Lord Ganesha is considered one of the major deities in our culture. He is referred to as Vighnaharta or the remover of obstacles. His enormous Maya is such that generally, before indulging in any positive activity, a Ganesha Puja is conducted in our culture. He is one of those Gods who is also considered a harbinger of good luck, joy, and happiness.
Ganesha Chaturthi, also known as Vinayaka Chaturthi, is a festival that has gained immense significance in Indian culture over time, and the reasons for this lies in both our history and legends. Celebrated with an amazing sense of grandeur, on Ganesh Chaturthi Pooja, people can be seen bursting with ecstasy and joy from within. Ganesh Chaturthi is the birthday of Vighnaharta.
This Indian festival is more like a grand fiesta of Indian cultural ethos as it involves a lot of rituals and customs to please the Lord.
History of Ganesh Chaturthi
If we see Ganesh Chaturthi's history, it can be traced back to the Mughal-Maratha wars as well as during the time of the Indian freedom struggle - the time of Lokmanya Tilak.
He stood with the decision of Sarvajanik Ganesha Utsav in his own newspaper Kesari. During both these times, the idols of Lord Ganesha were used as a motivational factor to boost the confidence of Indians to fight against the Britishers and Mughals.
Furthermore, he is also considered to be the God who successfully bridged the gap between Brahmins and Non-Brahmins, as he is worshipped in both communities with an equal amount of divine reverence.
As the story behind Ganesh Chaturthi, the celebrations of this major Hindu festival were started by the great Maratha King, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. This festival represents the richness of the Hindu religion and its significance. The birth story of Lord Ganesha, the son of Goddess Parvati and Lord Shiva, is quite interesting. One day, Goddess Parvati used sandalwood waste to create Lord Ganesha and asked him to stand guard while she was taking a bath. Lord Shiva returned while she was gone, but Ganesha refused him entry as per his mother, Parvati’s order. Lord Shiva got enraged and cut off Ganesha’s head. When Goddess Parvati came to know about the incident, she threatened to destroy the world. Lord Shiva immediately ordered his gana to visit Earth and look for a baby’s head whose mother was sleeping with her back to him. After a lot of searches, his gana came across an elephant mother who was sleeping with her back to her son. They cut off the head of the baby and brought it to Lord Shiva. The Elephant baby’s head was placed on Ganesha’s body and brought back to life. Lord Shiva blessed the baby and declared that every auspicious work on the Earth would begin only after praying to Lord Ganesha.
The earliest records of Lord Ganesha can be traced back to the Rigveda, which fundamentally implies he was a seer among the seers. This is no hidden fact that the Lord is known for his knowledge and wisdom. Lord Ganesha is also referred to as Gam Ganapataye, which means he is the supreme lord who presides over all the forms of creation.
Date, Time, & Venue of Ganesh Chaturthi Festival
The festival of Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated in Bhadra as per the Hindu calendar. It usually falls in the months of August or September. The festival continues for 10-12 days and culminates on the day of Anant Chaturdashi. Although the festival is celebrated all across the country, Mumbai witnesses celebrations on a massive scale.
Major Attractions Of Ganesha Chaturthi
1. Idol Installation. On the auspicious occasion of Ganesha Chaturthi, the idols of the Lord are installed in the houses of people.
2. Sweet Offerings. During this period which stretches to around 10 days, he is offered a lot of delicacies, flowers, and also his favourite Modaks. People spend days preparing for Ganpati decorations at home.
3. Processions. The whole country celebrates Ganesh Utsav with great zeal owing to which grand processions are carried out locally on the streets. People go crazy in their devotion by singing, dancing, and welcoming the Lord.
4. Idol Immersion. On the 11th day of the Ganesh Festival, Ganesh visarjan takes place. The idols of Lord Ganapati are immersed in the nearby water bodies bidding the Lord goodbye and asking him to come again the next year. The chants of’ Ganapati Bappa Moriya, Agle Baras Tu Jaldi Aa’ reverberates in the sky.
Mumbai is an interesting urban travel getaway where one can hope to witness a wide variety of festivals and events along with travel getaways; Ganesh Chaturthi is one of them. It is the financial capital of the country and is well-connected with the rest of the country through major modes of transportation. Let’s see how you can reach Mumbai by the following routes mentioned below.
Nearest Major City. Mumbai
Nearest Airport. Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport
Nearest Railway Station. Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus and Mumbai Central Station
The Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (BOM), formerly known as the Sahara International Airport, is the major airport serving Mumbai and its nearby areas. After Delhi, this airport is known to be the 2nd busiest airport in all of India as it handles copious amounts of domestic as well as international traffic. Many airlines operate to and fro Mumbai with good connectivity. While deboarding at the airport, it is important for you to know that it has two terminals.
Terminal 1 is the domestic terminal which is alternatively known as Santa Cruz Airport. The second terminal is called Terminal 2 and handles the international flights to and fro Mumbai Airport. On a yearly basis, this terminal is known for handling 40 million passengers (this is an approx figure).
Distance from Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport. 6.7 km
Depending upon your location, you can also travel to Mumbai via roadways. Mumbai city is well connected with fairly well-maintained road networks. Here is how you can reach here by the following routes. You can also consider travelling via interstate buses to reach Mumbai. Mumbai Central Bus Station is the primary bus terminus situated in the centre of the city. From this terminus, buses (luxury, semi-luxury, passenger, or express) of MSRTC (Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation) operate to and fro on a fairly regular basis connecting nearby cities.
Distance From Pune. 150 km via Mumbai-Pune Highway
Distance From Aurangabad. 368 km via NH160 or Nasik Highway
Distance From Panaji. 571 km via NH48 or NH66
Distance From Mangalore. 893 km via NH48 or NH52
Distance From Ratnagiri. 454 km via NH66 or Nh48
Distance From Goa. 582 km via NH48
Distance From Delhi. 1416 km
Distance From Hyderabad. 710 km
Distance From Kolkata. 2219 km
Distance From Bengaluru. 984 km
The city of Mumbai is well-linked by a fairly prominent network of railway lines. If you are coming from Central, Western or Eastern parts of Mumbai, then you should deboard at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus. However, if you are coming from the northern side of Mumbai, then you must consider deboarding at the Mumbai Central Station first. After deboarding, you will need to cover the remaining distance via some means of public transportation like a cab, bus, auto.
Frequently Asked Questions About Ganesh Chaturthi Festival
Ques 1. Why is the Ganesh Chaturthi festival celebrated? A 1. Celebrated with an amazing sense of grandeur, on Ganesh Chaturthi Pooja, people can be seen bursting with ecstasy and joy from within. Ganesh Chaturthi is the birthday of Vighnaharta.
Ques 2. When is Ganesh Chaturthi celebrated? A 2. The festival of Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated in Bhadra as per the Hindu calendar. It usually falls in the months of August or September.
Ques 3. What are the major highlights of the Ganesh Chaturthi Festival? A 3. On the auspicious occasion of Ganesha Chaturthi, the idols of the Lord are installed in the houses of people. During this period which stretches to around 10 days, he is offered a lot of delicacies, flowers, and also his favourite Modaks.
Ques 4. Who started celebrating Ganesh Chaturthi and why? A 4. The celebration of Ganesh Chaturthi festival was started by Shivaji Maharaj, the great Maratha King, to celebrate the birth of Vighnaharta.
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