Ganesh Utsav fervour takes over The City

(K. Anurag Reddy)

HYDERABAD: The 10 day long Ganesh Utsav begins today and city has decked up to welcome its favourite Lord Ganesha. This year amongst the 75,000 plus Ganesh Pandals, there are few famous ones which hold the record for idols height, prominence, largest laddu etc.

Ganesha Chaturthi (also known as Vinayaka Chaturthi, Vinayaka Chavithi) is the Hindu festival celebrated in honour of the elephant headed god, Ganesha. As the festive spirit takes over the city the chants of ‘Ganpati Bappa Morya’ fill the air.

Lord Ganesha is also worshiped in Cambodia, Thailand, Afghanistan, Indonesia, Nepal and China.

Ganesha is the elder son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. Lord Ganesha is known by 108 different names and is considered the Deva of wisdom, prosperity and good fortune.

He is considered as the God of beginnings and is honoured at the start of ceremonies and rituals. He is also believed as the one who can remove all obstacles in the path of success.

There are 4 main rituals during the festival season: Pranapratishhtha – the process of infusing the deity into murti (idol), Shhodashopachara – paying 16 forms of tributes to Ganesha, Uttarpuja – puja after which the murti (idol) can be shifted after it’s infusion, Ganpati Visarjan – immersion of the murti (idol) in water.

Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated with great devotion, all over India. People bring home Ganesh idols which are available in sizes ranging from 3/4th of an inch to 25 feet tall and more. Devotees celebrate this festival by worshiping him in a special way for a day and a half, 3 days, 5 days, 7 days or 11 days depending upon the family tradition and commitments of each individual.

Devotees worship lord Ganesha and then on the last day of worship these idols are taken out in a musical and colourful procession and are immersed traditionally in a water body like sea, river, lake or pond.

A 58 foot Ganesh idol at Khairatabad was unveiled on Sunday. This year, the gigantic Ganesh idol has taken the avatar of Shakthi Peetham Shiva Nagendra Maha Ganapathi. Other popular Ganesh pandals in the city are  Balapur, Chaitanyapuri, Old City, Nagole, Kavadiguda, Secunderabad and Begum Bazaar.

Ganesh Idols get shorter this year as compared to previous years due to the Metro rail works. The bigger the Ganesha, the greater the pandal, that’s more or less the mantra followed by the Ganesh utsav committees. But this year, they’ll have to come up with new approaches to outdo each other, thanks to the ongoing metro construction work. After all, no one wants their Ganesha to get stuck in the myriad bottlenecks and over bridges that have come up on almost all the major city roads.

The things that Lord Ganesha loves the most on this special day are Modak, Duurva (Grass), Marigolds (Genda), Conch Shell (Shankh), Bananas, Coconuts and last but not the least Laddoos.

This year, the largest laddu weighs a massive 12,500 kilos which is from gajuwaka in Vizag. The auction of the famous Balapur laddu has been a much awaited annual tradition since the year 1994. It is said as the laddu of good fortune. In the year 2015, the 21 kg laddu fetched a whopping Rs.10.32 lakh. We’ll have to wait and see how much the Balapur’s laddu of good fortune fetches this year. This year’s Khairatabad’s Laddu weights 500 kg, Vijayawada’s largest Laddu weights 8,500 kg.

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