Thal is a form of bhakti in which devotees offer pure vegetarian food to the murtis. During thal, devotees sing devotional verses describing the different types of food being offered to God. The ashta kavis in Bhagwan Swaminarayan’s time wrote hundreds of different thals mentioning thousands of delicacies. While singing thal, devotees lovingly thank Bhagwan for providing them with the basic necessities to live, including ample nutritious food.
Thal is offered three times during the day at mandirs. Thal is performed right before or after the aarti ritual in mandirs. The greatest display of such bhakti is seen on the day of the New Year at the Annakut festival. Thousands of vegetarian items are prepared and offered as bhakti, symbolizing a form of appreciation and devotion to God.