Happy Ganesha Chaturthi
Lord Vinayaka, Ganeshji or Ganpatiji is the darling of the masses. Ganesha Chaturthi brings people of all religion, caste and creed together. Traditional Ganesha Hindu Stories tell that Lord Ganesha is the son of goddess Parvati consort of Shiva.
Overall in India, Ganesha Chaturthi is celebrated with great devotion. This is one of the most popular festivals of the country. There are several reasons for this. Ganpati is after all a popular God. His blessings are invoked at most religious ceremonies as he is the one who can remove all obstacles to success. He is the giver of fortune and can help to avoid natural calamities. Ganpati is the herald of auspicious beginnings and is the beloved deity of all.
The festival is also known as Vinayaka Chaturthi (“festival of Ganesha”). The festive date this year falls on September 05, 2016. People bring home Murtis (Idols) of Lord Ganesha and celebrate the festival by worshiping the Lord in a special way for a day and a half, 5 days, 7 days or 11 days depending on the family tradition and commitment of each individual.
While celebrated all over India, it is most elaborate in Maharashtra, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Goa, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Odisha, Kerala and Chhattisgarh. Outside India also, it is celebrated widely in Nepal and by Hindus in the United States, Canada, Mauritius, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand etc.
It is believed that god returns to his heavenly abode after ten days of Ganesha Chaturthi celebrations. The city witnesses great vigour and enthusiasm for the farewell procession in which the idol of Lord Ganesha is carried by the devotees. The procession is accompanied by lot of singers, dancers, acrobats, priests and various onlookers. Sweets, coconuts, flowers and Aarti are offered to the idol prior to immersion. This ritual is known as ‘Ganesha Visarjan’ or the immersion of Lord Ganesha and the procession walk the streets with the chanting ‘Ganapati Bappa Morya’ (famous slogan praising Lord Ganesha).
Lord Ganesha symbolizes – Huge Ears (Listen more), Small Eyes (Concentrate), Tiny Mouth (Talk Less) and Big Belly (Digest good & bad of a performance equally) – Which are some of the qualities every attendee should possess.
The most prominent immersion in India takes place in Mumbai at Chowpatti beach, located at a distance of 1 km from Marine Drive and also at Juhu beach (Andheri). During the immersion, huge crowds flock the beach to witness the grand Visarjan. These processions start in the morning and continue till late night.
Coming to Bangalore, it’s not celebrated at a wide range or scope. But there are certain places which are a must visit during this season. One among them is the APS College Grounds near Bull Temple in Basavanagudi where an event called “Bengaluru Ganesha Utsava” takes place which extends over 11 days and has history of 52 years. You might also find areas like Indiranagar, Jayanagar, Malleshwaram and Koramangala bustling with festive activities. One can either visit the Ulsoor/Halasuru Lake or the Sankey Tank to watch the Visarjan (Idol Immersion).
This is all about Ganesha and Ganesha Chaturthi. Now let’s see how this festive season has an impact of the traffic conditions all around the city. People around the city are already in a festive mood and droves of residents shall be carrying their idols to homes. Adding to this traffic chaos on the roads, shall be hawkers selling their wares and also haphazard parking will be witnessed which affects the vehicular moment at many parts of the city.
My suggestions for some good ways to celebrate Ganesha Chaturthi:
- Make an Eco-Friendly Ganesha to take Home: The Plaster-of-Paris Ganesha idols are colorful & cheap but pollute the rivers. The Eco-friendly Ganesha idols are those that are made of clay, natural fibers, paper and other biodegradable materials.
- Make Ganesha yours on a wall-art or t-shirt.
- Use of a permanent idol made of stone and brass, used every year and a symbolic immersion only.
- Ban on the immersion of plaster idols into lakes, rivers and the sea.
- Use of biodegradable materials such as paper make to create Ganesha idols.
- Encouraging people to immerse the idols in tanks of water rather than in natural water bodies.