Pitru Paksha or Mahalaya Paksha is a powerful fortnight of the lunar year to perform ancestral rituals for your ancestors. The period from the Pratipada tithi of Krishna Paksha of Ashwin masa till the no moon day- Amavasya is called Pitru Paksha. Pitru Paksha is a sanskrit word that translates to "fortnight of the ancestors". This period is observed all across India and in various other cultures like Buddhism and Taoism. It is also called Pitri Paksha, Pitr-Paksha, Sorah Shraddha ("sixteen shraddhas"), Kanagat, Jitiya, Pitri Pokkho, and Apara Paksha.

Pitrupaksha 2023

Fri , 29th Sep 2023


Every year during the Mahalaya phase, millions of Pitrus- ancestors souls descend on the Earth plane from the Pitruloka to receive Tarpanam offerings and other ancestral rituals. This is the only time that they are allowed on bhooloka to relish the offerings that their family makes to them on this day. All the ancestral ceremonies are designed in a certain way that the pitrus can absorb and assimilate I their system, including the slokas of the tarpanam, offerings like Pind dhan made of rice and sesame, & other donations. They bestow their best blessings on the whole lineage after accepting these offerings.

These blessings are so powerful and are the ideal solutions to many karmic problems we might face due to our ancestors. Their blessings can dissolve stubborn karmic challenges also change the destiny of a person. This fortnight window is a once in a year opportunity to seek help from our ancestors to clear bad karma affecting all arenas of our life like physical &mental health, material wealth, career, and family relationships. Our offerings enable the ancestors to move to higher realms and heaven.

This is also a phase to ask for forgiveness from our ancestors, their blessings and forgiveness can translate into lifetime blessings. Many puranas like Markandeya Purana, Brahma Purana, Bhagavata purana & Garuda purana insist on the importance of Pitru Paksha on ultimate purpose of heaven and salvation (moksha) upon both ancestors and the performer. The puranas also preach that the male heir of the family should propitiate ancestors (Pitris), along with the gods (devas), elements (bhutas). It is also said that ancestor blessings are as powerful as Clan deity’s, both these blessings can change the genetic nature of an individual, thus change one’s destiny.

Shradh rituals on Pitru Paksha can also compensate a forgotten or neglected annual Shraddha and Amavasya Tarpanam ceremonies.The Shradh rituals are central to the concept of lineages or genetic generations. These rituals involve oblations to three or seven preceding generations and lineage ancestor -gotra.

Pitru Paksha days and their relevance towards specific tarpanam rituals,

Pratima/ Pratipada – ideal for tarpanam rituals for people died with unfulfilled wishes and due to low self esteem.

Dwitiya – ancestral rituals for physically challenged and suffered from depression

Tritiya - Married against their family’s wishes and suffered trauma before death.

Chaturthi - Who were unable to serve their own mother and separated from their children and loving pets.

Panchami - Killed and consumed birds and animals

Shasthi - Tarpanam for Gurus and mentors who led us in the right path

Saptami- Selfless friends who offered unconditional love and generous help.

Ashtami - Ancestors who might have performed unethical acts or lived an unrighteous life

Navami- Tarpanam for Sumangali women of the family.

Dasami - Family members who died as infants or in young age.

Ekadashi - Tarpanam to pay gratitude for ancestors who created wealth and fame in our life.

Dwadashi - Who suffered the pain of betrayal and disappointment due to inheritance

Trayodasi - Tarpanam rituals for anestors who suffered terminal stage diseases and in curable sickness.

Chaturdasi - War soldiers and ancestral family members who were cremated outside their home country/hometown. We can also perform tarpanam for beloved pets on this day.

Mahalaya Amavasya - Tarpanam ritual for all deceased family ancestors, Stillborn babies and unknown souls of the family.


Devotees begin the day with a holy dip in a sacred river or at home with few sesame seeds dropped in the bathing water makes it holy. Worship altar is cleaned and organised for pooja. People visit the water bodies of the temple or lakes for performing Shradh rituals. People prefer Rameshwaram or other powerful Lord Shiva temples for the rituals. Freshly prepared food is offered in the form of Pind Daan (rice balls with sesame seeds). People fast the whole day or break their fast after sunset with a simple sattvic meal. Avoid consuming non-vegetarian food and use of onion or garlic in cooking. Some people observe a whole day or partial fasting for their ancestors and break their fast by the end of the day. Feeding crows on pitru paksha days is considered auspicious, as it is believed that the ancestors descend to the earth plane in the form of crows to accept our offerings. People also make charities to the poor and needy.


  • Performing ancestor rituals on thee pitru paksha days mitigate the ill effects of Pitru Dosha 
  • This is also one good chance to make up for all missed Tarpanam (ancestral offering) rituals.
  • This process can free and liberate ancestors who have suffered untimely and unnatural death. 
  • Shradh rituals and tarpanam appease the ancestors. It makes us receptive to the best blessings of ancestors, celestial beings, and sages. 
  • Ancestor blessings bestow material growth and gains through education, career and inheritance.
  • These rituals also bestow inner strength, will power and divine blessings.
  • Clears challenges with matrimonial progress and progeny. Blesses lucky children and cordial spousal relationship.
  • Fulfils desires and aids financial stability to resolve debts.
  • Pitru paksha rituals create amicable and smooth atmospheres for one to succeed with ease and luck.
  • Ancestral blessings provide crystal clarity in one’s thoughts, actions, desires and self.
  • Pitru paksha provides instant relief from persistent problems and challenges due to planetary complications

Important Timings On Pitrupaksha


September 29, 2023 6:21 AM


September 29, 2023 6:13 PM

Aparahna Kaal

September 29, 1:28 PM - September 29, 3:50 PM

Kutup Muhurat

September 29, 11:53 AM - September 29, 12:41 PM

Rohina Muhurat

September 29, 12:41 PM - September 29, 1:28 PM

Pitrupaksha festival dates between 2020 & 2030




Wednesday, 2nd of September


Tuesday, 21st of September


Saturday, 10th of September


Friday, 29th of September


Wednesday, 18th of September


Monday, 8th of September


Sunday, 27th of September


Thursday, 16th of September


Monday, 4th of September


Sunday, 23rd of September


Thursday, 12th of September

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