Ganapati Chaturthi is celebrated with a lot of fervor and gaiety all across India. In plain terms, it is the birthday of the elephant God Lord Ganesh- the son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. This auspicious day is also known as Vinayaka Chaturthi.
While this auspicious day is celebrated across India, it is special to Maharashtra and Maharashtrians where the celebrations are spread over almost 11 days’ time. An interesting reason for this festival to acquire such stature could be traced back to the freedom movement in India. Bal Gangadhar Tilak wanted to reach out to the masses and one connect which he found appropriate was Lord Ganesha. He formed mandals and used the platform to reach out to the masses and educate them about ‘Swaraj’. A classic example of mass communication one could say.
You can watch a couple of good photos snapped by Witty Sparks Team.
Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated in an elaborate fashion across the state with Mandals set up in different localities and areas. A lot of effort goes into the making of the idols which is installed in the pandals with a great lot of devotion. The entire week is a festive time for all the denizens.
In Mumbai, several areas have become famous for the idols of Ganesha over the years. Not only the size but the following the idols of Ganesha have gathered over the years is noteworthy. One such place is the Lalbaugcha Raja Sarvajaniks Ganesha Mahotsav Mandal’s Lord Ganesha which has become renowned the world over. From celebrities to common man, everybody queues up to get a glimpse of this Ganesha. Devotees don’t mind waiting to get the blessing of Lalbaugcha Raja Ganesha which also goes to show their exemplary faith! And the numbers have swelled in the last few years, to say the least.
Well, if the 11 days of festivity is something to watch out for then so is the immersion of Lord Ganesha. People throng in large numbers from different parts of the city to get a glimpse of their favorite crowd and all along the way, there is revelry and celebration with devotees dancing the throwing saffron and pink colors at each other. Many fortunate people get to have a glimpse of the idol from their houses as the procession ambles away slowly through crowded roads and sometimes alleys. This year the immersion of Lalbaugcha Raja Lord Ganesha was a unique spectacle. The idol stood tall like a lighthouse amidst a ‘sea of heads’ that swarmed all around as the Lord’s procession ambled away slowly from crowded roads amongst tight security.
Hyderabad too has its share of celebrations and festivities and the idols of Lord Ganesha are erected in several localities. Among the popular places is Khairatabad where one of the tallest idols of Lord Ganesha ( measuring over 40 feet) draws devotees in large numbers every year. The same was the scene this year when devotees visited the place and sought the blessings of the Almighty.
With the passage of every year, the celebrations and festivity during Ganesh Chaturthi seem to be increasing manifolds and so are the sizes and number of Ganesha idols in cities. Well, it would be interesting to see the developments during Ganesh Chaturthi next year!