Mangaluru/Udupi, Sep 18, 2015: A traditional popular and colourful Ganesh Chaturthi a religious festival observed by Hindus communities to celebrate the birth of Lord Ganesha, the son of Lord Shiva and Parvati was marked on Sept 17, 2015. Every year devotees have observed this fetival with fervour and this year in spite of high cost of things it was celebrated in a fitting manner in the twin districts of DK and Udupi.
Ganesha, is most beloved of the gods known by 108 different names. He is the symbol of good fortune, wisdom, prosperity and wealth. This festival is celebrated with extreme devotion and joy in many states of India and even over seas. Maharashtra, Goa, Kerala, Tamil Nadu are some of the states that mark this ten day long festival.
The birth of Ganesha:
The most relevant legend going back in the times of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati, is believed that Parvati is the creator of Ganesha. The story says that Parvati used her sandalwood paste and created Ganesha in the absence of Shiva. She gave him the work of guarding her bathroom door while she was bathing. When Shiva returned home, Ganesha refused to allow him into the abode, in anger Shiva severed the head of the child. The sight enraged Parvati, Lord Shiva promised getting Ganesh back to life. The followers searched for a child’s head facing north, but all they could find was an elephant’s head. And that’s how Ganesh was born and got his shape..
Ganesh Chaturthi Festival:
The exact date of starting of puja on the Ganesha Chaturthi according to history is estimated that Ganesh Chaturthi was celebrated as a public event in Pune during the time of Shivaji(1630 - 1680). Since Shivaji’s time, Ganesh Chaturthi was celebrated regularly as Ganesha was Kuladevata (family deity) of their empire. After end of Peshwas, it remained as a family celebration and was revived again in 1893 by the Lokmanya Tilak.
Ganesha Chaturthi was celebrated mainly by Hindus as an annual festival with grandeur. It went on to be clebrated as a national festival to mitigate conflicts between Brahmins and non-Brahmins as well as bring unity among people. People started celebrating this festival with valour and national fervour during the British rule. The ritual of Ganesh Visarjan was established by the Lokmanya Tilak.
The festival grew to be celebrated by people as a community/social participation instead of just family celebration. People of the society and community, get together to celebrate this festival as a community festival and to improve intellectual pursuits, recite poetry, dance, devotional songs, dramas, musical concerts, folk dances, recite mantras, aarti and many more activities. People meet and plan celebrations which creates a social bond and discipline.
Celebration of the Festival:
Much before Ganesh Chaturthi, preparations and excitement start. Various artistic clay models, varying in sizes and poses, are done by the artisans. These statues are installed in colorfully decorated ‘pandals’ in institutions, homes, localities and temples. Flowers, Garlands and lights add up to the beauty of the statue. A ritual known as ’Pranapratishhtha’ involves mantra chanting is common.
Prayers are offered in 21 different ways in a ritual called Shhodashopachara. 21 is the favourite number of Lord Ganesha. Finally, there is a ritual known as Uttarpuja, which means bidding farewell to lord Ganesha with due reverence. After this ritual, immersing the statue in water, which is known as ’Ganpati Visarjan’.
‘Ganpati Bappa Morya’ is commonly chanted the feelings emotion of devotees is made enthusiastic. This festival not only involves prayer, but also cultural activities like dancing, singing, orchestra and theatre performances. A lot of community activities are also a part of the celebrations as we have seen. The main attraction for foodies in this festival is Modak, a dumpling of rice or flour stuffed with grated jaggery, coconut and dry fruits. Karanji, similar to modak is another famous dish that makes an indispensable part of the celebrations in this region too.
On the Coastal area here apart from Mangaluru and the surroundings which had countless pandals and celebrations. In Udupi area, 406 places in Udupi district are holding grand Ganeshotsava celebrations, which included 42 places in Kundapur, 42 in Kota, 11 in Kollur, 25 in Gangolli, 26 in Shankernarayana, 8 in
Amasebail and 29 in public places.
DK and Udupi residents who are great admorers of Lord Ganesha were seen revelling in the celebrations which will continue in part till the Visarjan on Sept 28 or so,