India’s multifarious age-old culture is adorned by various pujas such as Shiva puja, Durga Puja, Lakshmi Puja, Vastu Puja and other various Hindu ceremonies. All the Vedic literatures right from the Four Vedas, Puranas, Itihasa, Upanishands to the great epic Mahabharata and the Ramayana mention the performance of Puja/Pooja (prayer rituals) for appeasing the deities. Additionally, the concept of Puja/Pooja is also used in the context of revering the presence of a special guest or the memories of the departed.
In their broader sense, pujas can be performed for a number of ceremonies, occasions and festivals such birthdays, marriages or new professional ventures. They are held at homes, temples or at the inaugural ceremonies of events. Pujas are however not obligatory rituals. One can perform on a daily basis or simply offer prayers to the deities on special occasions.