Koni Prakash Naik,

The Tulu community of Oman celebrated Lord Ganesha’s festival at the Shiva Temple here recently under the auspices of Shree Ganesh Festival Committee Muscat.

Thousandas of devotees not only from Tulunadu, but from all over India, particularly from Karnataka state, thronged the Shiva temple and partook in the celebrations.

The year 2011 marks the 27th year of celebrations by the Tulu community in Oman.

The three day long celebration commenced on September 1.  Ganesh Chaturthi  is the birthday of Lord Ganesha, the son of Lord Shiva and Parvati. The festival is observed in the Hindu calendar month of Bhadrapada, starting on the shukla chaturthi (fourth day).

Various pooja rituals like Aarathi, Maha Pooja, Ranga Pooja, Pushparchane, were performed. Devotees sought the blessings of Lord Ganesha by offering 108 coconuts, modaka, laddu, kodu Bale, chakkuli  and the like.

The ceremonial couple for the celebration was Mallar Shashidhar Shetty and his wife.

Almost two quintals of fresh flowers of different varieties and colours were flown in from Bangalore, Mangalore and Mumbai. Fresh flower garlands of Mangalore Malige, Roses, Jasmine, Lotus, Kewra, Marigold, Zeenia, etc adorned the idol of Lord Ganesha on all the three days.

Right in front of the Mantap, a beautiful rangoli depicting Panchamukhi Lord Ganesha, was created by Paru Negandhi and Bijal Ved. The Rangoli design was replete with all the symbolic representation and ornate jewellery stones, bejeweled with stone necklaces.

Chauthi Fervor – Devotional Music and Dance

Devotional music strains diffused in the environs of the hall and the air reverberated with melodious keynotes from the harmonium, pulsating beat of the tabla and mridang, clankity clank of cymbals, plucking of strings of veena, rhythmic footsteps coupled with the bells of the anklets .

Popular bhajans like Vandipe Ninage Gana Natha, Jai Jai Ganapati Jai Ganesh, Gaja Mukhane Jayatu Gana Nathane, Mangala Shubhakari Mata Maheshwari, Maje Maher Pandari, Jai Ganesha Jai Ganesha Deva, Prathama Vandana, Namo Sharade, Neenyatako Ninna Hangyatako, Vinayaka Vinayaka, Pavamana, Om Namah Shivaya Om Namah Shivaya, Tuja Magato Mi Aata, Sharanu Sharuvayyo Gana Nayaka, Bhagyada Lakshmi Baramma were rendered and the session was concluded with mangala bhajan ‘Jaya Mangalam Nitya Shubha Mangalam.

The hall reverberated with the Vedic Chants by Vaidhyanathan and Group; Shukla Yajur Veda chanting Ghanam by A V Manohar. Devotional music resonated in the air with musical offerings by Om Shree Ganesha Vrinda, disciples of Anita Chandrakant, Meenakshi Group, Mata Amritanandamayi Bhajan Group, Oneness Group, Sai Devotees, Krishna Bhajan Group ,Chinmaya Bala Vihar Group, Maithri Vrinda Group, Divine Spark Group, Art of Living Group, Thyagaraja Samiti ,Muscat, Muscat GSB Group, Hare Krishna Group, Bhakthi Keerthan Mandali, Bharat Natyam dance performances were rendered by the disciples of Padmini Krishnamoorthy, Maithri Vrinda Children, Guru Premila Ramesh and disciples, Mahalakshmi Group and Odissi dance by Shreya Bangera and Group, Veena Recital by Chitra Ravi and disciples.

On all three days, Om Shree Ganesh Vrinda team consisting of Karunakar Rao, Koni Prakash Naik, Ashok Kotian, Kishore Kotemane, Nisha Anil, Prema Umesh, Shuba Bhat, Anil Kumar, Chethana Vishwanath and Driti Ravi Kanchan presented their musical offerings to Lord Ganesha.

The Finale

The finale of the three day celebration was the ritual of immersion. Amidst the repeated and befitting choral chants of ‘Ganpati Bappa Morya’ the immersion of the idol of Lord Ganesha was conducted.

Traditional Mangalorean cuisine was served as Prasad on all the three days and on the last day after immersion a sumptuous cuisine namely Moode, Payasa, Holige, Chitranna, Kodhel, Saar, Huli/ Sambar, Mosaru/Majjige (Curd/Butter Milk) were served on plantain leaves to all those who were present enhancing the flavour of the festival.

All the arrangements were impeccably coordinated and executed. The committee members along with a number of volunteers contributed to the proceedings of the three day festival with immense devotion. A group of children too volunteered and did their bit efficiently.

Prasada was distributed on all three days, both in the afternoon and night, after the Maha Pooja. It was catered by Raviraj Ballal, Swagath Group of Hotels and Mahesh Shetty.

Kanaksi Khimji and his wife, Sudhir and family and Ashwin Nensey and family were among
the merchant community, Krishnakumar Taori and family among others were present for the pooja.

The committee members, under the able guidance of the convenor Ramesh Shettigar, have impeccably conducted and devoted all their efforts undauntedly towards the proceedings of the three day long festival. The Muscat Ganesh Festival Committee comprises of Prakash Naik Koni, Ramanand Kunder, S K Poojary, Karunakar Rao, Ashok Kotian, Umesh Karkera, Shashidhar Shetty Mallar, Nagesh Shetty, Ravi Kanchan, Mangaldas Kamath, Gurudas Pejathaya, Shreenivas Shriyan, Dr Anchan C K and Kashinath N Anchan.