Ganesh Chaturthi is a ten days festival celebrated as a mark of Lord Ganesha’s birth. Ganesha, the God of new beginnings is believed to be the son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. Chaturthi means the fourth day. Traditionally, the festival is held on the fourth day of the first fortnight in the month of Bhadrapada in Hindu calendar, usually in August or September in the Gregorian calendar.
Ganesh Chaturthi 2019 Date
This year Ganesh Chaturthi is going to take place in early September. The fourth day of the festivity (Chaturthi) falls on 2nd September.2019.
History of the Ganesh Chaturthi festival
It is believed that the festival is celebrated as a public event since the era of Maratha King Shivaji. The current Maharashtra public festival was introduced by Bhausaheb Laxman Javale. Lokmanya Tilak changed the festival into a grand celebration to bridge the gap between Brahmins and non-Brahmins.
Rituals during the Ganesh Chaturthi festival
There are four rituals during this festival. Pranapratishhtha, the process of infusing the deity into an idol. The second ritual Shhodashopachara is paying tribute to the Lord in sixteen forms. Uttarpuja includes a ritual after which the idol could be shifted after its infusion. And the last ritual is Ganapati Visarjan that is the immersion of the idol in the river.
Celebrations at home and in public for Ganesh Chaturthi
The public celebration includes installing and worship of clay idols of the elephant-headed Lord in pandals and group worship. The festival features cultural activities such as singing, orchestra and also community activities. At home, Bappa is worshipped with family and friends. The idol is worshipped in the morning and evening with the offerings of flowers, durva, karanji, and modaks. The worship ends with an aarti in honor of Ganesha
Best Places to witness Ganesh Chaturthi in India
The festival is celebrated with great pomp and show in Mumbai and there are many places to look for. The temple of Ganpatipule and Siddhi Vinayak are some names. Ganesh Chaturthi is believed to have origination from Pune so the city has its own tradition of the festival. One can visit Kasbapeth or Saras Baug. Bengaluru also has some popular temples Panchamukha Heramba Ganapati temple, Ananthanagar Ganapati temple to name some. One of the largest Ganesh idols in the world is set up at Khairtabad in Hyderabad. It takes 3-4 months for construction of idols. The festival is also celebrated in other parts of India such as Gujarat, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Kerela, Odisha, and Chhattisgarh.
1. Ganesh Chaturthi in Mumbai
When it comes to celebrating Ganesh Chaturthi, you will see no other place that celebrates the festival with such grandeur as Mumbai.
You will see Ganesh idols in almost every chowks in Mumbai inside vibrantly decorated Sarvajanik pandals.
Lalbaugcha Raja, Khetwadi Ganraj, Mumbaicha raja and Siddhivinayak Mandir are the most famous Ganesh pandals in Mumbai.
2.Ganesh Chaturthi in Pune
Since Ganesha is the patron god of the state of Maharashtra, it is no doubt that another city in the state made it to the list of top Ganesh Chaturthi places.
In Pune too, the festival is celebrated with great fervor for 10 days. Ganpati pratishtha takes place on the first day and on the tenth day Visarjan of the idol is done.
While in Pune during Ganesh Chaturthi, visit Tulsi Baug, Tambdi Jogeshwari Ganpati, Kasba Ganpati, and Guruji Talim.
Ganpatipule falls on Konkan area in Maharashtra. This beach town is home to a 400-year-old Ganesh temple. The temple is located in the Ganpatipule beach and a lot of pilgrims from around come to pay homage to Ganesha during Ganesh Chaturthi.
The festival is celebrated vibrantly every year for 20 days and the villagers revel in the festivity and feasting.
An idol of Ganpati is taken on a tour around the village, carried on palanquins by the villagers
Like other Maharashtrian cities, Hyderabad in Andhra Pradesh too celebrates the occasion of Vinayaka Chavithi or Ganesh Chaturthi.
The festival ends with Visarjan ceremony on Anant Chaturdashi.
The places you should visit on Ganesh Chaturthi in Hyderabad are the Kamala Nagar Chaitanyapuri, Khairatabad, Durgam Cheruvu, Balapur, and Gowlipura.
Another village in Andhra Pradesh, which celebrates Ganesh Chaturthi with pomp and gaiety is Kanipakam.
Much like Ganpatipule, Kanipakam too has a famous Ganesh temple, the Varasiddhi Vinayaka temple.
In this village too Ganesh idol is carried around in carriages around the villages as a throng of devotees gathers around to pray the idol.
Bengaluru too celebrates Ganesh Chaturthi, though it may not be as grand as the cities in Maharashtra.
You won’t see Ganesh Chaturthi festivities in all parts of Bangalore, but if you head to Basavanagudi, you will see the grand scale in which the festival is celebrated.
They currently will be on their 57th year of Ganesh Chaturthi celebration and the festivities here lasts for 11 days
Food to look for Ganesh Chaturthi
Modak, a sweet dish prepared using rice or flour stuffed with grated coconut and jaggery is believed to be Lord’s favorite. Twenty-one pieces of the sweet are offered to God in one plate. You may also find chocolate modak made from khoya and chocolate. Other sweet dishes include coconut ladoo, motichoor ladoo, and besan ladoo.
Ganesha, Vighnaharta or the obstacle remover is believed to take away all the obstacles with his immersion after the ten-day festival. The festival is very important for students as Ganesha is Buddhi Pradaayaka, one who grants intelligence. The festival is also believed to bring Riddhi, prosperity and Siddhi, attainment.