Monday, December 14, 2009


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A baby ritual which is scary to the parents as well as the kid is removal of baby's hair for the first time.. puttu ventrukalu teeyinchadam or first tonsure of the baby.

Usually, in AP, in my community it is menamama (mother's brother) who is the important person. He has to seat the child in the lap and get the kid tonsured. If not possible or if there is no uncle, then anyone can hold the baby tight and get that done. We get it done at Venkateswara Swamy temple or Nagendra Swamy temple or any temple if in Hindu children and in odd months. Usually this concept is not there, like it is not a must to get the tonsure done but for baby boys and is usually done in odd months ranging from as early as 7, 9, or 11.. and if not possible within a year then go for odd years.

Usually, in some communities there is no concept of tonsuring for girl child like in my community but since the hair with which the baby is born is scattered and very delicate, it is good that you tonsure it once for more even growth and that is the reason I personally went ahead with it.

It is advisable to wait until the fontanel is hard, say around 9 to 1 1 months of age. Some people actually have the sentiment of giving the baby hair as an offering to God but dont want the kid look different at the first birthday so most of them tend to wait up to 3 yrs. or so. I personally wanted to get over with it because with the kiddo being active, I was not really sure she would sit quiet or allow the barber to touch her head and also somewhere at the back of my mind maybe the first birthday hair concept was there too, but max was her growing consciousness towards not letting people touch her face /hair, so 9th month it was.

Picking Date and Time
In the odd month, consult with a pujari/pandit or pick up an auspicious date from the calender and see to it that there is no durmuhurtam or raahukaalam and get it done at a pre-designated place. (I personally preferred a place where this ritual is done very often, so that the barber's expertise could not be questioned).

Things needed
*Coconut and pooja items.
*A new blade.
*A new dress.
*A couple of clean and soft towel to pat the baby dry.. more also would help.
*Ample of napkins, clothes, to wipe the face, mouth, and all.
*An ointment just in case there are nicks.
*A comfort toy, blanket, soothing object for the kid to hold on to.
*Change of clothing for the person holding the kiddo as the hair would inevitably fall on the person.

Bathe the baby at home, put on regular clothes/new dress If done at a temple, the barber expects the dress on the baby when the tonsure is done. So, make it 2 dresses, if you know it before hand.

**Wet the hair and take to the barber.
**Ensure that you pay the barber properly even after you take the ticket. It is not a bribe, it is out of happiness on not letting any scratches on the baby that we give it.
**Take your own half-blade/blade because of nick and blood concerns.
**Do not overcrowd the kid or cry in front of the baby or show signs of panic.
**It would help if you let the baby get used to the barber, you know that social, hi, hello, sweet baby stuff.
**Hold the baby very tight. If as parents you cannot see the baby crying give her to some elder relative, but dont wince or take your hands back even if the baby cries lot. HOLDING THE BABY IS THE KEY. They will fight out the barber, the person holding, and cry in frustration but believe me it is a matter of 5 minutes and holding their head and hands is very crucial.
**Clean up the hair from the head, wipe the face clean, ensure the hair does not go into the mouth when the cry and lick up the face.
**Give a proper head bath to the baby.
**Apply sandal (pure sandal wood paste taken out on saana if possible) or Banjara Sandal powder would be better than normal pooja sandal. It kind of soothes the skin.
**Put on the new dress.
**Feed the baby.

and we are done.

After a while
Apply some coconut oil on the head once the sandal wood falls off to soothe the scraping pain on the head.. if the kid feels happy we can keep applying the sandal paste.

It is simple procedure.

If for some reason it is not possible for the kid's hair to given in God's presence as an offering in the first year because of living abroad or whatever, we can do this and go ahead with haircut of the baby.

Take clean white cotton cloth, like a white male handkerchief and dip it in turmeric (pasupu) and apply kumkum at the edges. Put one rupee in it, give the baby head bath, take a new unused scissors and cut the hair thrice at three different places and let it fall in the kerchief. Tie it up and save it near God's pooja place. It is called mudupu. When you have time then go ahead with the above procedure and offer the tied-up first locks of hair to the Lord and get the tonsuring done.


  1. thanks for information. I have a 9 months kid.

  2. very nice info on net

  3. I totally love th detailed description here, well done! I hav a question. Will it help my daughter's hair grow better if I shave it? It's somewhat thin and not full. Also I am told Indians recommend coconut oil for hair growth. Is that true? I know Indian women have very lovely hair usually. I'm African. Suggestions and recommendations welcomed!

  4. Hey Ugo, I am told it does... like there is uneven hair growth pattern with the hair they are born with and once I got the kid shaved her hair had an even growth pattern and a little more stronger..

    Yes, we Indians do use coconut oil regularly for hair massage oil and it is known as cooling agent and a grooming agent...

    THanks for dropping by..

  5. Excellent information.


  6. we first thought of tonturing the hair at tirupati and now suddenly my inlaws say that first we will go to our kuladaivam temple and giv some 3-4 strands of hair and then go to tirupati and do the tonture.
    can we do like that?

  7. Absolutely no idea Prashanth.. The issue in question is not ritual related but a belief related one.. please think it over collectively and come to a decision... it might be a custom at their end to do like that.. whatever it is good luck with the event and sorry could not help much.

  8. Thanks a lot!!!! was wondering how we can do it without the presence of my inlaws and parents.U put me at ease bro.

  9. Can you please let me know if this can be performed on fridays or saturdays ?

  10. We can most certainly do it on saturdays but fridays anedi naaku idea ledu.. i mean i never took the day into consideration.. other than tuesdays when the barber shops are usually closed in the village, I never put much thought into it..

    sorry cant help much here

  11. hi, really helpful info.
    where should we drop the tied mudupu offering?, at the hundi area or any other specific place for this?

  12. hi, thanks for this useful info.

    where should we drop the mudupu the hundi area or any other place?

  13. Priya, if you are going to Tirupati or any place of worship, and getting the mundan done again, you can ask that person/barber and do accordingly... sorry could not be of much help.

  14. aa mudupu devudu daggara petti India vellinappudu mokkukunna devudi gudilo veyadame..usual ga tirupathi hundi lo vesestaru unless vere mokkulu unte


  15. Great information for general and people who live abroad the telugu way.
    Thanks. Appreciate your work bringing this up.

    Warm Regards,

  16. How about people who accompany with us ? I think both parents and kid can get a special entrance ticket rt ?

  17. entrance ticket for what, the gundu place is different from temple and only ticket is the gundu ticket.

  18. Thanks a ton for a detailed and excellent article for telugu people .I was searching for this info from the past few days.Your article has cleared my doubts.

  19. Thanks for this detailed information :) its very helpfull

  20. Thanks Shree... its very useful information...

  21. Very useful information thanks

  22. We wanted to go to tirupati for puttu ventrikalu but due to some reason we are unable to go can we go to chinna tirupati eluru for the same process

  23. thank you for valuable information for not only telugu people but others too...

  24. Thanks this helps...

  25. Can I give my baby girl first hair in the second year,.. tat mean 13th month.. I heard few ppl saying tat it doesn't matter for a baby girl.. thankq.

  26. Appreciate for taking time and explanaining in such a simple way