History and Significance of Dhanteras Puja in India


Dhanteras, also known as Dhanatrayodashi, marks the beginning of the grand festival of Diwali in India. With its roots deep in history and mythology, Dhanteras holds a special place in the hearts of millions. This auspicious day, dedicated to the worship of Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Dhanvantari, carries a profound significance that goes beyond its cultural celebrations. In this blog, we will delve into the history, religious and cultural importance, rituals, regional variations, and modern relevance of Dhanteras Puja.

The Origin and History of Dhanteras Puja:

Ancient Roots:

Dhanteras finds its origins in the ancient Vedic texts. It is believed that the word ‘Dhanteras’ is derived from ‘Dhan’ meaning wealth and ‘Teras’ meaning the thirteenth day of the lunar fortnight. The festival holds a connection to the agricultural and trading roots of Indian society, where wealth was often measured in terms of grains, metals, and cattle.

The day was initially associated with honoring Dhanvantari, the physician of the gods, who emerged with the pot of nectar during the churning of the ocean. Over time, the focus shifted towards the worship of Goddess Lakshmi, the bestower of wealth and prosperity.

B. Mythological Significance:

Dhanteras is steeped in fascinating mythological stories. One such tale narrates the story of King Hima’s son, whose life was predicted to be in danger from a snakebite on the fourth day of his marriage. His newlywed wife, clever and devoted, laid out all her ornaments and gold coins in a heap at the entrance of their chamber, and illuminated the place with lamps and diyas.

The brilliance of the lights coupled with the glittering gold dazzled the serpent who was coming to bite the prince, and he turned away without harming him. Thus, the tradition of lighting lamps and buying new things on Dhanteras was born.

Religious and Cultural Significance:

A. Wealth and Prosperity:

Dhanteras is synonymous with the belief that purchases made on this day bring good fortune throughout the year. People buy precious metals, utensils, and other items as a symbolic gesture of inviting wealth into their homes. The markets are abuzz with shoppers seeking the perfect items to mark this occasion.

It’s not just about material wealth; Dhanteras also emphasizes the importance of accumulating spiritual wealth. The idea is to cleanse the mind of negativity and welcome positive energies, reflecting the ancient Indian philosophy of holistic prosperity.

B. Spiritual Cleansing:

Dhanteras signifies more than just a materialistic approach towards wealth. In the days leading up to the festival, homes and workplaces are thoroughly cleaned and decorated to welcome the goddess of wealth, Lakshmi. Just as physical clutter is removed, the festival also encourages individuals to let go of emotional and mental clutter, thereby purifying the soul.

The act of cleaning and adorning the surroundings is a spiritual metaphor that highlights the importance of inner purity and clarity in our lives.

C. Symbolism of Light:

The tradition of lighting lamps and diyas on Dhanteras holds a profound spiritual meaning. Light is a symbol of knowledge and wisdom, dispelling darkness and ignorance. By illuminating homes and surroundings, people celebrate the victory of light over darkness, good over evil.

This symbolism extends beyond the physical realm, encouraging individuals to seek enlightenment and spiritual growth as they embark on their journeys.

Dhanteras Puja Rituals and Traditions:

A. Puja Preparation:

The preparations for Dhanteras puja are meticulous and thoughtfully executed. Homes are cleaned and decorated with rangoli designs and colorful decorations. The entrance is adorned with footprints symbolizing the arrival of Goddess Lakshmi.

People also purchase utensils made of gold, silver, or copper, which are considered auspicious. The traditional act of purchasing new items serves as a reminder of the festival’s connection to new beginnings and prosperity.

B. Lakshmi Puja:

On Dhanteras evening, families gather for the Lakshmi Puja. They light oil lamps, diyas, and incense sticks to create a sacred ambiance. The puja involves the chanting of mantras and hymns dedicated to Goddess Lakshmi.

Offerings of sweets, fruits, and special dishes are made to the goddess. The ritual signifies the seeking of blessings for abundance and prosperity for the coming year.

C. Dhanvantari Puja:

Lord Dhanvantari, the divine physician, is also worshiped on Dhanteras. This ritual highlights the importance of health and well-being along with material wealth. A small idol or image of Lord Dhanvantari is often placed on the puja altar, and prayers are offered for good health.

Regional Variations and Celebrations:

A. Different Names and Practices:

While Dhanteras is celebrated across India, it is known by different names in various regions. In some places, it’s called “Dhantrayodashi,” and in others, it’s referred to as “Yamadeepdaan.” Each region has its unique customs and practices associated with the day.

For instance, in Maharashtra, people participate in a ritual called “Vasu Baras,” where cows and calves are worshiped. In South India, Dhanteras is observed as “Naraka Chaturdashi,” commemorating the victory of Lord Krishna over the demon Narakasura.

B. Traditions and Festive Atmosphere:

Dhanteras sets the tone for the festive season, and its celebratory spirit is contagious. Families come together to exchange gifts, and friends visit each other’s homes. The markets are bustling with shoppers buying gold, silver, and utensils. The festive environment during Dhanteras creates a sense of unity and joy, fostering a strong sense of community and togetherness.

Modern Relevance and Commercial Aspect:

A. Economic Impact:

Dhanteras holds not only cultural but also economic significance. The festival serves as a boon for businesses and the retail sector. It witnesses a surge in sales as people indulge in purchasing items ranging from jewelry to electronic gadgets.

Retailers offer discounts and special deals to attract shoppers, making Dhanteras a crucial time for the economy.

B. Social and Family Bonding:

Dhanteras isn’t just about buying and gifting material possessions; it’s also about strengthening bonds and connections. Families come together for puja, shopping, and feasting. The act of exchanging gifts and sweets fosters a sense of camaraderie.

Dhanteras reinforces the importance of relationships, sharing, and creating memories with loved ones.


Puja is a celebration that goes beyond the surface-level festivities. Its historical roots, mythological connections, and spiritual symbolism make it a unique and profound occasion in Indian culture. The rituals and traditions associated with Dhanteras remind us to strive for both material prosperity and spiritual growth.

As we light lamps to dispel darkness, let us also illuminate our hearts and minds with knowledge, compassion, and positivity. This Dhanteras, let’s embrace the ancient wisdom and modern relevance of this festival, enriching our lives with its profound significance.