The general term used to describe Hindu worship is puja—the most common forms of worship taking place in the home at the family shrine and at the local temple. Practices vary depending on location, but generally speaking, the worshiper might approach the temple to give thanks, to ask for assistance, to give penance, or to contemplate the divine. Worship is tied to the individual or family group, rather than a service or congregational gathering. Puja occurs on a daily basis, or even several times throughout the day, as well as at specific times and days at local temples, and with abundant festivities on the occasions of great festivals.
In the temple, the devotees are assisted by the priest, who intercedes on their behalf by performing ritual acts, and blessing offerings. Worship often begins by circumambulating the temple. Inside the temple, the priest’s actions are accompanied by the ringing of bells, passing of a flame, and chanting. Traditionally, dance also formed an essential part of temple worship.