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Ganesh Chathurthi

ॐ Hindu Of Universe

“God’s light is within you, It never leaves you.”

Ganesh Chathurthi is celebrated annually with rich fervour on the fourth day of the first fortnight of Bhadrapada month, according to Hindu calendar.

This day typically falls closely during August or September month as per the Gregorian calendar.

Ganesh Chathurthi is observed as the birthday of Ganesha, son of Siva and Parvathi.

Also called as Vinayak Chathurthi, this important festival shall be taken as an opportunity to realize the significance of His peculiar form, name and the proper way to adore the divine principle behind the form of Ganesha.

Lord Ganesha is the bestower of higher intelligence that enables liberation in human life.

He provides Siddhi – divine powers, Buddhi – the intellectual power and Mukti – the liberation.

Ganesha is also called as Siddhi Vinayaka and Buddhi Vinayaka.

They are the powers manifested by Lord Ganesha.

Siddhi is attained through intellectual power and wisdom.

Like any other festival of India, importance of Ganesh Chathurthi can be understood only if one looks closely towards its rituals and celebrations.

Ganesh Chathurthi celebrations helps us in transforming our inner self.

We get to know that there is always a higher goal in life.

Ganesh Chathurthi is a ten days festival during the month of Bhadrapada.

It is the sixth month as per the Hindu calendar.

It is also called as Ganeshotsava.

It concludes on tenth day with Anant Chaturdashi – festival dedicated to Lord Vishnu.

It is on this day, Ganesh Visarjan is also performed.

 Visarjan is immersing the idol of Lord Ganesha in one of the water bodies after a grand devotional procession.

Puja offerings to Lord Ganesha starts during madhayhna (mid-day), that is, during the noon.

It is believed that Lord Ganesha was born during this time.

The placing of Ganesha idol called as Ganapati sthapana is done followed by Shodashopachara Puja.

Ganesh Chaturthi puja is performed for Akhand Sobhgaya Lakshmi (irrevocable fortune, success and wealth) and for accomplishment of Riddhi-Siddhi (prosperity and opulence).

Lord Ganesha descends on earth on Ganesh Chaturthi to stay with His devotees for the course for ten days).

For 10 days, from Bhadrapad Shudh Chaturthi to the Ananta Chaturdashi, Ganesha is worshipped through this special puja.

On the 11th day, the Ganesha idol is immersed in a river or pond symbolizing a ritual see-off of the Lord in his journey towards his abode in Kailash while taking away with Him the misfortunes of the worshipper.

Legend of Ganesh Chathurthi: The story starts with the creation of a clay baby idol by Goddess Parvati, Lord Shiva’s consort.

After creating the baby, She breathed life to the idol to make it alive. Goddess Parvati then went for bath.

She asked the baby boy to guard the door.

He was asked to stop everybody from entering the premises.

Then, Lord Shiva came and wanted to enter the premises.

He was stopped by the boy.

Though He tried to enter with the help of His bhutaganas, it never materialized.

Finally in great anger, Lord Shiva beheaded the boy, without knowing about his origin.

When Goddess Parvati came to knew about the incident, She became extremely sad and angry.

Out of this anger, Goddess Parvati threatened to end the humanity.

The story continues saying Lord Shiva consoled His consort by assuring that He will get the baby back to life.

He gave instructions to His bhutaganas to get a head of any living creature they sight first.

The aim was to use the head of that creature to give back life to the boy.

The first living creature they saw was an elephant and its head was attached to boy’s body and He was brought back to life.

The boy was named Ganapati means, lord of all the Ganas, the followers of Lord Shiva.

His form is seen as an elephant God, and He is the first to be worshipped in any ritual.

In any ceremony, Ganapati is worshipped in the form of Vinayaka – the Lord who removes all misfortunes and obstacles.

He is also symbolically seen as the lord of all the divine forces in the human body – externally and internally.

His role is to overcome the obstacles called as “vighnams”.

He is also considered as the God of knowledge, wisdom, intellect and learning.

Lord Ganesha’s divinity is a combination of the powers and characteristics from both Siva and Shakti.

The very story of Ganesha’s manifestation holds the essence of Advaita Vedanta.

He has been manifested out of the divine essence of (Parvati).

This is a reminder that we all are made up of the same, all pervading essence or the spirit though we may vary owing to the disparities in shape and form.

Ganesha is the manifested form of the divine.

The formless divine is ever present though it takes on a manifestation or a form, owing to our identification of ourselves with a form.

Having manifested with a form, the divine also assumes a name due to our association with a form and our wrong notion of separate existence, in order to distinguish ourselves from others.

The truth or the essence is but one, the formless spirit that pervades all destroys the disparities.

The celebration of Ganesha Chaturti reveals that while we worship the divine with the form, we ought to bear in mind our formless reality.

This is depicted in the elaborate worship that is carried out on Ganesha Chaturthi and finally dissolving the form that we endear in a water body in remembrance of the divine as the formless reality even beyond the manifested form.

Celebration of Ganesh Chaturthi: Ganesh Chathurthi is celebrated for 10 days.

Devotees bring an idol of Lord Ganesha and place it in a prominent location inside their house, office, or pandal for large gatherings.

During these ten days, devotees offer sweets including south Indian payasam, modak, laddu, shrikhand, jalebi, etc.

The entire area is decorated in a traditional way.

All the offerings are made with great devotion, and daily prayers are offered.

Lighting of lamps, incense sticks and decoration with flowers is important during these days.

The celebration ends with immersing the Ganesha idol in a water body on Anant Chathurthi (tenth day).

Devotees carry the idol by chanting mantras to praise the lord.

In some cities, large processions are organised to gather more devotees to make a celebration with rich fervor and great participation.

One of the famous slogan chanted is “Ganapati bappa moriya” meaning “Lord Ganesha is mine”.

This day is marked as the farewell day to the lord.

Devotees strongly believe that their worries and misfortunes are taken away by Him as his idol is immersed in water.

They also expect to welcome Him during the same time next year.

The Legend and History of Ganesh Chaturthi

Ganesh Chaturthi is a Hindu festival celebrated every year.

This festival, also known as Vinayaka Chavithi, honours the birth of Lord Ganesha in the Hindu calendar’s Bhadra month, which runs from August to September.

This celebration is known as Vinayaka Chavithi or Vinayaka Chaturthi in popular culture.

About ten days of festivities culminate on Anant Chaturdashi, the fourteenth day of the waxing moon phase.

It is held in honour of Lord Ganesha, the elephant-headed deity revered as the god of beginnings, wisdom, and the removal of obstacles.

During Ganesha Chaturthi, clay representations of Ganesha are placed in pandals or private residences, where they are worshipped for up to ten days before submerging in a water body.

During this festival, Ganesha is said to grant all of his devotees his physical presence on earth.

The festival is celebrated all over India, particularly in Maharashtra, with blustering zeal and ecstasy.

Let’s trace the history of Ganesh Chaturthi, and how it became a worldwide phenomenon.

The Legend of Ganesh Chaturthi

There are many legends surrounding the celebration of Ganesh Chaturthi.

The most well-known of these are related to Lord Shiva and Parvati. According to legend, Parvati used sandalwood to create Ganesha while her husband, Shiva was away.

She designated Ganesha to watch over her house’s entrance while taking a bath. When he returned, Ganesha blocked Shiva from entering the building, eager to meet Parvati. This caused the two of them to fight.

He initially makes vain attempts to persuade the boy. Shiva, the god of destruction, finally cuts off Ganesha’s head.

When Parvati caught sight of this scene, she transformed into the goddess Kali and declared that she would end the world. Everyone was concerned about this and prayed to Lord Shiva to find a solution and subdue Goddess Kali’s rage. Shiva then commanded all his followers to run off and find a child whose mother was neglectful, turning her back on her child and bringing his head. The followers saw the first child as an elephant, so they cut off his head and brought it to Lord Shiva as instructed.

The head was immediately placed on Ganesha’s body by Lord Shiva, who then revived it. Goddess Parvati was once more overpowered as Maa Kali’s rage subsided.

Ganesha or Ganapati, the chief of the ganas or the attendants of Shiva, was given a warm welcome into the first family of the Hindu heavens and given the elephant-headed god’s name.

The most important god in the Hindu pantheon is Ganesha.

This valiant doorkeeper for Parvati’s bath is revered as the most auspicious deity of fresh starts. He is worshiped before people travel or start a new project and during all festivals.

You will also see him carefully guarding entrances to temples and homes, peeping out of calendars and happily gracing marriages and other such occasions.

History of Ganesh Chaturthi During the Maratha Empire

India’s links to the festival date back hundreds of years, with references to Ganapati being found in the Rigveda. The earliest Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations, according to historian Shri Rajwade, date back to the eras of the Satavahana, Rashtrakuta, and Chalukya dynasties.

According to historical accounts, the great Maratha ruler Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaja started Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations in Maharashtra to advance culture and nationalism. Since then, it has continued.

History has also made mention of celebrations akin to these during the Peshwa era in Pune. Lord Ganapati is thought to have been the Peshwas’ family god.

Ganesh Chaturthi continued to be a family celebration in Maharashtra following the end of Peshwa rule from 1818 to 1892.

History of Ganesh Chaturthi During India’s Freedom Struggle

History of Ganesh Chaturthi in the freedom struggle began in 1892, when a Pune citizen named Krishnajipant Khasgiwale travelled to Maratha-ruled Gwalior and watched a traditional public festival, which he drew to the attention of his companions Bhausaheb Laxman Javale and Balasaheb Natu back in Pune.

Javale, also known as Bhau Rangari, then installed the first sarvajanik, or public Ganesha idol, and held gatherings to celebrate Lord Ganesha.

However, as the British took over large swaths of India, the festival lost its public nature and state patronage.

It was only a private celebration held by a few people in Maharashtra for a time.

All of this changed when Indian freedom fighter Lokmanya Tilak championed the festival as a means of uniting Indians and instilling national pride.

Tilak fought to make the Ganapati festival a social event for the entire Hindu community as the British banned public assemblies and cracked down on sedition.

In an article in his newspaper Kesari in 1893, Lokmanya Tilak complimented Javale’s efforts.

He even erected a Ganesha statue in the news publication’s headquarters the following year, and his efforts transformed the yearly family festival into a significant, well-organized public event.

Tilak was the first to build big public representations of Ganesha in pavilions, and he began the practice of immersing the idols on the tenth day of the celebration in rivers, the sea, or other bodies of water.

Ganesh Chaturthi, encouraged by him, became a meeting place for people of all castes and communities when the British prohibited social and political meetings to control the populace.

The event encouraged community involvement and participation in intellectual dialogue, poetry recitals, plays, concerts, and traditional dances.

Even Muslim leaders attended these annual gatherings and offered speeches exhorting citizens to strive for independence.

Tilak acknowledged Ganesha’s appeal as “the god for everyone.”

He popularised Ganesh Chaturthi as a national festival to “cross the divide between Brahmins and ‘non-Brahmins’ and find a framework to build a new grassroots unity amongst them,” fostering nationalistic fervour in the Maharashtra people in opposition to British colonial control.

Since then, Ganesh Chaturthi has been celebrated with enormous community excitement and participation throughout Maharashtra and other states.

It was declared a national festival following India’s independence in 1947.

Ganesh Chaturthi is now celebrated throughout Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, and many other places in India.

Because the celebration is so popular, preparations begin months in advance.

Homes are cleaned days before the actual worship, and marquees are built on street corners to host the Lord’s idols.

Lighting, decorating, mirrors, and flowers are all elaborately arranged. 

The artisans who create Ganesh idols compete to create larger and better sculptures.

The relatively larger ones have heights ranging from 10 metres to 30 metres.

The Lord is worshiped with great devotion during the festival days, and prayer services are held regularly.

Modak and neuri, as well as other sweet and savoury treats, are relished and distributed.

The length of the Lord’s visit varies by location; once the devotion is finished, the statues are taken on ornate floats and drowned in the sea.

Thousands of people gather on the beaches to immerse the sacred idols in the sea.

Dancers and the sounds of frenetic drum beats, devotional music, and exploding firecrackers accompany the procession and immersion.

The ceremony concludes with shouts of “Ganesh Maharaj Ki Jai!” (Hail Lord Ganesh!) when the idol is immersed, and with requests to the Lord to return the next year, with chanting of “Ganpati bappa morya, pudcha varshi laukar ya” (Hail Lord Ganesh, return soon next year). 

The Ganesh Chaturthi Trail – Pandals to witness the celebrations in Mumbai

Place    Pandals

Diveagar, Maharastra     Visit the 300-year old Suvarna Ganesh Temple that houses a pure gold idol of Lord Ganesha.

Hedvi    Visit the Ganesh Temple of Hedvi, considered to be a ‘Jagrut Devasthan’ where you can feel the presence of Lord Ganesha.

Ganpatipule      Visit the 400-year-old Swayambhoo Ganesh temple, which is located on the shores of a pristine sandy beach.

Pune     The must-visit Ganpati Pandal here is Dagdusheth Halwai Ganpati where you can find replicas of famous Indian monuments and temples.

Mumbai            Some of the famous Ganesh Chaturthi Pandals here include Lalbaughcha Raja and Siddivinayak Temple. The major place for immersion of idol is Chowpatti Beach.

Here are some of the famous Ganpati pandals from various cities

Ganpati pandals           About

Dagdusheth Halwai Ganpati, Pune          Dagdusheth Halwai Ganpati, located in Pune, Maharashtra, is celebrated for its enchanting decorations and the colossal idol of Lord Ganesha that captivates the hearts of its devotees.

Founded in the late 19th century by the renowned sweet merchant Dagdusheth Halwai and his wife Lakshmibai, this temple boasts a captivating history and a lasting legacy that continues to draw millions of worshippers annually.

The temple’s central deity is an opulent 2.2-meter-tall gold idol of Lord Ganesha, embellished with precious jewels.

Manache Ganpati, Pune Located in Pune, Maharashtra, Manache Ganpati holds a distinctive and revered position among the numerous Ganesh temples within the city.

“Manache Ganpati” translates to “Respected Ganpati” in Marathi, and it is the term used to denote a cluster of eight Ganesh temples that are traditionally venerated in a specific sequence during the Ganesh Chaturthi festival.

Khairatabad Ganapathi, Hyderabad        During Ganesh Chaturthi in Hyderabad, the Khairatabad Ganapathi pandal is a truly mesmerizing spectacle.

This pandal features a colossal Lord Ganesha idol painstakingly crafted by skilled artisans.

Towering at approximately 60 feet in height, this awe-inspiring idol magnetizes throngs of devotees and tourists alike during the Ganesh Chaturthi festival.

The tradition of erecting the Khairatabad Ganapathi idol traces its origins back to 1954, initiated by the late S. Shankarayya, a local freedom fighter and social activist.

Shree Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav, Goa       In Goa, the Shree Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav pandal is renowned for its deep religious devotion and cultural importance.

The pandal’s vibrant decorations and intricate rituals are a magnet for both devotees and tourists.

Notably, a recent trend has emerged where many pandals are opting for eco-friendly Ganesha idols and decorations.

Mysore Palace, Mysuru Mysore Palace Ganpati observes Ganesh Chaturthi with grandeur and regal opulence, infusing a touch of royal splendour into the celebrations.

The Mysore Palace Ganpati pandal is truly a sight to behold, bedecked with intricate decorations, vibrant illuminations, and traditional motifs, adding to the allure of this majestic event.

RK Math, Kolkata          RK Math, situated in Kolkata, stands as an iconic institution that observes Ganesh Chaturthi with profound fervor and devotion.

During the Ganesh Chaturthi festival, the tranquil surroundings of RK Math transform into a vibrant hub of celebrations, combining spirituality with festive enthusiasm.

Sri Vinayaka Devaru Temple, Bengaluru Devotees flock to the Sri Vinayaka Devaru Temple during the ten-day festival, eager to seek blessings and offer their prayers to Lord Ganesha.

Within the temple, the air resonates with the melodious tunes of bhajans and devotional songs, creating an atmosphere filled with spiritual fervor and exuberant celebrations.

Ganesh Chaturthi 

Ganesh Chaturthi, also called Vinayaka Chaturthi or Ganeshotsav, is one of the most well-known Hindu festivals celebrated in India.

It is devoted to Lord Ganesha, the son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati and the lord of knowledge, abundance and to the fresh starts. 

The festival is usually observed either in August or September, during the Hindu month of Bhadrapada.

Across the nation, the festival is celebrated with great enthusiasm, particularly in Maharashtra, Gujarat, Odisha, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.

This year, Ganesh Chaturthi 2023 is being celebrated on September 19.

This day commemorates the birth of Master Ganesha, the lord of wisdom, good fortune and prosperity.

The occasion is perfect for people to get together, pray and celebrate the joy of existence.

The 10-day Chaturthi will end on September 28.

Ganesh Chaturthi 2023: Mahurat 

the shubh muhurat or the Chaturthi tithi for the 10-day celebration of Vinayak Chaturdashi 2023 will start at 12:39 pm on Monday, September 18 and end at 20:43 pm on Tuesday, September 19, 2023. Likewise, the Madhyahna Ganesha Puja Muhurat will start at 11:01 am and go on till 01:28 pm.

The same will last for 2 hours and 27 minutes.

Chaturthi Tithi commencement- 12:39 pm on September 18, 2023

What is the history behind Ganesh Chaturthi?

According to Hindu mythology, Lord Ganesh is thought to be the son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati.

As indicated by legend, when God Shiva was angry, he cut off Ganesh’s head and supplanted it with an elephant’s head to comfort the sad Goddess Parvati.

Lord Ganesh is then consistently portrayed with a strong torso, an elephant’s head and four arms.

Lord Ganesh, also called Ekdanta, Lambodara and different names, is loved for changing individuals’ fortunes and eliminating challenges from their way.

Ganesh Chaturthi: Celebrations

Toward the start of the celebration, Ganesha statues are put on raised stages in homes or in extravagantly beautified outside tents.

Pranapratishtha, a ceremony to rejuvenate the idols is the most vital phase in worship. This is followed by shhodashopachara, or the 16 different ways of worship.

The Ganesh Upanishad and other Vedic hymns are being chanted as red sandalwood paste and yellow and red flowers are applied to the idols. 

Coconut, jaggery, and 21 modaks (a sweet dumpling) that is said to be Ganesha’s favorite dish are also provided. Toward the end of the celebration, immense parades of idols are taken to nearby waterways, joined by drumming, devotional singing and dancing.

As a feature of a custom, they are inundated, addressing Ganesha’s re-visitation of Mount Kailas, the parents home, Shiva and Parvati.

What are the steps to perform Ganpati pooja?

    • Start by bringing Lord Ganesha to your home followed by mahurats and music. 

    • Sprinkle some holy water on the idol and put flowers on it. 

    • Put incense, and a lamp while chanting Ganpati mantras. 

    • Prepare a beautiful decorated seat (asan) to Lord Ganesha during the puja. 

    • Wash Ganesha’s feet and hands as a gesture of welcome. 

    • Put a glass of water for sipping the idol, meaning purification. 

    • Bathe the idol with water, honey, milk, curd, and ghee then wipe it with clean cloth. 

    • Wear him new and sparkling clothes.

    • Decorate it later with flowers, garlands, and jewellery post clothing. 

    • Present sweets, fruits, and other dishes as a symbol of hospitality.

    • Light a lamp and offer it to Lord Ganesha while chanting aarti. 

    • Offer prayers and seek blessings from Lord Ganesha. 

    • On the final day of the celebration, the idol is immersed under a water body to revisit next year.

What is the Importance of Ganesh Chaturthi?

Ganesh Chaturthi is an important day in Hindu religion that marks the Ganesha’s rebirth, and is synonymous with new beginnings and fresh starts in life.

Legend has it that Goddess Parvati made an idol of a son with sandalwood paste and mixed divine powers in the idol.

A little boy rose up from the idol, who tended to her as mother.

The birth of a son, whom Goddess Parvati believed would always be loyal to her, brought her joy.

The festival is traditionally and culturally important in India and people from varied backgrounds come together on this day to celebrate the occasion on a grand scale. 

Ganesh Chaturthi has been celebrated since the time of King Shivaji.

It was Lokmanya Tilak who made the celebration into a major public holiday from a private celebration, where people from all castes of society could gather, pray and be together during India’s War of Independence.

Ganesh Chaturthi symbolises bonding, spiritual devotion, and a renewed sense of hope for a brighter future.

Ganesh Chaturthi History

Ganesh Chaturthi or “Vinayak Chaturthi” is one of the major traditional festivals celebrated by the Hindu community.

It is observed in the Hindu calendar month of Bhadrapada, starting on the shukla chaturthi (fourth day of the waxing moon period).

Typically the day falls sometime between August 20 and September 15.

The festival lasts for 10 days, ending on Ananta Chaturdashi, and is traditionally celebrated as the birthday of Lord Ganesha.

According to Hindu mythology, Lord Ganesha is the son of Shiva (The God of Destruction in the Hindu Holy Trinity of Creator-Preserver-Destroyer) and Parvati (Shiva’s consort).

The cutest and most lovable Indian God, Ganesha or Ganpati has the head of an elephant on which rests an elegant tiara, four podgy hands joined to a sizeable belly with each hand holding its own symbolic object – a trishul or a trident in one, an ankush or goad (made from his very own broken tooth) in another, a lotus in the third and a rosary (which is sometimes replaced by modaks, his favourite sweet) in the fourth.

Revered as the deity of auspiciousness and wisdom, Lord Ganesha is also famous for being a trickster and for his profound sense of humour.

It is believed that Lord Ganesh was born on a fourth day (chaturthi) of the bright fortnight of the Hindu lunar month of Magh.

Since then, an association between Ganesh and chaturthi has been established.

Thus the festival dedicated to the worship of Lord Ganesha on this chaturthi day is named as Ganesh Chaturthi.

There is a curiously interesting tale about the birth of Ganesha.

It is believed that once while Parvati was bathing, she created a human figure from some unguent and balm, gave him life and asked him to guard the door while she bathed.

After a long period of meditation on Mountain Kailash (Lord Shiva’s abode), Shiva chose that very moment to drop by to see his better half, but was abruptly stopped by the man-god Parvati had posted at the door.

Outraged by the cheek of this stranger, Shiva cut off his head only to discover moments later that he had killed Parvati’s son! For fear of enraging his wife, Shiva immediately dispatched his ganas (attendants) to get him the head of the first living creature they could find.

Well, the first living creature happened to be an elephant.

As instructed, the head was chopped off and brought back to Shiva, who placed it on Parvati’s son’s body, bringing him back to life.

This elephant-headed god was welcomed into the first family of the Hindu heavens and named Ganesha or Ganapati, which literally means the chief of the ganas, or the attendants of Shiva.

Ganesha is the foremost god of the Hindu pantheon.

This brave guardian of the door to Parvati’s bath is beheld today as the most auspicious God of new beginnings.

He is worshipped during every festival and before people undertake a journey or embark upon a new venture.

You will also see him carefully guarding entrances to temples and homes, peeping out of calendars and happily gracing marriages and other such occasions.

It is not known when and how Ganesh Chaturthi was first celebrated.

But according to the historian Shri Rajwade, the earliest Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations can be traced back to the times of the reigns of dynasties as Satavahana, Rashtrakuta and Chalukya.

Historical records reveal that Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations were initiated in Maharashtra by Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaja, the great Maratha ruler, to promote culture and nationalism.

And it had continued ever since.

There are also references in history to similar celebrations during Peshwa times.

It is believed that Lord Ganapati was the family deity of the Peshwas.

After the end of Peshwa rule, Ganesh Chaturthi remained a family affair in Maharashtra from the period of 1818 to 1892.

1857 was a landmark year for India and moreso in the context of Indian freedom.

It was the year of Sepoy Mutiny, an armed rebellion against the ruling British Empire by the Indian soldiers.

This was the first war that India waged to gain back her independence from her white rulers.

Though unsuccesful, this battle marked the beginning of the Indian struggle for independence.

Many orators, leaders and freedom fighters all over India teamed to put up a united resistance to the British domination.

One of these eminent leaders was Bal Gangadhar Tilak, an Indian nationalist, social reformer and freedom fighter.

Greatly esteemed by the Indian people, especially of Maharashtra, Tilak was commonly referred to as “Lokmanya” or “he who is regarded by the people”.

It was Tilak, who brought back the tradition of Ganesh Chaturthi and reshaped the annual Ganesh festival from private family celebrations into a grand public event.

Lokamanya saw how Lord Ganesha was worshipped by the upper stratum as well as the rank and file of India.

The visionary that he was, Tilak realized the cultural importance of this deity and popularised Ganesha Chaturthi as a National Festival “to bridge the gap between the Brahmins and the non-Brahmins and find an appropriate context in which to build a new grassroots unity between them” in his nationalistic strivings against the British in Maharashtra.

He knew that India couldn’t fight her rulers until she solved the differences within her own.

Hence, to unite all social classes Tilak chose Ganesha as a rallying point for Indian protest against British rule because of his wide appeal as “the god for Everyman”.

It was around 1893, during the nascent stages of Indian nationalism, that Tilak began to organize the Ganesh Utsav as a social and religious function.

He was the first to put in large public images of Ganesha in pavilions and establish the tradition of their immersion on the tenth day.

The festival facilitated community participation and involvement in the form of learned discourses, dance dramas, poetry recital, musical concerts, debates, etc.

It served as a meeting place for common people of all castes and communities, at a time when all social and political gatherings were forbidden by the British Empire for fear of conspiracies to be hatched against them.

An important festival during the Peshwa era, Ganesha Chaturthi acquired at this time a more organized form all over India largely due to Lokmanya’s efforts.

Since then, Ganesh Chaturthi has been celebrated throughout Maharashtra as also in other states with great community enthusiasm and participation.

With the independence of India in 1947, it was proclaimed to be a national festival.

Today, Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated in the states of Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh and many other parts of India.

The festival is so popular that the preparations begin months in advance.

Days before the actual worship, homes are cleaned and marquees erected at street corners to house the idols of the Lord.

Elaborate arrangements are made for lighting, decoration, mirrors and flowers.

The artisans who make the idols of Ganesh vie with each other to make bigger and better sculptures.

The sizes of the relatively larger ones range anywhere from 10 meters to 30 meters in height.

These are installed in marquees and in homes prior to the Puja (worship).

During the festival days, the Lord is worshipped with great devotion and prayer services are performed daily.

The duration of the Lord’s stay varies from place to place; once the worship is complete, the statues are carried on decorated floats to be immersed in the sea after one, three, five, seven and ten days.

Thousands of processions converge on the beaches to immerse the holy idols in the sea.

This procession and immersion is accompanied with dancing and the sound of exciting drum-beats, devotional songs and exploding firecrackers.

As the idol is immersed amidst loud chants of “Ganesh Maharaj Ki Jai!” (Hail Lord Ganesh), the festival comes to an end with pleas to the Lord to return the next year with chants of “Ganpati bappa morya, pudcha varshi laukar ya” (Hail Lord Ganesh, return again soon next year).

Tourists from all over the world come to witness this wonderful event in the sun kissed beaches of Goa and Mumbai.

While celebrated all over India, Ganesh Chaturthi festivities are most elaborate in states like Maharashtra, Goa (It is the biggest festival for Konkani people all over the world), Gujarat, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, and other areas which were former states of the Maratha Empire.

Outside India, it is celebrated in Nepal by the Newars.

In the 21st century, with the world turning fast into a global village, Ganesh Chaturthi is now celebrated all over the world, wherever there is a presence of a Hindu community.

History of Ganesh Chaturthi

It is believed that the birth of the elephant headed deity; Ganesh took place on the fourth day (Chaturthi) of the waxing moon period in the lunar month of Magh according to the Hindu religion.

Since then, an association has developed between Chaturthi and Ganesh.

As a result, the worship of Ganesh on the fourth month (Chaturthi) is known as Ganesh Chaturthi.

The history of Ganesh Chaturthi dates back to the Peshwa Empire or the dynasties of Rashtrakuta, Satavahana etc.

The history of Ganesh Chaturthi can be traced back to the dynasties of Chalukya, Satavahana and Rashtrakuta. This festival was initiated by Chhatrapati Shivaji, the founder of the Maratha Empire.

According to historical sources, the Peshwas motivated the worship and celebration of this festival as a state affair. Lord Ganesh was a family God of the Peshwas.

With the downfall of the Peshwa Empire, the celebration of Ganesh Chaturthi was limited to homes and was no longer patronized as a state affair.

This happened between the periods of 1818 to 1892.

Sepoy Mutiny took place in the year 1857 which was a hallmark in the Indian history of struggle for independence. Many freedom fighters joined hands to put up a stubborn resistance against the pre-eminence of the British Empire.

Bal Gangadhar Tilak, popularly referred to as” Lokmanya”, was among the illustrious freedom fighter; who revived the celebrations of Ganesh Chaturthi as a public affair.

He used this festival as a device to unite the Indians and attain their support in the struggle for freedom.

He gave a whole new meaning to the festival of Ganesh Chaturthi.

The history of Ganesh Chaturthi dates back to the Peshwa Empire when this festival was celebrated only by the upper class but Lokmanya Tilak popularized it as a festival of the masses and people of all strata of the society joined in.

He realized the economic importance of this festival and in 1893; he reshaped this festival into an all nation huge celebration.

The festivities involved theatrical performances, dance dramas, debates, musical concerts and poetry recitals where Indians from all class and caste participated and this was the incipient stage of developing unity among the Indians so that they could jointly put up a tough struggle against the supremacy of the British.

From then onwards, Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated not only in Maharashtra but nationwide with splendour and grandeur.

Ganesh Chaturthi was declared a nationwide festival after India gained independence in 1947.

Today this festival is celebrated in Goa, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu with the same vigour and enthusiasm as in Maharashtra.

This ten day festival employs the earnest efforts of a large number of people including the artisans, pandal organizers, decorators, artists and so on.

Painstakingly the artists create huge, spectacular Ganesh idols. By observing all the rituals strictly, chanting devotional slokas and songs, the worship of Lord Ganesh takes place.

Duration of the festival varies from place to place. After ten days, in magnificent processions, the idols are immersed into the holy rivers.

These processions are followed by millions of people dancing, singing, bursting crackers and shouting out” Ganpati Bappa Morya, Pudcha Varshi Laukar Ya”, which means pleading the deity for good luck and fortune to return the next year, when he arrives again.

Thus to sum up, the history of Ganesh Chaturthi dates back to the dynasty of the Peshwas and this festival was initiated by the great warrior,Maratha king, Chhatrapati Shivaji and later revived by the pre-eminent freedom fighter Bal Gangadhar Tilak.

Ganesh Chaturthi – Ganesh Festival – History and Significance

Ganesh Chaturthi, also known as Vinayaka Chaturthi, is a vibrant and widely celebrated Hindu festival that honours Lord Ganesha, the elephant-headed god of wisdom, prosperity, and new beginnings.

This festival, which typically falls in the Hindu calendar month of Bhadrapada (August or September in the Gregorian calendar), has a rich history and deep cultural significance.

Let’s explore the origins and cultural importance of Ganesh Chaturthi.

Historical Origins

The history of Ganesh Chaturthi can be traced back to ancient India, with roots in the Puranas, a genre of ancient Hindu texts.

However, the festival as it is celebrated today gained prominence during the reign of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, the founder of the Maratha Empire in the 17th century.

One popular legend surrounding the creation of Lord Ganesha describes how Goddess Parvati, the divine consort of Lord Shiva, created Ganesha from clay and brought him to life to guard her while she bathed.

When Lord Shiva returned and found Ganesha blocking his way, a fierce battle ensued, resulting in the beheading of Ganesha.

Upon realizing their mistake and the grief of Parvati, Lord Shiva replaced Ganesha’s head with that of an elephant, granting him new life and making him the deity of wisdom and remover of obstacles.

Significance of Ganesh Chaturthi

Lord of Beginnings

Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated at the start of many ventures, such as the commencement of new businesses, the construction of houses, and the initiation of educational endeavours. Lord Ganesha is believed to remove obstacles and bring success to these new beginnings.

Symbol of Wisdom

Ganesha is revered as the god of intellect and wisdom. Devotees seek his blessings to attain knowledge, wisdom, and creative inspiration.

Unity in Diversity

Ganesh Chaturthi transcends religious and regional boundaries. People of different faiths and backgrounds come together to celebrate this festival, fostering a sense of unity and communal harmony.

Cultural Extravaganza

The festival is marked by grand processions, traditional music, and dance performances.

Elaborate decorations, colourful clothing, and artistic Ganesha idols add to the festive charm.

Eco-Friendly Initiatives

In recent years, there has been a growing emphasis on celebrating Ganesh Chaturthi in an eco-friendly manner. Many communities opt for clay idols and natural materials to reduce environmental impact.

Social and Community Bonding

Ganesh Chaturthi is a time when families and communities come together for prayers, cultural activities, and feasting.

It promotes a sense of togetherness and social bonding.

Ganesh Visarjan – Immersion Ritual

The immersion of Ganesha idols into water bodies, such as rivers or the sea, on the last day of the festival is a significant ritual.

It symbolizes the cyclical nature of life and the impermanence of all things.

Ganesh Visarjan Rituals

In conclusion, Ganesh Chaturthi is a festival deeply rooted in Hindu mythology and tradition.

It holds immense cultural and spiritual significance, symbolizing the triumph of wisdom over ignorance and the power of unity.

The festival’s timeless message of hope, renewal, and the removal of obstacles continues to resonate with people across India and around the world, making Ganesh Chaturthi a cherished and culturally rich celebration.

Also Read: Know Ganesh Visarjan Rituals

In conclusion, Ganesh Chaturthi is a festival deeply rooted in Hindu mythology and tradition.

It holds immense cultural and spiritual significance, symbolizing the triumph of wisdom over ignorance and the power of unity.

The festival’s timeless message of hope, renewal, and the removal of obstacles continues to resonate with people across India and around the world, making Ganesh Chaturthi a cherished and culturally rich celebration.

The God Ganesha

Ganesha is the Hindu god depicted as having an elephant head.

This god, while known by a staggering 108 different names with the most popular being Ganapati or Vinayaka, is celebrated in Hinduism as both the god of the beginnings as well as the lord of arts and sciences.

Birth & Origin of Ganesha

The birth or origin of the god Ganesha has two distinct versions.

The first is that he was created from the dirt that fell off the goddess Parvati during her bath.

Shiva asked Ganesha, then a child, to guard the door as Parvati completed her bath.

When the god Shiva, partner to Parvati, returned Ganesha blocked his access to the home, causing Shiva to become enraged and chop off his head.

Parvati was heartbroken and demanded they find Ganesha a new head by stealing the head of a recently deceased being.

They failed and could only find an elephant head.

They placed this on the body of the child and the iconic image of Ganesha was born.

The second and less popular version of the genesis of Ganesha says that Shiva and Parvati created him at the behest of the heavenly beings to serve as an obstacle in the path of demonic beings – not nearly as exciting a story!

History & Meaning of the Festival

The festival designed to honor and commemorate the birth or creation of the god Ganesha, known as the Ganesh Chaturthi festival has no exact origin date; however, it is commonly accepted that the first recorded celebration was during the time period of 1630-1680.

Once the British invaded, the celebrations were moved to private home celebrations due to the British fear that large religious celebrations would breed chaos and dissent.

The festival didn’t become public again until 1892, when a public Ganesha idol was put on display in Pune, India.

The celebration was touted as a way to unite all people of Hindu faith, and it spread like wildfire from there.

What Is Ganesh Chaturthi?

Ganesh Chaturthi is a ten-day Hindu festival that celebrates the birth of Lord Ganesh, the Hindu deity of arts and sciences, as well as his mother, Parvati, the goddess of power, motherhood, and nourishment.

Their arrival is believed to bring good luck and prosperity.

Lord Ganesh is sometimes referred to as Ganesha and is described as having the head of an elephant.

Because the elephant is intelligent and powerful, people view Ganesh as being wise and go to him when they need help.

Hindus around the world celebrate the Ganesh holiday with processions, music, food, and worship.

 During Ganesh Chaturthi, processions of song and dance carry an idol of Lord Ganesh to the river to help him on his journey.

The festival is celebrated in many Indian states as well as countries with large Hindu populations around the world.

Why Is Ganesh Chaturthi Celebrated?

There are two major versions of the birth and origin of the Hindu god Ganesh.

In the first story, the Hindu goddess Parvati was taking a bath with no one to guard the door, so she formed a boy out of turmeric paste and breathed life into him.

When the Hindu god Shiva (Parvati’s husband) went to check on Parvati, the boy, Ganesh, guarded the door and did not let him in.

Shiva was taken aback, and out of fear of what Ganesh could be, decapitated him with his trident.

The now angry and heartbroken Parvati was determined to go on a mission of destruction but made a deal that she wouldn’t if Ganesh was brought back to life and worshipped before the other gods.

Shiva’s men went out and brought back the head of an elephant.

The head was put on Ganesh and he was now worshipped as a god.

This is the most widely believed Ganesh Chaturthi story.

In the second version, Parvati and Shiva were requested to create Ganesh so that he could create obstacles in order to protect everyone from demons.

This version is less popular but has still had a lasting impact as people view Ganesh as a protector and averter of obstacles.

Ganesh Chaturthi is a Hindu deity of arts and sciences.

Although stories of his origin differ, it is believed he has the head of an elephant after his was cut off, which in turn gave him wisdom.

When Is Ganesh Chaturthi?

The time of Ganesh Chaturthi changes each year but always begins on the fourth day of Bhadrapada, the sixth month of the Hindu calendar, which correlates to August-September.

The first record of the Ganesh Chaturthi festival is in the early 1600s, but with the British invasion, devotees had to celebrate privately since there was a fear of chaos and disruption.

In 1892, freedom fighter Shrimant Bhausaheb Rangari witnessed a traditional Ganesh celebration and decided to create his own public display.

When he returned home to Pune, India, he put a Ganesh idol out in public, starting the revival of public celebrations throughout India.

Today, the Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated both in public and privately in homes.

In private settings, families usually bring out small clay statues of Lord Ganesh.

They create an altar of the idol and offer food and flowers in the morning and at night.

These celebrations differ from family to family.

In public events, festivals are created from a collection of funds.

Idols appear throughout the city, and the people participate in song and dance.

At some events, activities like blood drives take place to help the community.

Some temples host longer processions and pilgrims.

Where Is Ganesh Chaturthi?

The Ganesh holiday occurs around the globe and is prominent in India.

However, it is not a public holiday. Ganesh Chaturthi is a regional event and is commonly celebrated in the states of Maharashtra, Karnataka, Gujarat, Odisha, Goa, West Bengal, Chhattisgarh, and Uttar Pradesh.

It is also celebrated in areas with large Hindu populations like Ghana, the United Kingdom, Malaysia, Singapore, and Canada.

In North America, the biggest celebration takes place in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In Mauritius, it is celebrated as a public holiday.

Ganesh Holiday Food

Food is an important part of Ganesh Chaturthi.

The foods eaten during the Ganesh holiday are meant to celebrate and honor Lord Ganesh.

To do this, people make food that they believe is some of his favorites.

Food is an important part of the festival and acts as an offering.

People make some favorite dishes of Ganesh, and often use jaggery.

Ganesh Festival Finale

Although the Ganesh holiday lasts anywhere from one to eleven days, it usually lasts ten.

The final day of the Ganesh festival is called Anant Chaturdashi (meaning endless) and is an important day to worship.

Unlike the rest of the days, this day is devoted to worshipping and celebrating Lord Anant, the reincarnation of Lord Vishnu. 

Lord Vishnu is the head deity and is viewed as the giver of life.

This day consists of prayers, worship, and offerings.

Idols of Lord Ganesh appear during the Ganesh Chaturthi festival.

Idols act as a way to worship and communicate with the deities.

Lesson Summary

Ganesh Chaturthi is a ten-day Hindu festival that celebrates the birth of Lord Ganesh, the deity of arts and sciences and the god of beginnings.

Although the stories of Ganesh’s origins differ, Parvati, the Hindu goddess of motherhood, power, and nourishment, and Parvati’s husband, the Hindu god Shiva, are credited with creating Ganesh.

Ganesh is portrayed with an elephant head, a symbol of great wisdom.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does Ganesh Chaturthi last?

The Ganesh Chaturthi is a celebration that lasts ten days.

Although it doesn’t always start on the same date, it always takes place on the fourth day of Bhadrapada.

How do people celebrate Ganesh festival?

Ganesh Chaturthi can be celebrated privately or publicly.

During the ten-day celebration, people give offerings to idols of Ganesh.

Some communities have processions of song and dance.

What are two foods that are part of a Ganesh festival?

Food is an important part of the Ganesh festival because it allows people to offer Lord Ganesh his favorite foods. The foods that are made for the Ganesh festival are often sweets.

Two of these dishes are modak and murmura ladoo.

Why do we celebrate Ganesh festival?

Hindus celebrate the Ganesh festival to celebrate the birth of Lord Ganesh. Lord Ganesh is an important deity of arts and sciences. It is believed that Ganesh is wise and celebrating him can give prosperity.

EMBRACING THE DIVINE:

EXPLORING THE SIGNIFICANCE AND CELEBRATIONS OF GANESH CHATURTHI

Ganesh Chaturthi, also known as Vinayaka Chaturthi, is a Hindu festival that celebrates the birth of Lord Ganesha, the elephant-headed deity who is revered as the remover of obstacles and the god of beginnings and wisdom.

The festival typically falls in the Hindu month of Bhadrapada, which usually corresponds to August or September in the Gregorian calendar. 


The origin of Ganesh Chaturthi can be traced back to ancient times, but the way it is celebrated today has evolved over the years.

The festival has its roots in various Hindu scriptures and legends.

One of the most popular stories associated with Ganesh Chaturthi is the tale of how Lord Ganesha was created by Goddess Parvati and how he came to be associated with this festival. 

According to Hindu mythology, Goddess Parvati created Ganesha from the dirt and oils from her body to guard her chambers while she bathed.

Lord Shiva, Parvati’s husband, who was not present at the time, returned and was stopped by Ganesha from entering Parvati’s chambers.

This led to a battle between Ganesha and Shiva, during which Shiva beheaded Ganesha.

Upon realizing his mistake and understanding the true identity of Ganesha, Shiva restored his life by placing the head of an elephant on his body.

This is why Ganesha is often depicted with an elephant head. 

Ganesha’s devotion, wisdom, and role as an obstacle remover have made him one of the most beloved deities in the Hindu pantheon.

The Ganesh Chaturthi festival, as we know it today, gained prominence in the 17th century during the reign of Maratha ruler Chhatrapati Shivaji.

It was later popularized by the freedom fighter Lokmanya Tilak during the late 19th and early 20th centuries as a means to foster a sense of unity and nationalism among Indians during the British colonial rule. 

During the festival, elaborate clay idols of Lord Ganesha are installed in homes and public places, and they are worshipped for a specific number of days, which can range from one to eleven days.

The idols are decorated with flowers, garlands, and other ornaments, and devotees offer prayers, perform aarti (a ritual of worship involving light), and distribute prasad (blessed food) to mark the occasion.

On the final day of the festival, the idols are taken in grand processions and immersed in bodies of water, symbolizing the deity’s return to his divine abode. 

Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated with great enthusiasm and devotion across various parts of India, particularly in the states of Maharashtra, Karnataka, Goa, and Andhra Pradesh.

Over the years, the festival has also gained popularity outside of India in communities with a significant Hindu population.

TO KICK START YOUR GANESH CHATURTHI CELEBRATION 

Celebrating Ganesh Chaturthi involves several traditional rituals and practices.

Here’s a general outline of the steps that are typically followed during the festival: 

  • Idol Preparation: Obtain or create a clay idol of Lord Ganesha. The idol can vary in size from small to large, depending on your preference. It’s important to choose eco-friendly materials to minimize the impact on the environment.
  • Installing the Idol: Place the idol in a clean and decorated area of your home or a public space. A special pedestal or platform is often used for this purpose. You can decorate the idol with flowers, garlands, and other adornments.
  • Pranapratishtha: This is the ritual of invoking the divine presence into the idol. It involves reciting prayers and mantras to infuse life into the deity. Offer flowers, incense, and lamps during this process.
  • Ganesh Puja: Perform daily rituals and prayers to worship Lord Ganesha. These may include offering fruits, sweets (modak is a popular choice), coconut, and other traditional items. Light incense sticks and lamps and recite Ganesh mantras and stotras (devotional hymns).
  • Aarti: Perform the aarti ritual, where a lit lamp or camphor is circled around the idol while singing or chanting devotional songs. This signifies the illumination of wisdom and the dispelling of darkness.
  • Modak Offering: Modak is a sweet delicacy believed to be Lord Ganesha’s favourite. Prepare or buy modaks and offer them to the idol as prasad.
  • Fasting and Vrat (Observance): Some devotees choose to fast on this day as a mark of devotion. They abstain from certain foods and focus on prayers and worship.
  • Visarjan (Immersion): The festival culminates with the immersion of the idol in a body of water-usually a river, lake, or sea. This symbolizes Lord Ganesha’s return to his celestial abode. The immersion procession can be a grand affair, with music, dance, and a lot of enthusiasm.
  • Environmental Consciousness: As you celebrate, it’s important to be mindful of the environment. Opt for eco-friendly materials for decorations and idols. Avoid using materials that harm the ecosystem.
  • Community Participation: Ganesh Chaturthi is often celebrated in a community setting, with multiple households coming together to install idols and celebrate. Participating in community events and processions can add to the festive spirit.
  • Cultural Activities: In addition to religious rituals, the festival can include cultural activities such as music, dance performances, and storytelling about Lord Ganesha’s mythology. 

Remember that the specific rituals and practices may vary based on regional customs and individual preferences. It’s advisable to consult with local priests or community members for guidance on how to celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi in accordance with your tradition.

DIFFERENT DELICACIES PREPARED DURING CELEBRATION OF GANESH CHATURTHI 

Ganesh Chaturthi is a festival known for its delicious and diverse array of traditional sweets and savoury dishes prepared across India.

Different regions have their own specialties that are associated with the festival.

Here are some popular delicacies prepared for Ganesh Chaturthi: 

  • Modak: Modak is perhaps the most iconic sweet associated with Ganesh Chaturthi. These are sweet dumplings made from rice flour or wheat flour, filled with a mixture of jaggery, grated coconut, and sometimes dry fruits. They are usually steamed or fried and are believed to be Lord Ganesha’s favou These are made in modak patra.
  • Ukadiche Modak: This is a specific type of modak made with a soft outer covering of rice flour and a sweet coconut and jaggery filling. It’s a Maharashtrian specialty.
  • Kozhukattai or Modagam: Similar to modak, these dumplings are made from rice flour and filled with coconut, jaggery, and often flavored with cardamom. They are popular in South India, especially in Tamil Nadu. These are usually made in idli cooker-steamer.
  • Puran Poli: Also known as Holige or Obbattu, this is a sweet flatbread filled with a mixture of chana dal (split chickpeas), jaggery, and spices. It’s a delicacy in Maharashtra, Karnataka, and other states.
  • Karigadubu: These are deep-fried sweet dumplings made with a filling of chana dal, jaggery, and grated coconut. They are a favorite in Karnataka.
  • Chana Dal Payasam: This is a rich and creamy dessert made from chana dal, milk, sugar, and ghee, often flavored with cardamom and saffron. It’s a common sweet dish in many parts of India.
  • Rice Kesari or Sheera: Kesari is a semolina-based sweet dish cooked with ghee, sugar, and water, often flavored with saffron and cardamom. It’s popular in South India.
  • Laddu: Laddus made from various ingredients such as besan (gram flour), semolina, or even coconut are offered during Ganesh Chaturthi. These round sweets are a staple in Indian festivals.
  • Puliyodarai or Tamarind Rice: This tangy and spicy rice dish made with tamarind and spices is often prepared as an offering during the festival, especially in South India.
  • Sundal: Sundal is a savory dish made from boiled legumes (usually chickpeas or black-eyed peas) tempered with mustard seeds, curry leaves, and coconut. It’s a popular prasad in South India.
  • Coconut Rice: Coconut rice, made by mixing cooked rice with grated coconut, spices, and sometimes fried lentils, is also a common dish offered during the festival.
  • Gujarati Dhokla: In Gujarat, Dhokla, a steamed and spongy cake made from fermented rice and chickpea flour, is a favorite during Ganesh Chaturthi. 

These are just a few examples of the delightful dishes prepared during Ganesh Chaturthi.

The specific dishes may vary based on regional preferences and family traditions.

CULTURAL SIGNIFICANCE OF GANESH CHATURTHI CELEBRATION 

Ganesh Chaturthi holds significant cultural importance in Hindu society and has evolved over the years to become a widely celebrated festival that transcends religious boundaries.

Here are some aspects of its cultural significance: 

  • Unity and Social Bonding: Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated with fervor and enthusiasm by people of various communities, castes, and backgrounds. It brings people together, fostering a sense of unity and communal harmony. Public celebrations often involve participation from all sections of society, promoting social bonding.
  • Art and Creativity: The creation and decoration of Ganesh idols showcase the artistic talents of individuals and communities. Intricately crafted idols made from clay, wood, and other materials highlight the creative expressions of people. This cultural aspect is deeply appreciated and celebrated.
  • Cultural Extravaganza: The festival is not just about religious rituals; it’s also a cultural extravaganza. Music, dance, processions, and cultural performances are an integral part of the celebrations. These events showcase the rich cultural heritage of India.
  • Traditional Crafts: The making of clay idols and intricate decorations involves traditional craftsmanship that has been passed down through generations. This supports local artisans and craftsmen, preserving ancient skills and techniques.
  • Environmental Awareness: In recent years, there has been a growing emphasis on eco-friendly celebrations. Many communities are opting for clay idols that dissolve in water and use natural materials for decorations, reflecting a concern for the environment and sustainable practices.
  • Promotion of Values: Lord Ganesha’s qualities—wisdom, humility, kindness, and the ability to remove obstacles—serve as a source of inspiration for individuals. The celebration encourages people to embody these values in their lives.
  • National Integration: The festival gained prominence during the freedom movement led by Lokmanya Tilak, who used it as a platform to unite people against British rule. This history of nationalism and unity adds to the festival’s cultural significance.
  • Interfaith Connections: While Ganesh Chaturthi is a Hindu festival, it has transcended religious boundaries. People of different faiths often participate in the celebrations, showcasing India’s diverse and pluralistic culture.
  • Learning and Knowledge: Ganesha is also revered as the god of wisdom and intellect. The festival emphasizes the importance of education and learning. Many educational institutions conduct special prayers and events during this time.
  • Cultural Exchange: The festival has become a means of cultural exchange and understanding, as people from different communities and backgrounds come together to share in the festivities.
  • Family and Community Traditions: Ganesh Chaturthi is a time when families and communities come together to celebrate. It provides an opportunity to strengthen familial bonds, share traditions, and create lasting memories. 

Overall, Ganesh Chaturthi is not just a religious event; it’s a celebration of India’s cultural diversity, artistic expressions, and shared values.

It promotes a sense of belonging, unity, and the preservation of cultural heritage.


Why Do We Celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi?

Ganapati Bappa Morya!

Bappa is everyone’s favorite and we eagerly wait to celebrate him every year.

Ganesha is an elephant-headed god, a remover of obstacles, and teaches us the wisdom of living.

Ganesha is one of the best-known and most easily recognizable Hindu deities.

In India, Ganesh Chaturthi also known as Vinayaka Chaturthi (Or Chavithi) is celebrated across different states like Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Karnataka, etc.

This is the long-celebrated festival which lasts for 9 days.

As per the Hindu Calendar, this festival is celebrated in the month of Bhadrapada which falls between August and September.

About the Festival of Ganesh Chaturthi

India is the land of different religions and cultures.

Every religion mark itself for its traditions, customs, and unique style of commemorating the festivals. The festival of Ganesh Chaturthi is one such festival observed by every Hindu.

This festival is said to be the Birth of Lord Ganesh, who is the prime god of any new beginning.

Lord Ganesha is also called the God of wisdom and education. People celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi and worship the god for 9 or 11 days, especially during the festival.

They believe that lord Ganesh blesses them with good health and prosperity.

History of Ganesh Navratri

We all know that during the festival of Ganesh Chaturthi, we worship the god for 9 days and call it “Ganesh Navratri.”

This tradition of celebration first began in Pune in Maharashtra.

During the time of Chatrapati Shivaji, Ganesh Chaturthi has been publicly commemorated.

This is first bought by Indian freedom fighter and social reformer Lokmanya Tilak.

Why is Ganesh Chaturthi Celebrated?

There are many stories surrounding the birth of Lord Ganesh.

We all know that Ganesha is the son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvathi.

One day Parvathi while going to take bath, thinks of having some privacy.

There is no one dedicated to her to guard the entrance and Parvathi with a wish to have one dedicated guard, takes the turmeric applied on her body and molds an idol.

Parvathi then breathes life into that turmeric mold and is named Ganesha.

To mark the birth of Ganesha, we celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi beginning this day and lasting for 9 days.

Ganesha and his Elephant Head

Parvathi when lord Shiva is away appoints Ganesha to guard the entrance and not allow anyone to enter her house.

Ganesha stays at the entrance dedicated and sends back all whoever comes to meet Goddess Parvati.

When Lord Shiva returned, willing to meet Goddess Parvathi, Ganesha stops him as he was advised by Parvathi ma to stop from entering House.

Lord Ganesha was so stubborn that he did not allow Lord Shiva to enter and that led to a tussle between them. Initially, Lord Shiva with his pleasant tone tries to convince little Ganesh but he kept on refusing him.

Eventually, Lord Shiva got furious and destructed Lord Ganesha cutting his head off.

Knowing this Goddess Parvathi rushed towards Ganesha and explains to Lord Shiva all her demands Ganesha followed. Goddess Parvathi asks Shiva to bring back life to her dearest son who never missed to obey her.

Knowing the truth, Lord Shiva orders his followers to get the head of the very first dead animal they encounter in the direction of North.

Lord Shiva’s followers get the Elephant’s head and then he brings life to Ganesha.

The Rituals

The festival of Bappa includes 4 distinct rituals. Pranapratishtha, Shhodashopachara, Uttarpuja, and Ganpati Visarjan.

In Pranapratishtha, the birth of Ganesh is symbolized by creating idols.

These idols are placed in mandaps and homes offering the pooja for 9 days.

Prayers are offered by devotees by singing devotional songs and chanting hymns.

In Shhodashopachara, 16 types of prayers are performed including offering different types of fruits, flowers, leaves, and Prasadam especially Modaks(Undrallu).

The last phase is called Uttarapuja which takes right before the immersion of the Ganesh Idol.

On this day, the Ganesha idol is taken to immerse in the nearby Lake or River.

Lord Ganesha symbolizes many life lessons and is hence considered the lord of wisdom and knowledge.

As we heard from many Puranas, Lord Ganesha is the lord of new beginnings and is worshipped before every new event or beginning.

He is believed to clear the obstacles.

Ganesha is said the patron deity of students and hence worshipping him brings success in careers and achieve success in their lives.

How Walkertown Academy celebrates Ganesh Chaturthi?

We celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi a day or two days before the actual festivals.

We conduct a special assembly for the celebrations of Ganesh Chaturti.  

The young children of Walkertown Academy are profound to take the DIY activities and get the best out of their work.

We teach them why Ganesha is worshipped every year by giving them mythological stories and narrations.

We also organize cultural performances to tell them the significance of Lord Ganesha.

We not only make it an entertainment day but also, embeds the students in the importance of Indian customs and traditions to follow, their scientific significance, etc.

This year we explained the importance of clay Ganesha to our students who showed the utmost interest in making the Bappa idols.

History of Ganesha Chaturthi

Ganesha Chaturthi is one of the important Hindu festivals to celebrate the birth of Lord Ganesha.

The festival is ardently celebrated all over India, especially in the states of Maharashtra and Goa. Ganesha Chaturthi, also known as Vinayaka Chaturthi is observed on the Shukla Paksha Chaturthi (4th Waxing Moon) in the month of August–September.

Lord Ganesha has a unique physique with distinct features that makes him special and stand out from other Gods.

He is characterized by an elephant head on a human body with a pot belly and a plump body.

He is depicted with four hands, holding a trident, goad, lotus and rosary or bowl of modakas (dumplings), respectively.

Legend behind Ganesha’s Birth

According to Hindu mythology, Goddess Parvati created Ganesha out of the turmeric powder applied on her body before bath.

She made a child figure out of it and breathed life into him and asked him to be her gatekeeper and not to allow anyone until she took bath.

During this time, Lord Shiva, her consort came to visit her.

The young lad, unknowing of the fact who he is, stopped Lord Shiva at the entrance.

Infuriated Shiva fought with the boy and beheaded him.

When Goddess arrived, she was extremely upset to see her son dead and headless.

In order to pacify his wife, Shiva ordered one of his Ganas (army person) to bring the head of the first thing he sees sleeping facing its head towards north.

The head of an elephant found in this posture, was cut and brought by the Gana, which was placed on Ganesha’s body.

He was resurrected by Lord Shiva.

Goddess Parvati was elated to see her son back to life.

This resurrection of Ganesha with an elephant’s head is celebrated as Ganesha Chaturthi.

On the same day, Lord Shiva blessed him as the leader of his Ganas (hence the name ‘Ganapati’) and blessed him as the bestower of good fortune, wisdom and prosperity.

History of Ganesha Chaturthi

According to historian Shri Rajwade, the earliest celebration of Ganesha Chaturthi dates back to the reigns of Satavahana, Rashtrakuta and Chalukya dynasties.

According to historical findings, Ganesha Chaturthi celebration was initiated during the rule of the great Maratha King Chatrapati Shivaji, as a tool to promote culture, oneness and nationalism.

Later, during the Peshwa rule, Ganesha’s birthday was fervently celebrated.

After Peshwa rule, the festival shrunk into a family Pooja from 1818 to 1892.

Ganesha Chaturthi Pre-Independence Celebrations

Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak was one of the prominent leaders and freedom fighter, who brought back the tradition of Ganesha Chaturthi as a grand public festival celebrated all across the nation.

The festival was popularized to bring oneness and bridge the gap between Brahmin and non-Brahmin communities and spread the rich cultural heritage amongst everyone.

Tilak organized the festival as a social and religious function to unite all classes of people and he was the first to install large Ganesha images in public and introduced the 10-day grand festivities.

He organized for various programs like music, dance, debates and dramas which jeweled the occasion.

Since then, Ganesha Chaturthi has been celebrated with great fervor and in a grand manner every year.

After India got its independence in 1947, it was regarded as a national festival.

Ganesha Chaturthi Present Day Celebrations

Today, Ganesha Chaturthi is widely celebrated with great zeal and devotion all over India, especially in the states of Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Goa.

The preparations for the festival are commenced well in advance, which includes cleaning of houses, lighting arrangements, decoration and marquees are installed for huge Ganesha idols.

The artisans who make Ganesha idols compete with each other in making huge idols of Ganesha ranging from 10 meters to 30 meters.

During the festival, Lord Ganesha is worshipped with special Pooja and a variety of sweets and savories.

Modakas or dumplings, which are Ganesha’s favorite is offered and regular Pooja is offered for the ten days.

On the tenth day, the idols are taken as a public procession and immersed in water such as ocean or river.

The ceremony is witnessed by tourists all over the world.

The festival is grandly celebrated in states of Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Goa, Gujarat, Karnataka, and in Nepal outside India.

Today, the festival is celebrated all over the world, wherever the Hindu community people resides.

Ganesh Chaturthi: History, Celebration & Famous Temples

Ganesh Chaturthi, also known as Vinayaka Chaturthi, is one of the most beloved and widely celebrated festivals in India. Let’s know more about Ganesh Chaturthi: History, Celebration & Famous Temples.

This auspicious day marks the birth of Lord Ganesha, the elephant-headed deity who is revered as the remover of obstacles and the harbinger of good fortune.

Let’s delve into the rich history, customs, and vibrant celebrations that surround Ganesh Chaturthi.

History of Ganesha Celebration

Ancient Roots:

Ganesh Chaturthi finds its origins in ancient Hindu scriptures. The earliest references to Lord Ganesha can be traced back to the Rigveda, one of the oldest sacred texts of Hinduism. However, the festival as we know it today has a more recent history.

Revival by Lokmanya Tilak:

The modern celebration of Ganesh Chaturthi owes much to the efforts of the freedom fighter and social reformer Lokmanya Tilak.

During British colonial rule in the late 19th century, Lokmanya Tilak recognized the potential of Ganesh Chaturthi as a unifying force against the British regime.

In 1893, he initiated the idea of Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav, where public Ganesh pandals (temporary shrines) were set up for communal celebrations.

Date of Celebration

Ganesh Chaturthi falls on the fourth day of the Hindu lunar calendar month of Bhadrapada, usually in August or September.

The date varies each year, determined by the position of the moon.

Devotees consult Pandits to find the most auspicious Muhurut for the installation of Ganesha idols.

2023: 19th September

National Holiday Status

While Ganesh Chaturthi is not officially recognized as a national holiday, it is celebrated with immense enthusiasm throughout India.


Regional Names of Ganesh Chaturthi

Here are some regional names of Ganesh Chaturthi along with the names of the respective states:

Maharashtra: Ganeshotsav
Tamil Nadu: Pillayar Chaturthi
Karnataka: Vinayaka Chaturthi
Andhra Pradesh: Vinayaka Chavithi
Kerala: Chathothi or Lamboodhara Piranalu
Gujarat: Ganesh Chaturthi or Ganesh Utsav
Goa: Chavath
Punjab: Choti Diwali
West Bengal: Janmotsav
Odisha: Ganesh Puja or Vinayak Chaturthi

These regional variations in names reflect the cultural diversity of India and the unique traditions associated with Ganesh Chaturthi in different states.

Preparation of Ganesh Chaturthi Celebration

Preparation for Ganesh Chaturthi, one of the most beloved festivals in India, involves several steps and traditions. Here is an overview of how Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated and the preparations that go into it:

1. Making Arrangements:

Several weeks before the festival, families and communities start preparing for the arrival of Lord Ganesha.
They clean and decorate their homes, particularly the area where the idol will be placed.

2. Clay Idol:

The most important preparation is the creation or purchase of a clay idol of Lord Ganesha. These idols vary in size, from small ones for homes to large ones for community celebrations.
The idols are beautifully crafted and decorated with vibrant colors and ornaments.

3. Puja Items:

Devotees purchase various items required for the puja (worship) such as flowers, incense sticks, camphor, and sweets.
Modak, a sweet dumpling, is considered Lord Ganesha’s favorite and is prepared in large quantities.

4. Installation of the Idol:

On the day of Ganesh Chaturthi, the idol is installed in a beautifully decorated pandal or temporary shrine.
A priest or a family member performs the Prana Pratishtha, which is the ritual to invoke the divine presence into the idol.

5. Daily Puja:

Throughout the festival, daily pujas are performed, which include offering prayers, incense, flowers, and sweets to Lord Ganesha.
Devotees sing bhajans (devotional songs) in praise of Lord Ganesha.

6. Visarjan (Immersion):

Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations typically last for 1.5, 3, 5, 7, or 11 days, depending on individual or community traditions.
On the final day, the idol is taken in a grand procession to a nearby water body (river, lake, or sea) for immersion.
The immersion, known as “Ganpati Visarjan,” symbolizes the departure of Lord Ganesha while devotees bid farewell with joy and sadness.

7. Cultural Programs:

In addition to religious rituals, cultural programs, dance performances, and skits are organized in many places to celebrate Lord Ganesha’s arrival.

8. Community Celebrations:

In some regions, community celebrations are grand and involve multiple families coming together to worship Lord Ganesha.

9. Eco-Friendly Celebrations:

In recent years, there has been a growing emphasis on eco-friendly celebrations, with idols made of natural materials and immersion in artificial tanks to protect water bodies.

10. Charity and Social Initiatives: –

Many organizations and individuals take this opportunity to engage in charitable activities and social service during the festival.

Overall, the preparation for Ganesh Chaturthi is a time of excitement, devotion, and cultural significance.

It brings together families and communities to celebrate the beloved elephant-headed god, Lord Ganesha.

Ganesh Chaturthi

Ganesh Chaturthi Story

Ganesh Chaturthi is one the most important festivals that is celebrated in India with huge enthusiasm and devotion.

This festival celebrates the birth of Lord Ganesha who is the god of wisdom, knowledge prosperity, and luck.

The festival is also referred to by the name of Vinayak Chaturthi also known as Vinayak Chavithi.

The day, which is considered one of the most auspicious days of the Hindu faith is celebrated widely, especially throughout the Indian state of Maharashtra.

Ganesh Chaturthi History

The celebration of Ganesh Chaturthi has its roots in the Maratha reignof Chatrapati Shivaji launching the celebration.

The origin of the belief lies in the tale of Ganesha’s birth.

Ganesha as one of the children of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati.

There are many myths about Ganesha’s birth, only the most important one is told here.

The goddess Parvati was the one who created Ganpati.

In her absence from Lord Shiva was able to use their sandalwood to make Ganesha and then put him on watch while she went to bathe.

When she left and Lord Shiva was involved in a dispute with Ganesha since he would not allow him into the bath according to the instructions of his mother.

Furious and furious, Shiva was furious and Lord Shiva removed Ganesha’s hair.

When Parvati saw this and became angry, she took on an appearance of Goddess Kali who threatened the destruction of the universe.

The entire world was worried and asked Lord Shiva to come up with an answer and stop the anger from Goddess Kali.

Shiva was then commanded by all his followers to go and locate the child’s mother who has her back toward her child, causing him to be negligent and to bring his head.

The first child that was seen by his followers was of an elephant.

They were instructed to cut his head off and brought it before Lord Shiva.

Lord Shiva immediately put Ganesha’s head onto his body , and then brought him back to the life of.

The fury from Maa Kali was eased, while Goddess Parvati was overwhelmed yet again.

The Lords all blessed Ganesha and Ganesha’s birthday is celebrated to honor the same reason.

Ganesh Chaturthi Celebrations

Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations begin approximately a month prior to the celebration.

The festivities last around 10 days (from Bhadrapad Shudh chaturthi to Ananta Chaturdashi).

The first day, the Lord’s clay idol of Ganesha is placed in the homes.

The homes are decorated with flowers.

Temples attract a many devotees.

Bhajans are chanted and prayers are sang. In many cases, families gather to celebrate the celebration.

 Localities arrange and host pandals, and also install huge statues dedicated to God Ganesha for the celebration with their friends and relatives.

The day that concludes the festivities, the idol of the Lord Ganesha is exhibited to the streets.

The crowd shows their enthusiasm and joy by way of singing and dancing on the streets, along alongside the statue.

The idol is later placed in the water or the sea. The day is characterized by a huge number of devotees who express their joy and offering prayers.

Ganesha Pujan

Ganesha Pujan Starts with the placement of an idol made of clay of Lord Ganesha at home.

Different dishes are prepared to offer (bhog).

The idol gets bathing in pure water.

Then, it is embellished with floral arrangements. Jyoti is lit and the aarti starts.

A variety of bhajans, mantras, and bhajans are chanted during this time.

The belief is that the chanting of mantras in complete devotion will bring vitality to idols.

Also, it is believed during this time, Ganesha visits the home of his devotees and brings luck and prosperity to Ganesha.

This is why the day is regarded as an extremely blessed day. Invoking the Ganpati Yantra can bring you the best success in life.

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