Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated on Badhrapadha Shukla Chaturthi (fourth day of the waxing moon period) and it ends on Anant Chaturdasi, 10 days after. It usually falls in between 19th August and 20th September.
While the festival is celebrated all over India, it is celebrated the most in Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, and Goa. This festival is known for the setting up of peculiar Pandals on the roads with huge Ganesh idols in them, delicious foods like laddu (kudumu in Telugu, which is a dumpling), processions, and visarjan. This festival is celebrated with a huge pomp and show in Pune, Mumbai, and Hyderabad.
The exact date or year of the beginning of these celebrations is unclear. However, it is a known fact that this festival was celebrated largely during the reign of Shivaji, in Pune. The Peshwas, who came later, encouraged these celebrations. Ganesh Chaturthi later picked up momentum when Lokmanya Balgangadhar Tilak, saw in it an opportunity to unite his people for independence struggle. Ever since, it is being celebrated in Maharashtra and its neighboring states as a colossal festivity.
When it comes to Ganesh Chturthi, one thing that all celebrations have in common is the sound of the Dhol. The sound is catchy, rhythmic, and does have some divine effect. This dhol features a lot on the streets of Maharashtra during these 11 days.
A festival of this massive a scale deserves to be witnessed by all. So here are a few places one could visit during this season.
1. Dagduseth Halwai Ganpathi is the first place every Puneri suggests you to go to during Ganesh Chturthi’s 11 days. This Ganapati Temple in Pune was founded by Shrimant Dagduseth a rich sweet trader in 1893. It is located near the famous Shaniwarwada fort and this particular Ganpati attracts lakhs of devotees every year. New attire is offered to the Ganesh idol every year and is taken out in a procession in a magnificent chariot. Each year, the replicas of famous temples, sculptures and holy places, are created for these celebrations.
2. Lalbaugcha Raja is the popular public Ganesh idol kept at Lalbaug, a well-known locality in Mumbai during Ganesh festival. Founded in 1934, it is believed that this Idol of Lord Ganesha is Navsacha Ganpati (the fulfiller of all wishes) and hence around 1.5 million people or more visit this Ganesh Pandal daily during the 11 days. This pandal was founded during freedom struggle hence becomes historically important for the Indians.
3. The largest Ganesh Idol in the world is installed at the Khairtabad State Library in Hyderabad, during the Ganesh festival. Local people and lakhs of others from all over the country participate in the 11-day festival to seek blessings of Lord Ganesha. The Singari’s family has been conducting this festival here since 1954. Three months before the festival day, the construction of the idol begins. Nearly 200 workers lead by a sculptor work day and night to construct the biggest idol, which is nearly 55 feet tall and only increases year on year. On the 11th day, a big procession takes place and the idol is carried to the Hussain Sagar Lake where it is immersed.
Writer is a student at SIMC