Road alleys comes alive as the colourful idols of Ganesh Chaturthi line up to be sold, deified and finally immersed. Tracing its origin back to the chivalrous Chhatrapati Shivaji of the Maratha king, Ganesha Chaturthi is observed as one of the most auspicious in the Hindu religion. While, this auspicious festival is celebrated for a period of 10 days with prayers and devotion, Ganesh Chaturthi has an even deeper place in the hearts of many Indians.
The colourful festival is celebrated with idols of Ganesha decked with the Hindu holy colour of saffron being installed at homes. The significance of the festival is even more elaborated with two-three months advance-preparation. Beautiful clay models of Lord Ganesh are made by skilled artisans and sold in the markets. These statues depict Lord Ganesh in various poses. The festival is celebrated mostly with poojas being performed and bhajans chanted after which they are immersed in the river. The festival ends on the 10th day because the day marks the descend of Lord Ganesha to Mount Kailasha to his parents Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati.
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But out of the many Hindu festivals, what makes Ganesh Chaturthi hold a huge importance especially in states like Maharashtra, Goa, Kerala and Tamil Nadu? The myth of Lord Ganesha and Ganesh Chaturthi is as interesting as any other story in the Hindu mythology.
Goddess Parvati created little Ganesh using the dirt off her body while having a bath and asked him to guard the door while she was bathing. Lord Shiva, who had gone out, returned at that time.
Taking into seriousness the word of the mother, little Ganesh stopped Lord Shiva from entering. This action from the young god enraged Lord Shiva who severed the head after the ensuing incident. However, on realising that the little god had but abided what the mother had asked him to, Lord Shiva promised her to give Ganesh a new life.
To put back his severed head, the followers were sent to search for a head but to his fate all they could bring was a head of an elephant. Lord Shiva thus fixed the elephant's head on the child brining him back to life. From then on, Little Ganesha came to be known as Gajanan. All the Lords blessed Ganesha and the day is today celebrated for the same reason.
The festival of Ganesha Chaturthi happens on a large scale in cities such as Mumbai and Pune every year. The cities echo with chants from the followers shouting, ‘Ganpati Bappa Morya’.
The festival begins on the third day of the lunar month of Bhadrapada where localities for the next 10 days witness beautiful pandals and rituals performed with huge statues of Ganesh. On the 10th day, the Visarjan takes place and the followers pray to the Lord of knowledge, wisdom, prosperity and good fortune that he may return to their homes the next year.
To celebrate Ganesha Chaturthi various dishes are for offering known as ‘bhog’ are cooked. The idol is given a bath with pure water and then decorated with flowers. And though there are a large number of sweets offered to Lord Ganesha , Modak is known to be the lord’s favourite sweet and is therefore one of the main dishes made on this day. Other dishes include Karanji, ladu, barfi and pede.
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Ganesh Visarjan 2017 Dates:
# One and a half day of Ganesha Visarjan will fall on August 26, the next day of Ganesh Chaturthi. Here is the auspicious Choghadiya Muhurat for Ganesha Visarjan for one and half day:
Auspicious Choghadiya Muhurat for Ganesha Visarjan
Afternoon Muhurta (Char, Labh, Amrit) = 12:18 – 17:05
Evening Muhurta (Labh) = 18:41 – 20:05
Night Muhurta (Shubh, Amrit, Char) = 21:30 – 25:43+Early Morning Muhurta (Labh) = 28:31+ – 29:55+
# The third day of Ganesh Visarjan will fall on August 27. Here is the auspicious Choghadiya Muhurat for Ganesha Visarjan for the third day:
Auspicious Choghadiya Muhurat for Ganesha VisarjanMorning Muhurta (Char, Labh, Amrit) = 07:31 – 12:18
Afternoon Muhurta (Shubh) = 13:53 – 15:29
Evening Muhurta (Shubh, Amrit, Char) = 18:40 – 22:54
Night Muhurta (Labh) = 25:43+ – 27:07 + Early Morning Muhurta (Shubh) = 28:32+ – 29:56+
# The fifth day of Ganesha Visarjan will fall on August 29. Here is the auspicious Choghadiya Muhurat for Ganesha Visarjan for the fifth day:
Morning Muhurta (Char, Labh, Amrit) = 09:07 – 13:52
Afternoon Muhurta (Shubh) = 15:27 – 17:03
Evening Muhurta (Labh) = 20:03 – 21:28
Night Muhurta (Shubh, Amrit, Char) = 22:53 – 27:07+
# The seventh day of Ganesha Visarjan will fall on August 31. Here is the auspicious Choghadiya Muhurat for Ganesha Visarjan for the seventh day:
Morning Muhurta (Shubh) = 05:58 – 07:32, Morning Muhurta (Char, Labh, Amrit) = 10:42 – 15:26
Evening Muhurta (Amrit, Char) = 17:01 – 21:26
Night Muhurta (Labh) = 24:17+ – 25:42 + Early Morning Muhurta (Shubh, Amrit) = 27:08+ – 29:58+
# The tenth day of Ganesha Visarjan will fall on September 5. Here is the auspicious Choghadiya Muhurat for Ganesha Visarjan for the tenth day:
Morning Muhurta (Char, Labh, Amrit) = 09:08 – 13:49
Afternoon Muhurta (Shubh) = 15:22 – 16:56