Time for Paleda Kashaya & Menthe Ganji on ‘Aati/Hariyali Amavasya’

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Time for Paleda Kashaya & Menthe Ganji on ‘Aati/Hariyali Amavasya’

Mangaluru: 28 July – It’s time for Paleda Kashaya and Metteda Ganji, as part of ‘Aati/Hariyali Amavasya 2022’, which marks the beginning of an auspicious period for Hindus. ‘Aati Amavasya’ in Tulunadu or Deevige Karkataka Amavasya or Bhimana Amavasya is a festival celebrated in South India, in most parts of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. It is celebrated on the new moon day (Amavasya) of the Ashadha (Aati) month of the Hindu calendar.

And early this morning devotees were seen near the medicinal tree ‘Pale Mara’ (Tulu) or Hale Mara (Kannada) known by botanical name as ‘Alstonia Scholaris’ also known as Blackboard tree, Devil tree, Milk Wood pine, White cheese Wood and Dita Bark in the English language, peeling off chunks of its bark using a stone (no knife or sickle should be used) and later walk away to their residence and pound it to get the bitter juice “Paleda Kashaya” after adding some spicy ingredients and seasoning which is consumed by the members of the family in small quantities.

Interestingly, it is taken only on a particular day of the year that is Aati da Amavasya and is believed to be protecting an individual for the rest of the year. Paleda ketteda kashaya, a bitter Ayurveda concoction that is called as and is served to each member of the family including the newborn. This year it is taken on July 28. It is believed that the Paale tree or devil’s tree bark has 108 numbers of medicinal properties on Aati da Amavasya or new moon day.

Hariyali Amavasya holds strong religious values and this day is regarded as a very auspicious day for ancestral worship. The Amavasya, which falls in the month of Shravan, is called Hariyali Amavasya and is also known as Shravani Amavasya. Hariyali Amavasya is dedicated to Lord Shiva and Lord Shiva is worshipped on this day with full devotion. This month Hariyali Amavasya is going to be observed on Thursday, 28th July 2022.


There are several other rituals to be followed to make the concoction or Kashaya. A day before the new moon, house elders go near the Pale tree, clean up the entire area, place betel leaves, areca, and a sharp-edged stone and they tie a rope around the tree. It is an age-old tradition that bark has to be scrapped using only stone and no sickle or sharp metal weapons, which weakens medicinal values. The bark is collected during the wee hours the next day. Sources also reveal that it is also bizarre that house elders used to go naked near the tree to collect the bark for reasons unknown.


Amavasya is the day of a new moon occurrence in the sky, and any fortnight containing the new moon is considered auspicious by Hindus. They believe that during this period, the offerings they make, reach their late forefathers and in return are showered with blessing. This signifies the beginning of the auspicious period, and many pujas are performed to Hindu deities during this period seeking blessing. It is believed that on this day Shiva, the Lord of destruction in Hindu mythology is taken over by Parvathi’s devotion towards him and accepts her as his wife. Parvathi is considered by some schools of Hinduism as the supreme Divine Mother or Lordess and all other goddesses are referred to as her incarnations or manifestations.

Parvathi thus symbolizes many different virtues esteemed by Hindu tradition: fertility, marital felicity, devotion to the spouse, asceticism, and power. Hence it is believed if women abstain from food on this day and offer prayers to Lord Shiva, Parvathi chastely an unmarried would seek a good virtuous husband and married would pray for their husband’s long life, success and happiness. Usually, two idols are made using red mud clay, dried and decorated. One Idol depicts Lord Shiva and the other symbolizes Parvathi. Many devotees on this day take a sacred dip or bath in the sea here and strongly believe that with the blessings of Varaha Swami, all kinds of skin diseases will immediately disappear.

According to the vernacular language of this region, “Aliyana Amavasye” means Amavasye of a son-in-law. Therefore all newlywed couples make it a point to visit this temple and have a holy dip or bath in the seawater. The darshan and blessing will give them a happy married life ahead with good health and wealth. One may wonder the reason behind the consumption of the bitter juice of this particular tree, that too on the new moon of the lunar month of Aati (Aati Amavasya). It is believed that this bitter syrup prepared from the liquid tapped out of Pale mara is said to have the power to ward off health problems till the next Aati. This is one of the important aspects of the Tulu folk culture and custom.

It is said that once a year before consuming any food in the morning at least a small portion of the juice of the bark of this tree should be consumed to be healthy from any type of bowel troubles. With the festival season soon to follow after the Aati month, people, in general, will be eating lots of other delicacies and tasty dishes which would strain the bowels. Hence, consuming the juice from the bark of this ‘Paleda mara’ would provide security from unwanted stomach ailments.

Besides the above reasons, the bark of Pale Mara is used for medicinal purposes ranging from Malaria and epilepsy to skin conditions and Asthma. In Ayurveda, it is used as a bitter astringent herb for treating skin disorders, malarial fever, urticaria, chronic dysentery, diarrhoea, snake bite and for the upper purification process of Panchakarma. The milky juice of the tree is applied to ulcers.

After consuming Pale Kashaya, to counter bitterness, jaggery/sugar is given and later Menthe Ganji or Fenugreek Conji is eaten to cool down the body. To counter bitterness, people in Tulunadu consume jaggery and to overcome heat, menthe ganji (conji made of fenugreek) is eaten after consuming the kashaya empty stomach. There is the religious significance of Ati Amavasya, especially in the Shiva temples situated in the Tulunadu such as those of Shree Karinjeshwara Temple at Karinja; Narahari Parvatha Bantwal; Kudroli Gokarnanatha Temple, Kadri Manjunatha Temple; Maharaja Varaha Temple, Maravanthe; Koteshwara Temple, Kumbashi Temple, Kundeshwara Temple, Shankaranarayana Temple and other places. Shiva devotees visit these temples in large numbers. It is learnt that in Shri Narahari Sadashiva Temple at Bantwal people take bath in the four ponds known as Shanka, Chakra, Gadha and Padhmakaara, with the belief that their sins would be washed away.

 What Devotees do on Aati/Hariyali Amavasya:

1. People get up early and take a holy bath.
2. People organise Pitra Pooja, Pitra Tarpan and prepare special satvik food to offer Brahmin or Priest in the remembrance of their ancestors.
3. It is highly auspicious to offer food, clothes and footwear to a brahmin or priest.
4. People, who are facing Shani sade sati and dhaiya, must visit temples and light a mustard oil diya under a peepal tree and seek blessings on this special day.
5. It is considered to be highly auspicious to take bath in the holy river Ganga on the day of Shravan Amavasya.
6. One must donate food to the needy and poor people and do charity.
7. As this is a holy month of Sawan, people must visit temples on this particular day and perform abhishekam to shiva lingam with panchamrit.
8. Some people even organise Gayatri Jaap and Hawan in remembrance of their forefathers.

Inputs from Pandit Hari Shankar

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