Very few festivals in this country are celebrated with so much pomp hysteria and merry making like Ganesh Chaturthi which is celebrated in almost all parts of India. Loudspeakers blare out devotional songs and pandals are erected on every corner and people take to the streets to dance and express their joy. Huge idols of lord Ganesh is erected under the pandals. The celebration is for about 10 long days. At the end of ten days, the idols are taken as a procession in the streets and immersed in the sea and other water bodies.
The festival falls in the Bhadrapada month of the Hindu calendar. It marks the birthday of lord Ganesh, son of lord Shiva and goddess Parvathi. On the first day, people buy the idols. Idols of various sizes are sold mostly clay idols so that it is easily immersible in water. Then the idol is placed in the prayer room and decorated with flowers The special garland which they put for this idol is erukkam flower garland. Then various delicacies are made out of this the special one is modak something like a momo but a sweet one. Then prayers are offered. Prayers are offered on a daily basis for ten days. Everyday different type of delicacy is made for the god. On the tenth day, the idol is either send in procession with the huge idols or individually each house immerses the idol in their house well or other water bodies along with rupee coins.
GANESH CHATURTHI – LEGEND AND HISTORY
According to legend lord Ganesh could not digest the food he took on one of his birthdays. As a result, his stomach burst. The moon which is on the head of lord Shiva laughed seeing this. Goddess Parvathi became angry seeing this. So he cursed the moon that anyone who sees the moon will face ill luck.
But many of the devas found it difficult to be without seeing the moon in the night. So they went to lord Vishnu in the hope he could do something to solve the problem. So lord Vishnu proclaimed that those who pray to lord Ganesh on the Bhadrapada Shukla Chaturthi days. So people keep clay idols in their houses and pray on these days to prevent any bad consequence taking place
In 1892 the first Ganesh idol was installed in Laxmi road Pune. The great freedom fighter Lokmanya Gangadhar Thilak thought that this festival can be used to unite people during the freedom fight. In 1893 he put forth this idea and called on people to celebrate this festival in his Marathi daily Kesari. This got all people on a common platform and they united to celebrate the festival and then to fight for freedom. From that day Ganesh Chathurthi has been celebrated in great unity with pomp and splendor.
GANESH CHATURTHI – THINGS TO SEE AND DO
The most important thing to do on these days is pandal hopping. The Ganesh idols of certain pandals are of historical significance and are visited by many. They also offer delicacies like modak and laddoos to these idols
Dagdusheth Sarvajanik Halwai – Pune
It is situated on Laxmi road Pune. It was this idol which made Thilak think about celebrating this festival on a wide scale. Even now lakhs of devotees come here to pray and give offerings to the god.
Shri Kasba Ganesh pandal
It was established in 1890 then this pandal became a very famous one in Pune. Here they do thematic and splendid decoration and is definitely crowd puller. One more tradition followed in this pandal is one offering is given to one woman of a different community. And one more importance of this pandal is that it usually leads the procession during the day of immersion.
Shri Tulsibaug Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Pandal
The idol here is 14 feet high and is thronged by 1000 of devotees. It’s located in Budhwer area of Pune. Here the ritual is done in a special way and this is the speciality of this pandal for the ritual being done differently to other pandals
Ganesh Galli Mumbaicha Raja
It’s located close to Lalbaugcha Raja and it is very popular. The pandal structure resembles some tourist or historical monument every year so it is very popular. It was built first in 1928 for the purpose of the local milk workers. So its well known for its ancient value
This pandal was found in 1959 but found its importance as having the highest idol only in 2000. The idol is 40 feet high and the idol is decorated with real gold jewellery and diamonds. Also, the area Khetwadi has Ganesh idols in almost all roads
GSB Samaj Ganeshotsav
This is the richest pandal in the country. It’s situated in the King’s circle Sion and the idol is adorned with 22 carat gold jewellery and crown
At the end of the 10th day, the idols are taken as procession and are immersed in water bodies with great pomp and splendour and people shouting the slogan “GANAPATHI PAPPA MORYA”