- Venue: Mumbai
- Time: August/ September
- Durations: 10 days
- Highlights: Bhajans and many program and Procession amidst dance and devotional songs
About Ganesh Chaturthi or Ganesh Festival In Mumbai:
Ganesh Chaturthi is the blessed day when Lord Ganesha appears to confer happiness to the people on earth. Also called Vinayaka Chaturthi, Ganesha Festival is celebrates the birthday of the Lord. It is observed for 10 days, starting from Shukla Chaturthi till Ananta Chaturdashi (Hindu dates fall between month of August or September) throughout the country. States like Maharashtra, Gujarat, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh celebrate this festival in the most grandiose manner.Mostly in the states of Maharashtra, Goa, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. One of the best places to experience the festival is in the city of Mumbai. Celebrations take place in a special way at the towering Siddhivinayak temple, located in the central suburb of Prabhadevi, which is dedicated to Lord Ganesha. An incalculable number of devotees visit the temple to join in prayers and pay their respects to the God during the festival. In addition, around 10,000 statues of Lord Ganesh are displayed at various locations in the city.
Bombay, the Financial Hub of India, commemorates this event in really extravagant style, with utmost devotion. It’s the time when streets bustle with devotees and huge ‘pandals’ (canopies) are set up, housing the idols of Lord Ganesha – the Lord of Beginnings, Wisdom, Prosperity and Good Fortune. Every nook and corner of the city appears drenched in the celebrations, excitement and enthusiasm. However, the preparations for this festival start 2-3 months before the event, with the making of clay models of the Lord.Maharashtra is the state where you can find the true color of the festival called Ganesh Chaturthi. With the huge idols of Ganesha decorated inside the mandaps (pandals) put up by every locality marks the starting of the ten-day festival. These days are full of joy and festivity and cultural programs are the part of this festival. All the people in spite of religions, caste and creed participate vigorously in the festival to mark the birthday of ‘God of Wisdom’, prosperity and good fortune. Visit this state at the time of Ganesh Chaturthi festival held in the month of ‘Bhaarapada’ according to Hindu calendar, that comes between 20th August and 15th September and witness the gaiety and enthusiasm that prevails in this spiritual atmosphere.
On the festive day, the idol is placed on elevated platforms in homes or outdoor canopies, where people come to pray. A red silk dhoti is worn by the priest, who invokes life in the idol by chanting mantras (ritual known as Pranapratishtha). Followed by this, Shhodashopachara (16 ways of paying tribute) is done. Later the idol is smeared with red unguent (rakta chandan). While doing all the rituals, hymns from the scriptures like Rig Veda, Ganapati Atharva Shirsha Upanishad, and Ganesh Stotra are chanted. Once a statue of Lord Ganesh is installed, a ceremony is undertaken to invoke his holy presence into the statue. This ritual is called the Pranapratishhtha Puja, during which a number of mantras are recited. Following this a special worship is performed. Offerings of sweets, flowers, rice, coconut, jaggery and coins are made to the God. The statue is also anointed with red chandan powder. Prayers are offered to Lord Ganesha every day during the festival. Temples devoted to Lord Ganesha also organize special events and prayers. Those who have a Ganesha statue in their house treat and care for him as a much loved guest.
For complete ten days, Lord Ganesh is worshipped with whole-hearted devotion. The image is taken into a procession, where devotees dance and sing to their heart’s content on the 11th day. Eventually, the idol is immersed in the sea with reverence. Throughout the procession, people yell ‘Ganapathi Bappa Morya, Purchya Varshi Laukariya’ which means ‘O Father Ganesh! Come again early next year’. Ganesh Chaturthi is a great festival of religious and social fervor, which presents a valuable insight, especially in Mumbai. Besides its religious sanctity, this festival plays an important role in binding the people and strengthen their relationship. The festival demands all the people to assemble a the same place and make a joint prayer giving a chance to people to interact with each other and visit one others house for prayers. Mumbai today witness the impeccable harmony among Hindus, Muslims and people of other faiths especially at the time of this festival when all people are colored in the same color. Really Ganesha is the God of wisdom and knows how to bring all the people together and it is his birthday that strengthens the ties.
How is Ganesh Chaturthi Celebrated:
The festival begins with the installation of huge elaborately crafted statutes of Ganesha in homes and podiums, which have been especially constructed and beautifully decorated. Artisans put months of effort into making the statues. It’s forbidden to look at the moon on this first night as legend had it the moon laughed at Lord Ganesha when he fell from his vehicle, the rat. On Ananta Chaturdasi (the last day), the statues are paraded through the streets, accompanied by much singing and dancing, and then immersed in the ocean or other bodies of water. In Mumbai alone, more than 150,000 statues are immersed each year!
Picture Gallary For Ganesh Chaturthi or Ganesh Festival In Mumbai: