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Ganesh Chaturthi (2020) - Ganpati - Hindu Festival - Festivals of India

Rajan is a botany and chemistry major. He has worked as a poultry breeder for 23 years, breeding layer and broiler parents.

About Ganesh Chaturthi

Lord Ganesha (Ganesh) or Ganpati is one of the most revered deities in the Hindu religion.

Ganpati, Ganeshotsav or Ganesh Chaturthi is a festival that celebrates the birthday of Lord Ganesh, son of Lord Shiva and Parvati. Lord Ganesh, the elephant headed deity is the God of wisdom and prosperity. He is also known for removing obstacles and his blessings are invoked before beginning any auspicious venture.

Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated in the month of August or September, all over India but the greatest fervour is seen the states of Maharastra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Goa.

Ganeshotsav is also celebrated in Nepal and by Hindus wherever they are in the world.

Ganpati Idol Making

The Celebrations

Ganesh Chaturthi festival is a 10 day celebration; the final day - the 10th day - culminating on the Anant Chaturdashi day when the idols of Lord Ganesha are immersed in a body of water.

This festival was started by Chatrapati Shivaji, a Maratha King. Bal Gangadhar Tilak, popularly called Lokmanya Tilak, a Maratha politician and a nationalist, transformed this festival, from a privately held smaller festival, into a publicly celebrated state and national festival.

At various places and areas in each city, associations and organisations were formed that pool their resources, collect funds from the common man, shopkeepers and business houses and hold these celebrations on a grand scale.

Preparations for this festival start a couple of months before the festival. Idols of Lord Ganesha of all sizes are being made by artisans and kept ready for purchase by people before the actual festival starts. Some of these idols are as tall as 10 to 20 meters.

The smaller idols are purchased by those who wish to keep Lord Ganesha in their homes while the larger idols are installed at specific areas in the neighbourhood. Traditionally, these idols are made of clay but are now being made from plaster of Paris; though since recent times, with the increased awareness of going green, many people have started making idols of biodegradable materials.

These huge Lord Ganesha idols are installed in pandals or mandaps (pavilions), specially erected temporarily for this purpose. The installation is done on the Ganesh Chaturthi day, that is, the first day of the festival. The mandaps are colorfully decorated with lights, flowers and religious themes.

Prayers are performed along with singing of devotional songs and sweets are offered to Lord Ganesha. Religious music is also heard blaring from publicly installed loudspeakers.

Ganpati Procession

Ganesh idol being taken for immersion in a procession

Ganesh idol being taken for immersion in a procession

Ganpati Visarjan (Immersion) Day

Ganpati Visarjan Day

The Visarjan (Immersion) Day

Ganesha visarjan is done on the 3rd, 5th, 7th or 10th day with the 10th day being the biggest day.

The fervor of this festival is at its zenith in Mumbai; the commercial capital of India. On the day of visarjan of these idols; all idols whether kept at home or in a public place are immersed in water. These idols are taken in huge processions on colorfully decorated floats and lorries (trucks). All roads leading to the sea beaches are jam packed with the sea of humanity that finally descends onto these beaches.

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Visarjan starts off in the afternoon and goes on late into the night. It is a magnificent sight to behold thousands of Ganesha idols being immersed into the sea waters. The procession is accompanied by music,dance and devotional songs. Chants of "Ganpati Bappa moriya, pudcha varshi laukar ya", meaning " O Lord Ganesha, come again early next year".

In Mumbai, the largest idol is installed at Lalbagh and Lord Ganesh is often referred to as "LalBagh Cha Raja" meaning "The King of LalBagh".

How to Make Modak | Steamed Modak Recipe | Ganesh Chaturthi Recipe

The Legend Of Ganesh Chaturthi

The story of the birth of Lord Ganesha is fascinating.

Legend has it that Parvati (Lord Ganesha's mother) created a human figure, manas putra, from the sandalwood dough she used for her bath and breathed life into it. Shen then asked manas putra to keep a watch outside while she bathed and not allow anyone in.

When Lord Shiva came, he was stopped by manas putra from going in, as he did not know who Lord Shiva was (Lord Shiva as Parvati's husband). Angered, Lord Shiva beheaded manas putra.

When Parvati came to know about this she asked Lord Shiva to revive her son, manas putra. Lord Shiva then asked his servant to go outside and bring the head of the first living being he encountered. An elephant it was and the servant presented its head to Lord Shiva who affixed the head to the body of manas putra who was then on known as Ganesha.

Hence this day is celebrated as the birthday of Lord Ganesha and called Ganpati, Ganesh Chaturthi, Vinayaka Chaturti or Ganeshotsav.
Lord Ganesh is also called Vinayak sometimes.

Modak - The Favorite Sweet Of Lord Ganesh

modaks ,the white sweets in the forefront

modaks ,the white sweets in the forefront

About Modak

The main sweet during this festival is Modak - a dumpling made of rice or wheat flour with a filling of fresh or dry grated coconuts, jaggery, dry fruits and condiments. It is either steam cooked or fried.

Other sweets like laddoos of different types, karanji, puran poli etc are also prepared.

Some of my other hubs on Indian Festivals

Puran Poli Recipe

Ganpati Visarjan (Immersion) Procession

Ganpati Visarjan Video

Laddoo Recipe For Ganesh Chaturti

© 2012 Rajan Singh Jolly


Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on September 15, 2018:

You're welcome, Paul. Thank you.

Paul Richard Kuehn from Udorn City, Thailand on September 13, 2018:

Rajan, thank you very much for the Mumbai tour link. I will let you know when my wife and I are going to India.

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on September 12, 2018:

Thank you, Paul. I would suggest you book your stay in South Mumbai as many tourist attractions are located around here.

Moreover, there are day tours to important spots in Mumbai which I am sure you could book online or at the hotel.

Here is one such link you could check out:

Hope you have a wonderful trip.

Paul Richard Kuehn from Udorn City, Thailand on September 05, 2018:


Thank you for sharing a very interesting and informative article. I especially liked the photos and videos. Do you live in the Mumbai area? I am trying to convince my wife and mother-in-law to make a trip with me to Mumbai. We have never been there. Do you have any ideas on how we should plan our trip and what would be good for us to see and do? Thank you very much for your assistance/

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on September 19, 2012:

@ tillsontitan - I'm glad you like this information about the traditional cultural festival of Ganesh Chaturthi. It is a very colorful festival especially the visarjan.

Thanks for taking out time to read and I appreciate your fine comments.

Thank you.

@ Dana - I absolutely agree. The interpretations handed over to us, more so in the cases of religions whose texts its followers are not well versed with, are the main reasons for made made conflicts and people going off at tangents with each other in respect of religions.

All religions teach peace, love, service, forgiveness and humility, as its basic tenets. Unfortunately, these very attributes are missing in most of those that are its leaders today.

Thanks for your fine comments and also for sparing time to read.

Dana Strang from Ohio on September 19, 2012:

Very interesting. And presented in an understandable way. This remings me of the feast days that the Catholics have. I was raised Roman Catholic (and Italian) and I remember going to festivals like the Feast of Saint Anthony. It is fascinating to me the similarities among religions that people think are so different.When you really study them I think various faiths are more the same than not.

Thank you for another great hub.

Mary Craig from New York on September 19, 2012:

What a fascinating hub...another tradition we have learned about from you. The photos add much to your hub and are in themselves interesting. Great job!

Voted up, useful, and interesting.

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on September 19, 2012:

Thanks Ishwaryaa. Happy ganesh Chaturthi to you too! Thanks for reading and sharing.

Ishwaryaa Dhandapani from Chennai, India on September 19, 2012:

One of the informative hubs from your engaging festival hub series! Here in Tamil Nadu, we celebrated this important festival with much fervour. I grew up hearing and reading wonderful stories about Lord Ganesha, one of the most widely worshipped gods of India. A well-written and well-formatted hub! Happy Ganesh Chaturthi!

Thanks for SHARING. Useful, Awesome & Interesting. Voted up & Socially Shared

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on September 17, 2012:

Hi David,

The 4 arms of Lord Ganesh are symbolic of the four inner attributes of the subtle body, that is, mind (Manas), intellect (Buddhi), ego (Ahamkara), and conditioned conscience (Chitta). Lord Ganesha represents the pure consciousness - the Atman - which enables these four attributes to function in us.

I hope this clarifies this point.

Idols of various Hindu deities are shown with varying number of arms all symbolic of the various attributes or qualities of the deity.

I'm glad you liked the hub. Thanks for reading and commenting.

DeviousOne from Sydney, Australia on September 16, 2012:

Very interesting article and informative too. I don't seem to understand why Ganesh is seen to have four arms though. Are you able to include that in your article?

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on September 16, 2012:

Hi Nithya, I'm glad you liked it.

Thank you.

Nithya Venkat from Dubai on September 15, 2012:

Great article on a wonderful celebration. Enjoyed reading.

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on September 13, 2012:

Thanks for reading and appreciating the hub. This hub, like many of my previous ones, is a way of sharing a bit about various Hindu religious celebrations.

Your visit is appreciated.

jonnycomelately on September 13, 2012:

Thank you Rajan for this Hub. .... most interesting. It reminds me of a visit to Ganeshpuri in 1984 (Baba Muktananda's Ashram, but he had taken Mahasemadi a short time before).

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on September 13, 2012:

Aurelio, this festival will be celebrated on the 19th of September. So there is time yet for you to attend the celebrations. I hope you enjoy.

Thanks for visiting.

Aurelio Locsin from Orange County, CA on September 12, 2012:

This is my favorite Hindu god but was unfamiliar with this festival. I'm wondering if this has happened yet for the year -- if it hasn't, maybe they'll be celebrating it at my local Indian community center and I can attend. Voting this Up and Interesting.

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on September 11, 2012:

Hi Gayatri,

I'm glad you liked this hub. Thanks for reading and commenting.

Gayatri Radhakrishnan from India on September 11, 2012:

Amazing hub....voted up..

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on September 11, 2012:

Thanks for the read and votes, Carol. Appreciate the visit.

carol stanley from Arizona on September 11, 2012:

Learned something new and interesting this morning plus some interesting recipes. Photos are great and as always a great hub. Vote UP.

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on September 11, 2012:

Thanks for reading and commenting, Angelo. I'm glad you liked the hub.

Angelo52 on September 11, 2012:

Great article explaining the Elephant God's celebration.

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