Boundless celebrations and long-drawn festivities are a very important part of the cultural foundation of India. Betwixt the varied religious customs marking the diverse religions of India, one of the most famous one is Ganesh Chaturthi festival.
What seems to an outsider as absolute craziness, Ganesh Chaturthi is the most loved Hindu festival, celebrated to mark the birth of Elephant- headed God, Ganesha.
Symbolized by colossal grandiosity, fervor and faith, Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated in different ways in different states of the country.
Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations begin with huge pandals set up all over the city, people dancing to the beats of dhols as they welcome Lord Ganesha in their house and while they carry the idols for Ganesh Visarjan.
When is Ganesh Chaturthi 2019?
The Ganesh Chaturthi festival is celebrated during the late August or early September, based on the lunar cycle. Celebrated on the fourth day after the new moon, during the month of Bhadrapada as per the Hindu calender, Ganesh Chaturthi 2019 will be celebrated on September 2, 2019. The extended Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations are carried out over a period of 11 days, followed by the biggest extravaganza displayed on the concluding day of the festival, called as Anant Chaturdasi day, which will be celebrated on September 12, 2019.
How Is Ganesh Chaturthi Celebrated?
The beginning of the Ganesh Chaturthi festival is marked by the installation ceremony, when elaborately designed and crafted Ganesha statues are installed at home and Pandals.
The preparation for this festival usually start 2-3 months priorly, as the artisans start preparing beautifully designed clay idols of Lord Ganesha in all shapes and sizes.
On the day of the Ananta Chaturdasi, the Ganesha idols are paraded through the streets in full galore, accompanied by song and dance, and then immersed in water bodies.
Where To Celebrate The Most Eventful Ganesh Chaturthi festival In India?
Here’s a guide to 5 places to visit during Ganesh Chaturthi to experience memorable festivities.
Mumbai is the first city that clicks in mind when we think of Ganesh Chaturthi Puja and Celebrations. Bedecked city is a site to see during these 10-days of festivities when the fervent Mumbaikars come together with the most splendid Ganpati Pandaals. The Ganesh idols are called as the King, locally referred as Raja. The most famous and biggest idols of Ganesha can be seen at Lalbaugcha Raja, which is definitely a sight to behold. People wait in long queues, for as long as 40 hours, just to catch a glimpse of the beautifully elevated Ganesha.
The most amazing fact is that this 12-feet tall idol, is able to raise crores of Rupees during this 10-Day festival as an offering. This collected money is used for community services for hospitals, scholarships and health camps.
The most fun filled day during the Ganesh Chaturthi in Mumbai is the day of Ganpati Visarjan, that’s the concluding day of the festival. You will find the streets of Mumbai draped in beautiful colors, adorned with flowers and loud songs of Ganpati celebration echoing all around.
After Mumbai, Hyderabad is one of the most famous places to witness the grand celebrations of Ganesh Chaturthi 2019. Hyderabad celebrates Ganpati Navratri, that starts on the day of Ganesh Chaturthi festival and ends on Anant Chaturdashi with Ganpati immersion.
The city hosts above 70,000 Ganesha pandals and the most famous places to witness the grandiose are Khairatabad, Balapur, Durgam Cheruvu, Kamalanagar Chaitanyapuri and Gowlipura, with the largest Ganesha idol at 58 feet at Khairatabad.
Kanipakam, situated in Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh is highly acclaimed for Varasiddhi Vinayaka Temple.
This small village hosts a 21-day long annual festival, known as Brahmotsavam, that begins with the Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations. All the devotees participate in this long festival with full enthusiasm. The major attractions for this festival are the early morning Nijaroopa Darshanam when Ganpati ji is presented without any adornments. Daily processions are carried out with beautifully decked carriages surrounded by echoes of Ganesh Aarti and Ganesh mantra.
Ganpatipule is a small town situated in Ratnagiri District on the Konkan coast of Maharashtra. The stunning views of the sea at the beautiful untouched beaches are a major attraction along with the 400 years old Swayambhu Ganesh Temple. This temple is situated at the Ganpatipule beach and is the center of attraction for the tourists during the annual Ganpati festival.
The Swayambhu temple is famous for its beautiful and rare Ganesha Idol that is believed to have originated by itself on the white sand. This temple is one amongst the Ashta Ganapathi temples and is famously known as the Paschim Dwar Dewata, which is made of copper.
The beauty of this idol is that it is placed at the Sanctum Sanctorum, and a shaft of golden light illuminates the idol as it penetrates it during the sunrise and sunset.
Ganpati festival is celebrated at this temple at Ganpatipule and the villagers and pilgrims zealously participate in processions of the 10-day long celebrations.
The cultural capital of Maharashtra, Pune also hosts one of the best Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations that are worth visiting the city during the festival. The most appealing part of the festival are the Kasba Ganpati, Guruji Talim, Kesariwada Ganpati, Tambdi Jogeshwari Ganpati and Tulsi Baug Ganpati.
The annual Pune festival is also held during the Ganesh Chaturthi and celebrates the art, culture, customs and traditions of the city. The festivities are marked by dance and drama, music recitals, traditional sports and automobile rallies, that visitors can enjoy during the 10-day long celebration.
Plan your Ganesh Chaturthi weekend outing to any of these places and you will be glad you took this trip. Visiting these 5 places during Ganesh Chaturthi festival celebrations will be a lifetime experience for you. If you are someone who is not affected by the phobia of large crowd, then it’s a must for you to travel to Mumbai during the Ganpati festival.