Ganesh Chaturthi – Ganpati Festival


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वक्रतुण्ड महाकाय सूर्यकोटि समप्रभ।
निर्विघ्नं कुरु मे देव सर्वकार्येषु सर्वदा॥

Ganpati festival is the huge festival of Hindus. It is celebrated from Ganesh Chaturthi (Bhadrapad Shukla Chaturthi) also known as Vinayaka Chaturthi to Anant Chaturdashi (Bhadrapad Shukla Chaturdashi). According to our scriptures, in these days Ganesha’s blessings reach the earth in a greater proportion and bestow greater benefits. Ganesh Principle is 1000 times more  active on earth during this Ganeshotsav. 

Ganesh chaturthi is celebrated to worship lord Ganesha. Lord Ganesha also known as Ganapati is one of the most important gods in Hindu religion. Not only Hindus but he is worshipped in Jainism and Buddhism also. Shri Ganesh is worshipped as deity of wisdom, prosperity and good fortune. In marathi Shri Ganesh is known as “विघ्नहर्ता” Vighnharta – a remover of obstacles. Hence, he is worshipped at the beginning of any new venture or at the start of any religious functions. 

Family of Shri Ganesh
Lord Ganesha is the son of Goddess Parvati and Lord Shiva and he is brother of Kartthikeya – the god of war also known as Murugan in South India. Riddhi (goddess of prosperity) and Siddhi (goddess of spiritual power) are known as Ganapati’s wives. According to Shiv Puran Shubh and Labh are two sons of Ganapati, at some places people believe that Santoshi Ma (the goddess of satisfaction) is his daughter. Mount Kailash (कैलास / कैलाश पर्वत) is known as home of Lord Shiva and his family.

Birth Story of Shri Ganesh
One day Goddess Parvati was preparing for her bath at home on Mount Kailash. As she was alone and didn’t want to be disturbed she created an idol of a boy and breathed life into it.  He is the revered auspicious ‘Ganesha’.  Parvati instructs Ganesha to guard the home and not to let anyone inside.Ganesha was doing his duty obediently and stopping everyone to enter the home.

After sometime Lord Shiva returned to Kailasa and tried entering the home to meet Parvati, Ganesha stopped him too. They had long arguments. Many Shiva devotees, sage and seers, Gods gathered on Kailasa to request Ganesha to let lord Shiva in but he was firm on his stand. He insults them and challenges them for war. He fights with Shiva devotees, harasses sages and doesn’t listen to anyone. After this lord Shiva tried again to dialogue with Ganesha but Ganesha insulted him and challenged lord Shiva for war. Lord Shiva losing his temper beheaded Ganesha. Everyone was stunned with this incident, when goddess Parvati comes to know about the incident she came there and insists Shiva to revive Ganesha. When lord Shiva denied to revive Ganesha, Parvati took the destructive form of ‘Kali Ma’ and warned to destroy the universe. All deities requested Shiva to revive Ganesha for the interest of the universe. As it was impossible to revive Ganesha in original form, Shiva asked his devotees to bring the head of animal who is ready to give it willingly before sunset. Devotees found an elephant who was ready to give his head, his head was brought back and fixed to Ganesha’s body and this way Ganesha was revived. From this day Ganesha was known as ‘Gajanan’ or ‘Gajmukh’. Lord Shiva blessed Ganesha as he will be praised before any deities at the beginning of any new venture or at the start of any religious functions.

Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Festival 
In 1893, Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak transformed Ganesh festival into a public event to unite people and generate nationalistic fervour against the British Rule. Since then ‘Sarvajanik Ganesh Utsav’ has been celebrated all over Maharashtra. Public preparations of the festival began months before. Large Pandals / Mandapas being installed for the festival. Sarvajanik Ganesh Utsav is funded by public donations and sponsorships by business houses. People from all classes, caste and age come together to celebrate this festival. They decorate pandals with flowers and lighting. Many Pandals organise various social activities like health checkup camps, blood donation dives. Some Ganesh Mandals donate money to hospitals or help poor people in natural calamities.

List of some famous Ganeshotsav Mandals in Mumbai
Lalbaugcha Raja Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Mandal –
This one is the most popular and maximum visited Ganesh idol in Mumbai which is located in Lalbaug Market of Central Mumbai. The Ganesh Statue of Lalbaugcha Raja comprises a wonderful design that is patent protected. 

Ganesh Gali Mumbaicha Raja –
The Mumbaicha Raja of Ganesh Galli (Lane) is situated only a few lanes away from the Lalbaugcha Raja and is also very popular.

GSB Seva Mandal –
Ganesh idols of this group are the richest ones in Mumbai. This group sets their idol at King Circle, near Wadala.

Khetwadi Cha Ganraj –
Khetwadi Ganraj is one of the most stunning Ganesh idols of Mumbai.

Girgaon Cha Raja –
Located at Charni Road Railway Station, Girgaon Cha Raja is one of the most popular Ganesh Mandals of Mumbai city. It is famous as Girgaoncha Raja Ganpati that was founded by Ramchandra Tendulkar in 1938.

Chinchpokli Cha Raja –
Popularly known as Chinchpokli Cha Chintamani, Chinchpokli Cha Raja features the huge idol of Lord Ganesha and its pandal is decorated amazingly. Around 60% of the money collected by the mandal is spent on social services initiatives throughout the year.

Andhericha Raja –
Andhericha Raja has the same importance for the Mumbai suburbs what the Lalbaugcha Raja has for South Mumbai.

Sahyadri Krida Mandal –
Sahyadri Krida Mandal is another popular Ganesh mandal in Mumbai that is known for their unique decorations and themes on every Ganpati.

Bhandarkar Cha Raja Mandal –
The Ganesh mandal of Bhandarkar Road Sarvajanik Seva Samiti celebrates the Ganesh Chaturthi on a grand scale in the most amazing way.


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