India has always been a land of festivals. Every season in this country brings in various festivities. Apparently, there is hardly any other country, which showcases as much festivals as India. Be it any part of the year, a visitor is likely to spot the celebration within a particular fiesta. Following this suite, a very special occasion for which the entire nation waits and celebrates heartily is Ganesh Chaturthi . Known by over 108 different names, Lord Ganesha is the only God to be worshiped first among all the Gods according to Hindu mythology.
Ganesh Chaturthi festival is celebrated throughout India with great devotion. The festival is celebrated by families at home, by people at their places of work and in public. The public celebration involves installing clay images of Ganesha in public pandals and group worship. The seven to ten days long festival ends with the ‘Ganesh Visarjan’ where the idols are immersed in the water; it is done as a procession with millions of people accompanying the idol along with music and dance. Tourists from across the globe come to India to witness the holy celebrations of Ganesh Chaturthi as part of India tour packages .
Now as the festival is nearing around, a quick outing can be planned to view the grand celebration of this fiesta at various Indian destinations such as:
The capital of Maharashtra and ultimately one of the various spots, Mumbai shows an incredible response for celebration of Ganpati Pujan. The entire city during the festival is embellished with lights, sounds and decorative tents which include some of the most spectacular idols of Lord Ganesha with astonishing heights and appearance. The drum beats and the dance performances are enough to fill in the excitements in air.
Colourfully decorated idols of Lord Ganesha are installed both at homes and in Sarvajanik Ganesh Pandals. Lalbaugcha Raja, Mumbaicha Raja, Siddivinayak Temple and KhetwadiGanraj are the famous Ganesh Pandals in Mumbai. Ganesh Chaturthi lasts from seven to ten days in Maharashtra. On the first day of the festival, the idol of Lord Ganesh is placed on a podium that symbolizes a throne and is worshipped. The festival ends with the ‘Ganesh Visarjan’ where the idols are immersed in the water. The most prominent of immersions occurs on Chowpatti Beach. A massive crowd assembles here to witness the event. The processions for Visarjan begin early in the morning and reach mid-night by the time the final rite is performed.
Hyderabad is also one of the famous places in India to witness the grand celebrations of Ganesh Chaturthi. Ganapathi Navaratri utsavams in Hyderabad starts on Vinayaka Chavithi (Ganesh Chaturthi) and ends on Anantha Chaturdashi day with Ganesh Immersion. Hyderabad hosts nearly 75,000+ Ganesh pandals. The famous places where Ganesha idols are erected and decorated fascinatingly are Khairatabad, Balapur, Kamalanagar Chaitanyapuri, Durgam Cheruvu.
Khairatabad in Hyderabad hosts one of the largest Ganesh idols in the country. Khairatabad Ganesh Utsav Committee will be installing 58 feet Ganesha idol this year as it will complete 62 years since it started and named as Sri Sakthi Peeta Shiva Nagendra Maha Ganapathi. Balapur Ganesha is known for its Laddu auction since 1994 and it was acquired for over Rs. 10 lakhs in 2015. In Old City of Hyderabad, Gowlipura Ganesh Pandal is one of the oldest and very popular Ganesh utsav samithi. Devotees immerse the idols of Lord Ganesh in the Hussain Sagar Lake in Hyderabad. Lakhs of devotees join the procession and fill the whole atmosphere with chanting of Lord Ganesha.
Pune is known to be the cultural capital of Maharashtra and hosts one of the best Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations in India. Though Mumbai is pretty darned famous for their 10-day Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations, Pune isn’t too far behind. Ganesh worship is believed to have become widespread in Pune during the reign of the Peshwas, who considered the elephant-headed god as their patron deity.
Kasba Ganpati, Tambdi Jogeshwari Ganpati, Guruji Talim, Tulsi Baug Ganpati and the Kesariwada Ganpati are the top 5 Ganesh idols in Pune. This is the order in which these idols are immersed on the last day. Apart from these, another well-known mandal is the Dagdusheth Halwai Ganpati that creates a replica of the many popular monuments and temples of India. The celebrations in Pune are done traditionally and they try their best to ensure that no citizen is disturbed in these celebrations.
People may know this place for beaches and other attractions for holiday destination, but Ganpati Utsav is celebrated with great enthusiasm at this place too. The use of the musical instruments such as Shamel and Ghumot add magic and uniqueness to the festival and make the environment truly melodious. The must visited place during this time is Panjim and Margao.
There are various idols of Lord Ganesh in different shapes and sizes well adorned and installed in heavily decorated pandals by various merchant associations and other groups in different parts of Goa. The festival of Ganesh Chaturthi holds a special significance in Mapusa, which is famous for its Temples at Ganeshpuri and Khandola. Marcela is also one of the villages where this festival is celebrated the most as it is a village known for its wide number of Hindu temples.
Every month or the other in India has a festival of its own. Visiting different places give a pleasant experience about the methods and trends of celebrations thus making the excursion remarkable for lifetime.