served. 
Next  Payasam is served on the lower right hand side of the leaf opposite to the banana.

Then Thayir pachdi, vella pachidi, two kosumalies, two vareity curries, thogaiyal and pickles are served in that order starting  from the nuni side next to Banana.

Then Koottu is served with a little rasam mixed to it, in the center of the leaf. A small amount of Moar kozhambu is also served next to Koottu.

Poli in 2 nos is served on the nuni side below bananas.Place two vadais also next to Polis. On the lower left side of the leaf serve the Kalanda sadam.

 Paruppu is served in the lower right hand side of the leaf next to payasam. Then finally serve rice. Serve Ghee.
Now the pooja starts.
First sprinkle Vasanai podi, Manjal podi and kumkum on the sarees. Praying to the Sumangalis to bless your family with abundant love put udiri flowers on them.

Do neivedyam of all the items including neer more, panagam, chukku vellam,all the thamboolams kept for the sumangalis and the vethilai pakku, banana, cut coconut by sprinkling water from the panchapathram with uthirini.

Show “ doopam deepam” to pudavai  first  then to all ladies.

The “ elder sumangali who performs the pondugal should take the akshadai'  along with  flowers,  pay respects( in mind) to all the deceased sumangalis of the family for the smooth conduct of the marriage  or poonal function.
Show karpooram in  the same way,while ringing the bell. 

Now offer an udrini jalam to the elais and to all the pondugal in their hands.End it with the Kanya ponnu or whoever is sitting in the end at the north.with the ka

Then an udrini jalam is dropped in front of the Manai as an offering and say "HARIHI". Pondugal can drink the jalam in their hands and start eating.

It's better to play some soft carnatic music in the background to have some soothing effect and everyone should discourage others from talking ashubh or negative things while eating or later. 

Take snaps of each step so that you do not forget get into any controversies later.
Nobody should get up halfway through.

After everybody finishes eating, again offer an udrini of water to the Swami elais and in the hands of every pondugal.

The family members  should eat  from the  Swami  elais by distributing the food items served, after thamboolams are distributed to the sumangalis.

After meals, the  pondugal ladies should be made to sit together in a separate room and each of them  should be given neer mor, panakam & chukku vellam.

Then apply haldi paste on their feet and draw nalangu.

Offer flowers, maruthani, chandanam , kumkum.

In a plate keep each one's vethilai paakku zip lock cover with all ingredients including the coconut and offer them in their PALLU.

Give akshathai in their hand, do namaskaram and ask them to bless you. 

Here, there is no age restriction. All  the  family members, including elder members who may be older than the pondugal should do namaskarams to the sumangaligal and the kanya ponnu.  Mainly the kalyana ponnu or mappillai must take their blessings. 
Keep vethilai pakku chunnaambhu for the sumangalis to have. Only after this the leaves in which the sumangalis ate can be removed.

 Now the other members of the family can have their food. 

After everybody has finished eating  see if the time is good for giving the saree to the main pondugal  without Raghukalam, yama kandam etc.
Then make the Main pondugal to sit on a Manai and give the saree with all the thamboolam etc.that was kept in the pooja., Then follow the same procedure with the Kanya ponnu.
Let them wear the saree and the pavadai. They can do namaskaram to the deity at home and then to the elders at home.
After changing the saree it should be hanged in the clothes line for the night. A sombu jalam should be kept under the saree on the ground.

The sumangaligal who sat for the sumangali prarthanai should fast for the night or can have tiffin items and avoid rice meals. They should also avoid any physical intimacy with their spouse that night.

This is the general practice and it may vary from family to family. Generally this is what is followed in north arcot families.


I consulted my  elder sister Mrs. Bhuvana  Ramkumar in posting and she added  some  details  in the procedure.Later this was read out to my mother also .


  1. Hemalatha Vishwanathan
    12:28 PM (1 hour ago)
    to me
    Dear Manni, It is fabulous and very intricately and elaborately explained each and every step followed in our family for performing Sumangali Prarthanai alias Mangali Pondugal, with live pictorial depictions (U r looking so ravishing in Madisar decked with matching jewellery!!!! as the days/years roll, you r looking much younger and younger!! I know in few months from now you would be a 60 year old young baby with full of bubbly life and enthu all over - Bravo - Manni, I wish you to be the same always, ever, ever).
    With love, Gowri

  2. Dear Madam, I was so impressed by your write-up. Searching for Kodambakkam or Devendra sarres, I found your post and was so happy. I can keep it for future reference. There is just one small point that I would like to bring to your notice. Almost all Tamil Brahmins would have heard of Mahaperiyava or Paramacharya, the Revered Shankaracharya of Kamakoti Peetham. He has specifically forbidden the use of sticker bottus, since, in case they have gelatin, using them would bring us Gho-Hathi sin( the sin of having killed a cow, which is very great and has no pariharam). Did research and found it to be true, the adhesive does have gelatin. His own words on the subject is given here :

    Also He instructed a family to make turmeric kumkumum the tradition way, since everybody was making it by adding harmful chemicals to turmeric. So this family has been making it for the past 70 yrs. It is in Mylapore called Sri Vidya Nilayam. I normally buy only from there. It is next to Kabali Kovil.

    Thanks very much for sharing such nice information here for all of us ignorant folks. You are doing such a noble service.


  3. Whether sumangali prarthanai can be celebrated within a year of a death, which follows a marriage in that family

  4. Whether sumangali prarthanai can be celebrated within a year of a death, which follows a marriage in that family

  5. Suryanarayanan Ramachandran sir, .....If for any reason one cannot do so, ( death in the family etc ) on an auspicious day after praying to the family deity, a sum of Rs.11/ or so is kept in front of the lord and later tied in a manjal piece of cloth .This amount is included at the time of the pooja.Sumangalip prarthanai can be done only after a year of a death in the family,

    If a Sumangali prarthanai is done by the Girl's parents , it should be done before the wedding and not after. But if it is a boy's wedding and if is not possible to do it before the wedding, a rupee coin can be kept in a manjal piece of cloth( prepared as per instructions ) and done after the wedding, with the new daughter -in -law.

  6. Hi Can you please share me the how to conduct the Vallaikappu & Seemantham in North Arcot Style

  7. Hello Mami,
    Pleas let me know if you have procedure to conduct vallaikaapu n Semantham in north arcot style. If you the procedure please share it with me via email. My email address :


  8. Thanks for elaborate reply
    I got a doubt . Among two brothers family ,can we do in the same AYANAM or the year is to be taken account . That is my brother son wants to celebrate on 14 the March in Hevilambi year and can I perform in my family in July that is in vilambi year on account of my bhimaratha Santhi function. Both are residing in different place of tamilnadu. Kindly clarify

    1. Yes, you can do so in next Aayanam or even after April 14 th Vilambi varusham