Ever since Ganesh Chaturthi was celebrated as Sarvajanik (public) Ganeshotsav by my great grandfather Lokmanya Balgangadhar Tilak in Pune in 1894, it has always been a Rashtriya (national) Utsav.
Even today, it should not be seen as religious celebrations, but a national festivity that gathers people of all caste, creed and religion together.
Lord Ganesha - the Hindu deity in a human form but with the head of an elephant - represents the power of the Supreme Being that removes obstacles and ensures success in human endeavors. For this reason, Hindus worship Ganesha first before beginning any religious, spiritual or worldly activity. In Hindu mythology, Lord Ganesha is the first son of Lord Shiva and the Divine Mother Parvati.
He is regarded as the Lord of success, wisdom prosperity and the destroyer of evils and obstacles. Lord Ganesha is invoked at the beginning of any journey, wedding ceremony and enterprise.
Ganesh Chaturthi acts as the perfect platform for people to come together, share camaraderie and exercise
devotion to God.
The festival in India, over decades, has gained immense popularity and preparations begin months in advance.
Sculptors who create the idols vie with one other to make bigger and better sculptures. Devotees playing trumpets,
cymbals, drums and flutes welcome the arrival of the elephant God, with open arms. The festival begins with the
setting up of magnificently carved Ganesha idols in the sacred corners of the homes and mandaps that are
artistically decorated, illustrating religious themes or current events. Prayer services are offered daily
Ganesha idols are crafted out in Ganesh Festival of various materials including :
Clay, Plaster of Paris, Stone,Wood,Ashtadhatu,Brass,Sphatik/Crystal,Parad/Mercury and fruits, dry fruits and so many things
The height and weight of Ganesha idols vary depending on the materials used for making them.
There are various styles of Ganesha idols including :
Deepak Ganesha Idol : In this type of idol, Lord Ganesha is represented as wearing a crown. The base of the idol has five cups or diyas where oil lamps can be lit. These idols are mainly made of brass and look very beautiful with an antique finish.
Panchmukha Ganesha Idol : Panchmukhi means having five faces. In some ancient scriptures, Ganesha is depicted as having five heads. This type of Ganesha idol is very popular in South India and is mainly worshipped for good luck and prosperity. These idols are also carved in brass. : Standing , dancing, sitting and in role of Shri Krishna, Sai baba, Dattatreya, Hanuman etc.
I have snaped during this Ganesh festival so many facets of Lord Ganesha which you can see here in my blog.