What are the various religious ceremonies related to Akshaya Tritiya?
Lord Vishnu, the god who sustains the universe and one among the three gods who form the Supreme Trinity of Hinduism, is the main god associated with Akshaya Tritiya.
The main pujas and prayers on Akshaya Tritiya (Akha Teej) are dedicated to Lord Vishnu along with his consort, Goddess Lakshmi, who is the goddess of wealth, prosperity and good luck, among other things. While some like to do these pujas at their homes, many devotees throng Vishnu and Lakshmi shrines on this day.
Kubera Lakshmi puja
Some temples also have a day-long Kubera Lakshmi puja on this day. This custom owes its origin to the belief that even Kubera, the richest deity, will pray to goddess Lakshmi on this day.
Opening of Chota Char Dham temples
The four temples that are part of the Himalayan Char Dham, an important Hindu pilgrimage circuit, are open to the public on Akshaya Tritiya.
The circuit in the Himalayas, also known as the Chota Char Dham, (literally translated as ‘the small four abodes’) includes the four sacred sites of Yamunotri, Gangotri, Kedarnath, and Badrinath. While Yamunotri and Gangotri have temples dedicated to the Goddess, Kedarnath is a Shaiva site ie, dedicated to Shiva and Badrinath is dedicated to Vishnu.
Badrinath is also one of the four destinations and the most important of the longer Char Dham. The four sites of the Char Dham are located roughly at four cardinal points of the sub-continent. The Char Dham was created by philosopher, reformist and spiritual leader, Adi Sankaracharya, in the eighth century.
Homage to Banke Bihari
On the day of Askhaya Tritiya, thousands of devotees throng Vrindavan, the birthplace of Krishna, to pay homage to the deity, Banke bihari (a form of Krishna) whose lotus feet is visible only on Akshaya Tritiya.
Dip in the Ganges
A dip in the sacred River Ganges is another popular activity on this day.