Tulsi vivah is a grand festivity that has a lot of significance for Hindus. There is an interesting legend behind the celebration of Tulsi vivah festival. Tulsi is considered to be an incarnation of Maha Lakshmi, who was born as Vrinda in her previous birth. Tulsi was married to a demon king Jalandhar. She offered prayers to Lord Vishnu to protect her husband from being harmed by any God. Several Gods approached Lord Vishnu and requested him to take the form of Jalandhar and live with Tulasi, without letting her know about the truth. To know the complete story, read on.
Lord Vishnu agreed to the request and did as told by other Gods. After
the death of Vrinda's husband, when truth was known to her, she cursed
Lord Vishnu and converted him into a stone, i.e. Shaligram and after
that, she collapsed. From her body, came out a tulsi plant. It is due to
this reason that Vishnu puja is regarded incomplete without the presence
of Tulsi leaves. Since then, every year Tulsi is married to Lord Vishnu
and the event is known as Tulasi Shaligram Vivah. It is said that the
person who performs the custom of giving away Tulsi to Lord Vishnu,
considering her to be his own daughter, is considered to earn the credit
of performing kanyadan.
Tulsi vivah is conducted on the next day after Kartiki Akadashi. As a
part of festivity celebration, tulsivrindavan is adorned like a bride.
Along with tulsi, the plants of amla, sugarcane and tamarind are
planted. Special feast is prepared consisting of delicious vegetarian
dishes. A full meal consisting of puri, rice, sweet potato kheer,
moongachi gathi, red pumpkin vegetable is offered to Tulsi Vrindavan in
the afternoon time. The ceremony of wedding takes place during evening.
Several dishes made from poha are served to Lord Vishnu. Prasad is then
distributed amongst all. This ceremonial day marks the beginning of the
auspicious marriage season for Hindus.