By Pallavi Dhupia
Ganesh Chaturthi is now no more a symbolic festival of Maharastra. Ganesha, the famed god of fortuity is highly respected in all Hindu sects and communities. Ganesha Chaturthi is the day when Lord Ganesha, the son of Lord Shiva and Parvati was born. The day thus marks the auspicious birth of one of the most important Hindu God and Ganesha Chaturthi is one of the most important Hindu festivals in India.
In Udaipur, the festival is celebrated with great zeal and vigour by all Hindu communities. Not only Maharashtrians who are settled in the city are enthusiastic about tomorrow’s celebration but also all the other sects are ready to welcome the Ganesh Mahotsav. The festival has now travelled from coastal state of Maharashtra to Rajasthan and has also taken a beautiful shape here. Laddoo will be prepared in all homes as it is believed that Lord Ganesha is fond of it. Ganesha bejeweled with marigold flowers and adorned with lots of other flowers can be seen not only in the temples but also at various other places where they will be established tomorrow. The Temples are well decorated with different lights and flowers. Special arrangements have been made at Bohra Ganesh Temple where devotees will start coming from early morning. This day is also known as Vinayaka Chaturthi or Vinayaka Chavithi in many parts of the country. It is celebrated on the fourth day of waxing moon period in the month of Bhaadrapada according to the Hindu calendar. The festival is celebrated with immense enthusiasm in Maharashtra and all over India. The Story
Lord Shiva, the Hindu God of resolution, was away from Kailash due to some work. As Parvati was alone at home, she felt the necessity of some one to guard the door of her house while she took bath. So, she conceived of the idea of creating a son who could guard her. She then created Ganesha out of her sandalwood paste and breathed life into the idol. She then asked him to stand on the gate and do not allow any body to enter before she had come out. Unfortunately, Shiva returned home in the meantime. Ganesha did not recognize him and he stopped Shiva at the gate. This badly enraged Lord Shiva, who cut off Ganesha’s head by his trident. On seeing beheaded Ganesha, Parvati assumed the form of the Goddess Kali and threatened to destruct all the three worlds. The Earth, the Heaven and the Nether world, all were shaken and everybody ran to Shiva for help. In order to appease Parvati and save the world from destruction, Lord Shiva sent out his followers to find a child whose mother was facing another direction in negligence, cut off his head and brought it quickly. The first such child that came in the eyes of the Shiva’s followers was an elephant, so they brought the head of this elephant and Shiva placed it on the trunk of Parvati’s son and gave life into him making Parvati overwhelmed with happiness. Tradition
The beautifully decorated idol of Ganesha is placed in homes by devotees for 9 days with aarti, puja and religious sermons. Prayers are offered and devotees welcome Lord Ganesha with immense pleasure.On the day of Visarjan, devotees take Lord Ganesha and immerse the idols in lakes with lots of anticipation to welcome him next year.They wish that Lord Ganesha gives them all prosperity and good health.