Akshaya means infinite or never ending. Akshaya Trithiya festival falls on the third day of the Hindu month Vaishakha, April-May in Gregorian calendar. This festival is also known as Akha Teej. This year (2016) it is on 6th May.
Parashurama the sixth incarnation of Vishnu was born on this day. Puranas/stories of gods and goddesses narrate how Parashurama reclaimed the land from the sea along the west coast of India by his valor. The Goa and the Konkan area along the west coast is called as Parashurama Kshetra. Parashurama settled 96 selected families on this new land and called them Shahanavkuli Brahmins. This community is believed to have created the cultural heritage of this part of India.
Picture2 – Konkan Coast, Karwar Beach
The day of Akshaya Tritiya is considered very auspicious to start new ventures and to buy precious metal, jewelry etc., Dana/donations are also part of the spirit of this festival.
On this day Goddess Gowri/Parvathi or Lakshmi is worshiped. Dishes like Sajjige, Panaka, Kosambari, Payasa are offered to God. Few communities worship Lord Shiva on this day and women wear a vermilion thread around their necks and visit Shiva temple to pray for the longevity of their husbands. The Vishnusahasranama/thousand names of Lord Vishnu is also chanted on this day.
People take bath in major rivers just before sunrise on Akshaya Tritiya to be blessed with good fortune and luck. Jewelry shops are open till the wee hours to facilitate buyers.