9 places in India to visit and witness Ganesh Chaturthi at

    Vinayak Chaturthi or Ganeshotsav, the 10-day festival is heralded by the installation of Ganesha’s clay idols in homes and publicly in elaborate pandals for community celebrations.

    On Anant Chaturdashi, the 10th day, is the Visarjan, when through a public procession the idol is carried, accompanied by music and chants of Ganpati Bappa Morya Pudhchya varshi lavkarya (Return soon next year), and immersed in a nearby waterbody.

    A file photo of Ganesh Chaturthi in Mumbai. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

    Ganesh Chaturthi or Ganeshotsav is the most awaited festival in Maharashtra, especially Mumbai. Apart from the elaborate rituals at Siddhi Vinayak temple in Prabhadevi, which, devotees throng to witness, various mandals or associations, across the city celebrate the festival by placing idols of Lord Ganesha, accompanied by daily cultural programmes.

    Labaugcha Raja in Parel, is one of the most revered idols and people across the State, head here for a darshan and participate in the celebrations which include, dances, singing of bhajans and cultural performances.

    In other areas too, pandals with thematic representations of social issues, are erected and decorations in vibrant colours and aartis, add to the flavour of the festival. Sweet shops sell varieties of modaks, Ganesha’s favourite sweet. With the sound of the dhol and tasha, amidst chants of Ganpati Bappa Morya reverberating across Mumbai, the 10-day Ganpati festival culminates in a visarjan on Anant Chaturdashi. The procession from Lalbaug, with a sea of people, takes almost 22 hours to reach Chowpatty.


    A file photo of an artisan crafting an idol of Lord Ganesha in Goa. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

    Ganesh Chaturthi is one of the biggest festivals of Goa and is celebrated with pomp and splendour. In homes, a ceremonial installation of a clay murti (statue) is done by placing a matoli (a wooden canopy) adorned with flowers, seasonal vegetables and fruits before the Hindu god is positioned on an altar.

    In several places like the city of Panjim and Quepem, local mandals organise community celebrations or Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav and huge idols are placed in pandals, which are decorated traditionally. People visit these, dressed in traditional wear, buy lucky draw tickets, participate in various competitions for best decorated Ganesh, rangoli and fancy dress, spanning over 10 days. Traditional sweets like nevri, ladoos, modaks and patoleo are distributed and enjoyed.


    During the Peshwa rule in Maharashtra, each village heralded the arrival of Ganpati Bappa. But in 1892, revolutionaries like Shrimant Bhausaheb Rangari and Vishwa Bhasavdekar, introduced the Sarvajanik Ganesh Utsav in Pune, during which Ganpati pandals were set up across the city for everyone to view and participate in the rituals.

    The tradition continues and community celebrations are held across Pune. The largest Ganpati idol in Tulshibaug Pune, stands at 15ft, attracting large crowds. Add to that, it has a theme that changes each year. The Dagdusheth Ganpati mandir is a sought-after place where people from across Maharashtra come to offer prayers. Tambadi Jogeshwari and Kasba Ganpati Mandir are other destinations that crowds visit in large numbers. The Kasba Ganpati Mandir deity is the presiding deity in Pune city also referred to as Gramdaivat.

    Visarjan is a sight to behold in Pune. In keeping with the tradition, women dress in brightly coloured, nauvari saris, sport a nath (Maharashtrian nose-ring), while men and young boys, wear bright red or saffron-coloured kurtas. The elaborate performance (vadan) using five instruments: dhol, tasha, tol, jhanj, dhvaj, is the highlight. While the 131-year-old Shrimant Bhausaheb Rangari Ganpati idol, made of papier-mâché and sawdust, is placed with banana leaves on a traditional wooden chariot and pulled by bullocks during the  procession, finally a smaller idol which is representative is immersed.


    Ganesh Chaturthi festival in Karnataka is different from other regions, as the festival is preceded by the Swarna Gouri Vratam or Gouri Habba. Thus, Chaturthi is also known as Ganesh Gouri Festival. The main street – Car street is abuzz with excitement and activities begin several days in advance. Street vendors set up stalls selling idols, flowers, moode leaves, sugar cane. Near the popular Clock Tower, street vendors from Bagalkot, Hassan, do brisk business early on Ganesh Chaturthi, by selling flowers. Music forms an important part of the celebrations. Bhaktigeetas or devotional songs are sung in various pandals accompanied by musical instruments and people indulge in gatherings late in the evenings.


    The city witnesses grand celebrations for Vinayak Chaturthi across different areas, apart from homes. The APS College Grounds in Basavanagudi is one of the most popular celebrations, spanning over 5 decades. The 10-day cultural extravaganza that is the Bengaluru Ganesha Utsava includes performances by renowned musicians and is one of India’s biggest cultural events.


    The Khairatabad Ganesh has always been one of the well-known and most visited Ganesh pandals in Hyderabad, as the tallest Ganesh idol, approximately 50ft is placed for darshan and is an attraction that people across the city look forward to.


    The streets of Vijayawada come alive in the days leading to Ganesh Utsav. People throng the stalls selling flowers, decorations, idols, sweets in the Kaleswara Rao and Nunna Mango market areas. Over 3,000 pandals across the city can be witnessed, celebrating Ganesh Chaturthi with fervour and enthusiasm.


    Surat gears up each year for Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations. It is believed that in 1942, a Ganesh idol was installed in the Hindu Milan temple in Gopipura and ever since, the tradition continues among the Surat residents. A Ganesh arrival Yatra is generally organised by Surat Ganesh Utsav Samiti and several people gather to welcome the arrival of Lord Ganesha, the deity of prosperity. Almost 50,000 idols are installed across different areas in Surat and people take part actively in the celebrations. Mud idols of about 9ft are generally seen in most mandals.


    Amid singing aarti and chanting mantras including Mam Sarvakarmsiddhaye Siddhivinayak Pujanmaham Karishye, Ganpati mandals in Nagpur celebrate the festival with gaiety. One of the key attractions is the 31ft tall idol by Vidarbha Mathadi Kamgaar Ganesh Utsav. An annual affair, this becomes the hub for the people of Nagpur. The cultural activities taking place each evening, is an added attraction. The Futala lake area teems with people on Visrajan day as thousands of devotees congregate to bid farewell to their favourite Ganesha. The Shri Ganesh Mandir Tekdi Nagpur, is another place which attracts people for the morning aarti.

    Source link

    Latest articles


    Related articles