Ganesh Chaturthi

From: India Festivals and Events 2016-2017

See also: Marine DriveMumbai Goa and the West Coast

Ganesh Chaturthi
The Ganesh Chaturthi Festival is a celebration of Lord Ganesh's birthday, who is depicted as having an elephants head and is known to be the god of wisdom and prosperity. It is his blessing that is called upon each year by Hindus to help fulfill their goals and desires.

Ganesh Chaturthi is depicted with having an elephants head which as legend has it was given to him after his own was chopped off by his father Lord Shiva who did not realize that Ganesh was actually his son, who was created by the Goddess Parvati.

The legend goes that Ganesh was created by Parvati out of sandlewood dough which she used to use for her bath, after bringing him life Ganesh stood guard so that Parvati could have a bath, it was then that Lord Shiva returned and Ganesh not realizing who he was refused him entry, Lord Shiva in the meantime also not realizing that Ganesh was his son was so enraged that he chopped off Ganesh's head. When Parvati realized that her son was dead she pleaded with Lord Shiva to bring him back to life and so Lord Shiva replaced Ganesh's head with that of an elephant.

Every year new idols of Ganesh are carefully and intricately designed by devotees and can reach anywhere between a few inches to 10 to 30 meters in height.

During the festival these idols are then carefully transported often surrounded by flowers upon richly decorated floats to be immersed in the sea as a means of sending Lord Ganesh off on his journey. This unique procession is all the while being accompanied by plenty of singing, drumming, chanting and devotion along with requests that he return soon.

This widely celebrated festival takes place in the lunar month of Bhadrapada which is around August/ September time and lasts for around 7 to 10 days beginning on the fourth day of the waxing moon cycle.

The Ganesh Chaturthi Festival is celebrated throughout many parts of India, such as at Girgaum Chowpatty, Marine Drive in Mumbai.

Travel Guide
Many areas of India are very accessible by plane, train and bus.