Ganesh Chaturthi, also known as Vinayaka Chaturthi or VinayakaChavithi, is a popular Hindu festival celebrated in honour of the elephant-headed God, Ganesha. It falls on the fourth day of the Hindu month Bhadrapada, usually in August or September. As it is around the corner, here is a list of a few places to head to, for those who want to soak in the happiness of festivities.
Ganesh Chaturthi is a 5-day celebration in the Swayambhu Ganapati Temple, wherevillagers and pilgrims join actively in a procession honouring Lord Ganesha. It is called ‘swayambhu’ as it is believed that the idol self-manifested from white sand. A taller idol of Lord Ganesha is placed in an ornate palanquin and is carried on the shoulders of the devotees through the village accompanied by a priest and a drummer.
Major Highlight: The celebrations are incomplete without a pradakshina or circumambulation around the hill behind the temple shaped like Ganapati’s face.
Mumbai is a spectacle during the days of Ganesh Chaturthi – it is alive with devotional songs, dances and drum beats. Visit Goud Saraswat Brahmin (GSB) Samiti Mandal at Wadala to enjoy a darshan of the richest Ganesha in Mumbai. Also, visit Lalbaugcha Raja which is not a shrine but a community organised festival. Huge crowds come to visit Lord Ganesha and at times it takes over 20 hours to reach the idol.
Major Highlight: The festival ends with the ‘Ganesh Visarjan’ where the idols are immersed in the water. The most prominent of immersions occurs on Chowpatty Beach and festivities last till early in the morning.
If you’re visiting from other cities, book your buses now. Make sure you have a Hyderabad to Mumbai bus booking before the tickets are all sold out.
The festival is celebrated with much fervour for ten days – it starts with the establishment of idols of Lord Ganesha on the first day to immersion of the Lord’s idols on the tenth day. KasbaGanpati, TambdiJogeshwariGanpati, GurujiTalim, TulsiBaugGanpati and the KesariwadaGanpati are some of most unmissable Ganesh idols in the city.
Major Highlight: Pune festival is also held during Ganesh Chaturthi and is mainly emphasized on the celebration of art and culture, song and dance, custom and tradition.
Most popular celebrations happen in PanchamukhaHeramba Ganapati Temple, Shri Jambu Ganapati Temple and Ananth Nagar Ganapati Temple. Do not forget to catch the immersion spectacle at Sankey Tank and Ulsoor Lake.
Major Highlight: Bengaluru Ganesh Utsava upholds the rich tradition of India’s culture and heritage, through magnificent presentations of music, dance, drama and art by some of the finest artists of the country every year.
One of the most famous festivals in Hyderabad, Ganapathi Navaratri festivities starts on VinayakaChavithi (Ganesh Chaturthi) and ends on Ananta Chaturdashi day with idol immersion.The famous places where Ganesha idols are established and decorated fascinatingly are Khairatabad, Balapur, KamalanagarChaitanyapuri, DurgamCheruvu, Old City (Gowlipura) and New Nagole.
Major Highlight: Devotees immerse the idols of Lord Ganesh on the last day of the festival in the Hussain Sagar Lake in Hyderabad. Thousands of people join the procession and fill the whole atmosphere with Lord Ganesha chants.
With this list of destinations, join in the feast and the festivities to celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi with flair and faith.