History of Incense Sticks

28 Nov 2014

History of Incense Sticks

Human curiosity can never end, so is the intensity of a man to think over. Such curiosity evoked an urge to know the history of things adding aroma, ambiance and a religious serenity in life. Yes, You’ve guessed it correct,” The History of Incense Sticks.”

Even the Stone Age has dictated the use of incense. Vedas acclaim India to be a home of incense since era of 5000 BC. Jasmine, Rose, Sandalwood, Champa cedar have been the conventional known scents of India. Sanskrit literature of ours displays the use of incense on festive occasions in homes and streets of ancient India. In combination with flowers incense sticks are component of 16 essential offerings in Hindu ceremonies. Other being betel leaf, cardamom, sweets, water etc.

The evolving fumes along with their fragrant properties have a revitalising effect and creates purity which was a concept of dhoop upchara and dhoop aradhna. These were natural incense sources believed to spell off evil spirits, lower worry and create an aura of relief as well as satisfaction.

These dhoop upchara and dhoop aradhna have evolved over ages to today known agarbattis or joysticks, serving millions of devotees to reach the lord lost in air of spirituality and breeze of worship.


This was an Indian perspective to history of incense sticks. But ancient civilisation also has its own story to narrate. It is believed that Somalia imported Gums and resins of fragrant plants from Egyptian suppliers to bring its utility in perfumes, oils and ceremonies. Egyptian suppliers had a faith of incense sticks being directly related to the dead. Wholesalers of that era accept that each type of aroma had a specific purpose and consequence. Israel imported fragrance sticks from the Babylonian suppliers for offering prayers and divining fortune tellers. Stories reveal that from Babylon it travelled to Greece, Rome and India.

Greeks respected fragrant resource like cinnamon, turpentine shrubs etc. For these tropical imports large money was paid to suppliers and wholesalers of Incense sticks. Arab favoured a larger buy of luxurious incense sticks by Mediterranean merchants.

Buddhist monks brought incense sticks to Japan though it faced an opposition in early Buddhism being tagged as an external offering towards worship, Tibetan Buddhist introduced the same to the religion. Warriors used it, also Samurai showed a sign of dignity and interest towards the same. A symbol of respect to ancestors is burning incense sticks, this was a Chinese belief.

Indus civilisation has grown up with Incense burners. Incense sticks from day to day changed its form from lamps, oils, fumes, gels, sticks and bar too.  The forms of fragrances got classified into direct burning and indirectly burning incense sources. Culture, tradition and personal taste have been a part and parcel of Indus Civilisation too. At the end of the day what evolved the growth of incense sticks is the ultimate fragrance and purifying aroma.

Moksh agarbatti is an example to this history of Incense sticks which is playing splendid role in serving aroma in the environment being one of the leading wholesale Incense sticks manufacturer in India. The sticks believe to lead a path towards the Almighty, strong enough to aid a man to achieve Moksh and relax in laps of holiness, worship and God.


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