Is Pooja Items Allowed in India Flights?

Can we take Pooja items in flight
Pooja Items

Traveling with religious items, particularly for spiritual practices like pooja, can raise questions regarding airline policies, especially when flying within or from India. Here’s a comprehensive guide to what pooja items you can carry on flights, based on common airline policies and security regulations.

General Guidelines for Carrying Pooja Items on Flights

Metal God Idols

You are allowed to carry metal god idols in your checked luggage when traveling internationally. However, if the idol is made of precious metals like gold or silver and is substantial in weight, you must declare it to customs at the departure point. This applies to popular idols such as those of Ganesh.

Diyas and Ghee

While diyas are permissible in hand luggage, ghee must be packed in your checked baggage. The flammability of ghee makes it unsuitable for carry-on luggage, but there are no such restrictions on diyas, provided they do not contain oil or ghee at the time of travel.

God Idols in Cabin Baggage

When it comes to cabin baggage, packing religious or pooja items requires careful consideration. It is advisable to pack these items in a clear plastic bag or container. This allows for easier inspection at security checks without the need to handle the items directly, preserving their sanctity.

TSA Rules for Religious Items

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has specific guidelines for carrying religious items. These items should be placed in a clear container and laid out in a separate bin during X-ray screening. Avoid using metal containers as they complicate the screening process. Delicate items should ideally not be placed in checked baggage to avoid damage during routine inspections.

Screening Process

Inform the TSA officer if any religious item requires special handling or if you prefer it not be touched due to religious reasons. Items like religious knives, kirpans or swords must be stowed in checked baggage, as they are not permitted through security checkpoints.

Specific Airline Policies

Different Indian airlines might have specific policies regarding the transport of pooja items:

  • Air India
  • IndiGo
  • Vistara
  • SpiceJet

Each airline adheres to international and domestic regulations but may have additional provisions or assistance for transporting religious items. It is recommended to contact the airline directly or visit their website for the most accurate guidance.

Is Agarbatti Allowed in International Flights?

Solid incense sticks (agarbatti) are typically allowed in checked luggage. They should be securely packed to prevent damage and, while not usually required, declaring them to the airline as potentially flammable items is prudent.

Carrying pooja items on flights does not have to be complicated. By understanding and adhering to airline policies and TSA guidelines, you can ensure that your religious items are transported safely and respectfully. Always check the latest regulations and airline policies before your journey to avoid any inconveniences at the airport.

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