Monday, July 22, 2013


What is Kanagabishekam? 
The literal meaning of the word is “to be showered with gold”.   Kanagabishekam is a religious ceremony that is performed in South India.This religious ceremony happens rarely because there are very specific requirements that a person must meet in order for this ceremony to occur.
So who is eligible for Kanagabishekam?
First, only men can have this ceremony. (Sorry ladies)
Second, a man (Person A) must have a son as his first child (Person B).
Next, that first child (Person B) must also have a son as his first child (Person C).
Furthermore, that grandson (Person C) must also have a son as his first child (Person D).
Finally, all 4 men (Persons A, B, C, D) must be alive and then a Kanagabishekam can be performed for the original patriarch (Person A – who is now eligible)… and it will be performed by his great-grandson (Person D).
Once again, sorry about that ladies.  I know you REALLY wanted to have this ceremony more than anything else in the world but hey those are the breaks. Men are ineligible for baby showers (unless you are Arnold Schwarzenegger in the movie “Junior”) and women are ineligible for this.
I am not trying to stir up controversy about males and females. I’m just writing about a rarely performed religious ceremony in South India. 
And now for the bottom line - Prince Philip is now eligible for Kanagabishekam.

PS: Nowadays, people tweak the custom and perform Kanagabishekam when someone live to see his/her great grandchild.


  1. Hi SG

    interesting! yup, u made a nice point, Prince Philip has become eligible for being showered with gold!!

  2. Patriarchy SG!!! A man cannot have a baby shower because biologically he cannot get pregnant. Social and biological differences should not be confused :) BTW who is organizing Prince P's Kanagabhishekam? He should come to India and then this can be made into a grand diplomatic event !!

  3. Thanks for your comments AS. That is the reason for writing this post on July 22.

  4. Thanks for your comments Meera. I know the difference. This was just a tongue in cheek remark.

    Who is organizing Prince P's Kanagabhishekam? United Kingdom's poor tax payers. HaHaHa.

  5. LOL!

    you have creatively connected the royal birth to kanagabhishekam. That said, i thought anybody who turns 80( couple) is eligible for kanagabhishekam. Did'nt know about the great grandson thing. anyways, are we invited for the royal event:)

  6. In one family we know, it was a lady who had a great-grandson and got Kanakabishekam performed (her husband is no more). When rituals are performed according to anyone's taste and preferences, what is the point of performing them at all?

    Destination Infinity

  7. Oh That was interesting and enlightening too. Was not aware of this custom. Liked the way you have linked it to the recent royal birth! Good one :)

  8. Thanks for your comments Asha. 80th birthday is Sadhabishekam. If they perform one, I will make sure you are invited.

  9. Thanks for your comments Rajesh. If doing this will bring happiness in their family, why not tweak the custom a little bit.

  10. Thanks for your comments Shilpa. Royal birth is the only reason I wrote this post.

  11. An interesting post on the celebration of Kanagabishekam which is very nicely related to the royal birth..nice read..

    visiting u after a long break..

  12. Thanks for your comments Ranita. And, welcome back.

  13. It might sound so much different to some of us,but,there must be a reason that this ceremoney is held.It would be intetesting know the reasons.

  14. I thought 'Kanagaabhishekam' is done when one is 100 years old like they did for Maha Periyavaa. I didn't know that this is done for males after 4 generations of first male child!

    I saw the picture of the royal child! Quite a huge baby. Looks all babies!

  15. Thanks for your comments Mr. Chowla. Welcome to my blog. I know this as a ritual and do not know the "reason" behind it. But again, us Indians don't need a reason to celebrate anything.

    Mr. Chowla, please visit here as often as possible. Thanks.

  16. Thanks for your comments Sandhya. You are correct. Some people perform Kanagabishekam for their 100th birthday. As long as these celebrations bring the family happiness, it is a good thing.

  17. Thanks for your comments Krishna. I am glad you liked this post.

  18. Who Posted This?July 25, 2013 at 7:40 AM

    George Alexander Louis - what kind of name is that?

    Oh by they way, a man having his next 3 generations of first born children be males (and still alive to see it) pretty impressive.
    However, mine is more magical and more rare.

    So SG - What kind of ceremony do you have for me in South India...since I'm the 7th son of a 7th son?

    Len Dawson and Perry Como

  19. Thanks for your comments Len and Perry. Seventh son of a seventh son! So you both think you are magical? I have to agree both of you are magical. What kind of ceremony do I have for you in South India? You asked so here goes the list:

    Non stop chanting of mantras for 7 hours.
    7 course South Indian dinner (all 7 course will have rice)
    Make you enjoy 7 hours of power cut for 7 days.
    You can also enjoy watching TV serials 7 hours a day.
    Spend 7 hours a day in traffic jam.

    What kind of name is George Alexander Louis? Excellent name. His school friends will love this name. He already has a nickname – GAL.

  20. Very impressive post.Four generations of patriarchal male domination.Yes, males dominate over females at least in muscle power.You have well correlated 'GAl' with Indian system.And 7hrs' mantra is fun-giving.

  21. that's an interesting ritual... maybe women should do it too. You know- like first daughter, first grand daughter, first grand grand daughter :)

  22. That was funny alright esp the way you ended it with a reference to Prince Phillip!

  23. Very interesting and good to know..

    However, I believe this would be a rarity these days as how many would have been alive to see their great grandson..If they are, then that itself is a boon indeed or say gift indeed :)

    There should be something like- kangana-abhishekam! When woman cross every year, they should be given a gold bangle as a gift every year :)

  24. This is news to me SG. I have heard kankabhishegams only in temple for the deities...
    To perform this to humans they should be super rich too..