Last Updated: December 27, 2019 Swairik Das
If you are planning for a holiday in Mumbai then make sure you are there at the time of the Ganesh Chaturthi Festival. Celebrated extravagantly in the states of Maharashtra, Gujarat, Karnataka, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu and slowly expanding to other parts of India. Ganesh Chaturthi Festival has also spread to countries like the United States, Canada and many South East Asian countries. One of the major festivals in India that is celebrated by the Hindus, the Ganesh Chaturthi Festival is usually celebrated between 22nd of August and 01st of September OR in the month of Bhaadrapada according to the Hindu calendar. The joyful occasion starts on the propitious fourth day of the waxing moon period, traditionally known as “Shukla Chaturthi”. It is 10 days of extravaganza and rendezvous that ends on the fourteenth day of the waxing moon period or “Anant Chaturdasi”. The hymn of Ganesh Chaturthi Festival 2020 is going to bell the sanctity from 22nd of August till 01st of September.
Ganesh Chaturthi 2020: August 22, 2020
Anant Chaturdashi 2020: September 01, 2020
A Brief History on Ganesh Chaturthi Festival
Dedicated to Lord Ganesha, one of the Hindu deities, the Ganesh Chaturthi Festival is said to be celebrated since the time of Shivaji… although it is not known when and how Ganesh Chaturthi was first celebrated. The event was largely popularized by the Peshwas in the 18th century BUT it lost its patronage slowly after 1818. Later in the late 19th century, Lokmanya Tilak encouraged the annual domestic festival and saw to it that it grows into a large and well-organized national festival motivating both the Brahmins and non-Brahmins.
Mythology and Belief Related to Ganesh Chaturthi
According to tradition, one should not to look at the moon during some specific times on Ganesh Chaturthi as it is believed if a person looks at the moon, he’ll be cursed and will be accused of theft. The belief originated from the incident from Lord Krishna, who was falsely accused of stealing a valuable jewel. It was Sage Narada who suggested that Lord Krishna must’ve seen the moon on Bhadrapada Shukla Chaturthi (the occasion that Ganesh Chaturthi falls on) and was cursed because of it. Therefore it is believed, anyone who saw the moon during a specific time in Ganesh Chaturthi would be cursed in a similar way.
Why and How the Ganesh Chaturthi Festival is Celebrated?
Lord Ganesha, also known as Ganapati and Vinayaka, is believed to be the remover of obstacles, the patron of arts and sciences and the deva of intellect and wisdom. Although Lord Ganesha was one of the primary deities of the “Smartism” of 9th century but it is believed that he emerged as a distinct deity since the time of the Gupta period (4th – 5th century). Thereafter the “Ganapatya” distinguished Lord Ganesha as a supreme deity. Today, he is worshiped by almost all castes and it is believed that if Ganesha is propitiated, he grants success, prosperity and protection against adversity.
Lord Ganesha is a non-sectarian Hindu deity and hence at the time of the Ganesh Chaturthi Festival you will notice that there is a rendezvous of people belonging from different social status. The grand celebration starts with the installation of Ganesh idols in colorfully decorated pandals (erected temporary structures)… followed by ‘pranapratishhtha’ where the chanting of mantras invokes the presence of Ganesha. Thereafter, ‘shhodashopachara (16 ways of paying tribute)’ is followed. At the time of the ritual coconut, jaggery, modaks, durva (trefoil) blades of grass and red flowers are offered and throughout the ceremonial occasion several vedic hymns echoes down the mind of devotees bringing in a divine peace. Further… if you are in the states of Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh, you will notice several music and dance performances, especially the Bharatnatyam dance. On the last day, immersion of the statues in the ocean, or other bodies of water, and their subsequent destruction serves as a reminder of this belief. In Mumbai… the occasion is celebrated with great fervor bringing in celebrities, business tycoons and common man under a divine allegiance.
Significance of Anant Chaturdashi/Immersion of the Idol
The immersion of the idol takes place on the day of Anant Chaturdashi. The word Anant means infinite or eternal energy or immortality, whereas Chaturdashi means 14th. Thus, the occasion falls on the 14th day of the Bhadrapada month of the Hindu calendar and on it Lord Ananta, which is the incarnation of Lord Vishnu is also worshipped.
Immersion of the idol has a belief attached to it; Hindus believes in the concept of constant change in the world which construes what it is there today in one form or the other will tomorrow be formless. The concept of immersion is thus, a reminder of this belief.
Temples to Visit during the Ganesh Chaturthi Festival
Ashtavinayak Temple in Pune, Maharashtra
The Moreshwar Temple in Morgaon, Siddhivinayek Temple in Ahmednagar, Ballaleshwar Temple in Pali, Varadavinayak Temple in Mahad, Chintamani Temple in Theur, Girijatmaj Temple in Lenyadri, Vighnahar Temple in Ozar and Mahaganapati Temple in Ranjangaon are the notable eight temples in Pune dedicated to Lord Ganesha where you can experience the Ganesh Chaturthi Festival.
Siddhivinayak Temple in Mumbai, Maharashtra
It is one of the popular temples in India that is located in Prabhadevi in Mumbai. The temple holds a small hall with the shrine of Siddhivinayak, a gold plated sanctum, carved images of Ashtavinayak, a statue of Lord Ganesha and a Hanuman temple as well. The temple witnesses a large gathering of Bollywood celebrities, politicians and business tycoons at the time of the Ganesh Chaturthi Festival and thus you can expect tight security.
Kanipakam Vinayaka Temple in Chittoor, Andhra Pradesh
Built in the 11th century by the Cholas, it is one of the ancient temples in India that is dedicated to Lord Ganesha. Located in Chittoor, which is approximately 580 kilometers from Hyderabad, the Kanipakam Vinayaka Temple is also popular for the gala affair on the Ganesh Chaturthi Festival.
Karpaka Vinayakar Temple in Thiruppatthur, Tamil Nadu
Another ancient temple in India that was built in the 4th century… the Karpaka Vinayakar Temple, which is also known as Pillaiyarpatti Pillaiyar temple in Thiruppathur, is a rock cut cave shrine dedicated to Lord Ganesha. The Ganesh Chaturthi Festival is celebrated in a grand manner and one can also witness several cultural programmes.
Chintaman Ganesh Temple in Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh
It is one of the ancient temples dedicated to Lord Ganesha and is the biggest Ganesha temple in Ujjain… hence the celebration of Ganesh Chaturthi Festival overflows with eager enjoyment.
Published: 07 Aug, 2014