Karwa Chauth Legends
Karwa Chauth is the festival that holds a lot of significance for married
Hindu women, who keep a fast for the long life of their husband, on this
day. Though the basic aim behind the festival remains the same, the
particular customs and rituals may vary a bit, depending on the region to
which the women belong. Karva chauth has a tremendous social and cultural
significance in India. It has a rich background and has several stories
related to its existence. Some of the popular stories and legends associated
with the festival have been described below
Story Of Queen Veeravati
A beautiful girl Veeravati, the only sister of her seven loving brothers,
got married to a king. On her first karwa Chauth, she went to her parents'
house and a strict fast, waiting for the moon rise to break it. The seven
brothers could not see their loving sister go hungry throughout the day.
They decided to end her fast, by reflecting a mirror through peepal tree
leaves and making her believe that it is moon. The sister fell for it and
broke the fast. The moment she ate food, she got news of her husband's
After coming to know that her husband is not well, she rushed to her palace
and on her way, met Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. It was them that she
came to know that her brothers had shown her false moon and made her break
her fast before moonrise. The queen asked for forgiveness and was granted
the boon that the king would be revived only if she undertakes seven karwa
Chauth fast strictly, following all the rituals. The queen agreed and
strictly followed all the rituals of karwa Chauth the next seven times and
got her husband back.
Legend Of Mahabharata
Karwa Chauth also has a story dating back to the pre-Mahabharata times.
Draupadi used to observe this fast after her marriage. It so happened that
once Arjun went to the Nilgiris for penance and in his absence, the rest of
the Pandavas faced many problems. Draupadi asked Lord Krishna for help. The
Lord reminded her about Goddess Parvati, who had sought Lord Shiva's
guidance under similar circumstances and was advised to observe the fast of
Karva Chauth. Draupadi followed the instructions and observed the fast with
all its rituals and the Pandavas were able to overcome their problems.
Legends Of Satyavan and Savitri
Another story related to Karwa Chauth concerns the Satyavan and Savitri.
When Lord Yama came to take away Satyavan' s soul, Savitri begged him to
spare her husband. He refused to do so. In order to gain back her husband's
life, Savitri stopped eating and drinking anything. Finally, Yamraj relented
and granted her, her husband's life. And from that day onwards, karwa Chauth
has been celebrated with great faith and belief.
Legend Of Karva
Karva was a woman deeply devoted to her husband. It so happened that her
husband was caught by a crocodile while bathing. Karva came running and
bound the crocodile with a cotton yarn. She then went to Yama and requested
him to send the crocodile to hell. She threatened to curse him when Yama
refused to do so. Afraid of the power of a devoted wife, Yama accepted and
sent the crocodile to hell and blessed Karva's husband with long life.
Karwa Chauth Customs
Karwa Chauth is one of the most awaited festivals of North India, which is
celebrated by the married women mainly. On this day, they keep a fast for
the long life, well being and prosperity of their husband. Karwa chauth
reflects joy, splendor, brightness and happiness of a married life. Thus,
things that symbolize and reflect the marital status of a woman, such as
jewelry, bangles, henna, bindi, and lehnga choli, are in high demand on this
special occasion. The festival also brings people together and provides them
an opportunity to socialize with friends and family members, exchange gifts
and share home-cooked meals. Let us explore the customs of karva chauth in
Karwa Chauth Rituals & Traditions
The preparations for karva chauth start the day before the festival. Brides
get beautifully wrapped baskets with the sargi (the food to be eaten before
sunrise) from their mother-in-law. The fasting women of the neighborhood get
together before sunrise, to eat the sargi, which mainly consists of
thirst-quenching foods, like fruits, along with a main course of potatoes
eaten with hot puris (a deep-fried Indian bread). Traditionally, a newly wed
woman spends the day before the fast in her mother’s house and comes to her
mother-in-law’s house only on the day of karwa chauth.
On karwa chauth, married women wear bright and beautiful clothes, heavy
jewelry and bangles. They also get intricate patterns drawn, with henna, on
their palms and feet. Traditionally, it is the mother who usually sends baya,
which includes sweets, money, clothes and a karva (small earthen pitcher),
to their married daughters’ houses. In the evening, the mother-in-law or any
elderly women of the house accepts the baya, given to them by the younger
married women of the family. Thus, the festival of karva chauth involves not
only the married women, but other members of the household as well.
The women of the neighborhood usually gather in someone’s house and perform
the puja together, in the evening. A small area is prepared for the
ceremony, which can be performed in any part of the house as well as in the
open. A small square platform is placed against the wall and kharia matti
(powdery mud) is used to cleanse and to decorate the puja area. An idol of
Gaur Mata, or Goddess Parvati (the consort of Lord Shiva), is placed on the
consecrated spot. Traditionally, the tiny image of Gaur Mata was made from
cow dung, though nowadays pictures or idols of Parvati are the norm.
About an hour before moonrise, the women place their bayas and their karvas
in a plate and sit around the puja area to pray, while an elderly lady
narrates a tale about a young woman who, by an unfortunate twist of fate,
was tricked into breaking her fast before moonrise. Her husband dropped dead
the very instant his wife broke her fast. Enraged at the deception that led
to her husband’s death, the girl implored Gaur Mata to resurrect her
The husband finally came back to life after a period of seven karva chauths.
The wife, with her unflinching love for her husband and belief in Goddess
Parvati, achieved the ‘impossible’. While the story is read out to everyone,
the women exchange their respective karvas, till each one gets her own karva
back. During this time, they also chant the following prayer ,which is for
the well being of the husband and for marital bliss:
"Addey-addey Krishna pakshe var
Tith Karva Chauth
Manse hain apne suhag ke liye
Yeh karva, mattri, halwa, sari, nagdi
Apne suhag ka liye rani ka sa raj dena
Gaur ka sa suhag dena Shri Krishna nimant."
The puja ends with the women showering rice and vermilion on Parvati and
seeking her blessings. The younger women touch the feet of the elders, seek
their blessings and offer their baya to them.
Breaking The Fast
In the evening, the women see the moon, while carrying a plate decorated
with lit earthen lamps and a container of water. The moon is seen through a
fine mesh or sieve. Water is offered to the moon, followed by some food
women. Though the women are allowed to break their fast after they see the
moon, it is preferred if they can also see the faces of their husbands
before they eat or drink. So, the married men scurry back home from work as
soon as possible, on this day. Thereafter, the family sits down for a grand
meal and the celebration comes to end.
Karwa Chauth Katha
Karwa Chauth is celebrated with gusto by Hindu married women in the north
and north western parts of India. It is a special day for them, because they
pray for the longevity of their husband and seek blessings of Goddess Gauri
to have a blissful married life. Special puja is conducted in the evening by
the married women, wherein katha - story or legend associated with the
celebration of the festival - is narrated by the elderly woman of the group.
After watching the moon rise, the women would have a glimpse of their
husband through the same sieve, which they used to watch the moon.
Thereafter, they would break their fast by drinking water. In the article,
we have given information on Karva Chauth ki kahani.
Karva Chauth Story
Once upon a time, there lived a beautiful princess named Veeravati. She was
married to a king at the optimum marriageable age. After tying the wedding
knot, she went to meet her parents on Karva Chauth. After sunrise, she
observed a very stringent fast on the day, when she didn't drink even a drop
of water. Since Veeravati was too delicate to withstand rigorous fasting,
she fainted in the evening. The seven beloved brothers of the queen couldn’t
stand the dilemma of their sister and decided to break her fast, by
deceiving her. They made a fire at the nearby hill and asked her to catch a
glimpse of the glow. They made her to believe that it was the glow of the
moonlight and now that moon had risen, she could break her fast.
After watching the false moon, Veeravati broke her fast and ate dinner. The
moment she ate her food, she received the bad news that her husband was no
more. The heartbroken queen rushed to the palace to see her deceased
husband. On her way to the palace, she came across Lord Shiva and his
significant half - Goddess Parvati (also known as Ma Gauri). Parvati
informed Veeravati that the king had died because she had broker her fast by
watching a false moon. When the queen asked for mercy, the Goddess granted
her the boon that the king would be brought back to life, but would be
When the queen reached the palace, she found her husband lying unconscious,
with hundreds of sharp needles pierced into his body. Each day, the queen
was capable of removing one needle from the king's body. She could remove
all the needles except one. By the time, it was next year, on the day of
Karva Chauth. The king was still unconscious, with only one needle remaining
inserted in his body. On the day, the queen once again observed a stringent
fast and went to the market to purchase the karva (pitcher) for the puja.
When she was away from the palace to fetch the karva, her maid removed the
last needle from the king's body.
The moment Veeravati's maid removed the last needle from the king's body,
the king regained consciousness. Ironically, he mistook the maid for his
queen. When the real queen returned to the palace, she was made to serve as
a maid. Nonetheless, Veeravati was true to her faith and continued to
observe the Karwa Chauth vrat. One fine day, when king was going to other
kingdom, he asked Veeravati (now turned maid) if she wanted anything. She
asked to fetch a pair of identical dolls. While the king was obliged to
bring her a pair of dolls, the queen kept singing a song "Roli ki Goli ho
gayi.. Goli ki Roli ho gayi" (the queen has turned into maid and the maid
has turned into queen).
When asked why she was repeatedly singing the song, she narrated the entire
story. The king regretted and wanted to do good for his queen. Consequently,
he restored the royal status to Veeravati. It is believed that her immense
faith in the Almighty, her love and dedication to her husband had won her
husband's affection and the blessings of Goddess Parvati. This is the reason
why, every year, Karwa Chauth is celebrated to commemorate the sacrifice and
dedication of Veeravati. Every year, on Kartik ki Chauth, married women
observe stringent fast, worship Goddess Parvati for a long and pleasurable
married life and pray for longevity of their husband.