A Peek Into History: Who Started Ganesh Chaturthi Festival In Which Year?
- The 10-day Ganesh Chaturthi festival is celebrated across India with zest and fervour. Not just in Maharashtra, the festival is also celebrated across India in states like Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Goa, Telangana, Gujarat and Chhattisgarh. Lord Ganesha idols are brought home with a lot of pomp and splendour and worshippers chant his name and sing devotional songs.
- But have you ever wondered when did the puja start? Who started it? Where did it start? If you have these questions in your mind, here we have the answer for you:
- The much-celebrated Ganesh Chaturthi was started by freedom fighter and social reformer Bal Gangadhar Tilak in the year 1893 in Pune, Maharashtra. A private festival at homes earlier, he used the occasion and turned it into a public event after visualising its cultural importance for uniting Indians and enhancing a sense of belongingness amongst them.
Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak
- The places where Ganpati puja was started still have carried forward the legacy. Tambdi Jogeshwari Ganpati, Tulshibaug Ganpati, Kesari Wada Ganpati in Pune see a record number of people visiting the deity every year. Tilak was associated with the Ganpati at Kesari Wada Ganpati in Pune. It has two idols, one that has been retained and the other is the new Ganpati that is brought to the pandal every year for the festival.
- Tilak, who was an ardent nationalist, had foreseen that people had to unite if India had to attain independence. He also made the festival a mass celebration to bridge the gap between Brahmins and non-Brahmins.
- Since the Britishers had almost forbidden social and political gatherings, the celebration served as a meeting point for all communities.
- He started the tradition of worshipping a clay idol of Lord of Wisdom and the festival lasted for 10 days. In that span, several leaders gave nationalistic speeches and also held cultural programmes. Not just Hindu leaders, Muslim leaders would also use the occasion to give speeches against the foreign rulers and to evoke nationalism.
- The Ganesh Chaturthi festival; became a rallying point for protest against the British rule as it evoked nationalism.
- Later, Ganesh Utsav committees were formed to collect funds and organise the event and by 1905, it was a full-fledged national festival.
- This year, Ganesh Chaturthi began on September 2 and will Ganesh Visarjan is on September 12.
Ganesh Chaturthi: Know More About the Festival
- Ganesha also called Ganapati, an elephant-headed god, is traditionally worshipped before the commencement of anything important. Ganesh Chaturthi is one of the major festivals of India. It is observed mostly by Hindu people as the birth anniversary of Lord Ganesha, who is believed to be powerful enough to eliminate all obstacles and bestow good luck.
- In general, people bring an idol of Lord Ganesha to their home and worship it for a period of days counted in odd numbers and on the 3rd, 5th, 7th 9thor 11th day the grand visarjan occurs. This visarjan or immersion of Lord Ganesha in some water body is a musical and colorful procession. This process of worshipping is done in different styles in different parts of the country.
- Basically, in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated at a large scale. The tallest Ganesha in the country is the Khairtabad Ganesha in Hyderabad. When the festival is organized by some local party or club of Hyderabad, they prefer to bring in giant size idols of Lord Ganesha and continue with music, dance, and other cultural shows or events for 11 long days. This non-stop celebration is a lively one and people really look forward to spending some time with their loved ones.
- Funds are collected from public or donations are given by rich people. The idols or statues of Lord Ganesha are then brought into mandaps or pandals and a series of cultural programs are followed. During the duration which they choose tokeep the idol befor immersion. The whole city is colorfully decorated and the face of Lord Ganesha is covered and will be revealed by a priest as the Pujas begins.
- Coming to the food during the festival, no festive occasion is complete without sweets and so is Ganesha Chaturthi Modak and Ladoo . These are Lord Ganesha’s most favorite foods. As a result, these are the important offering to Lord Ganesha. Traditionally, modak has sweet stuffing made from coconut and jaggery.
- Puran poli stuffed Indian bread. Outer layer in made from whole wheat flour (atta) and stuffing is made from lentil-jaggery.Various other dishes are also prepared during this festive occasion.
- The festive occasion of the immersion of Lord Ganesha is also known as Ganesh Nimajjanam in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.