Category Archives: Ganesh Festival in Bihar
Mandals were on Tuesday busy giving final touches to the preparation for the celebration of Ganesh Chaturthi beginning Wednesday.
Established in Patna in 1951, the Maharashtra Mandal is as usual busy reliving the Maharashtrian spirit on Serpentine Road. “We have been celebrating this festival here every year for the last six decades,” Mandal organizer Vasant Suryavanshi said.
Spread over 2,400sqft, their ‘pandal’ has a 5-ft Ganesh idol, brought from Mumbai, installed in it. The idol is a replica of Mumbai’s famous ‘Lalbaugcha Raja’. “We have only 50 families as our members who help in the preparations. We celebrate the festival for only seven days unlike Mumbai that celebrates it for 11 days,” Suryavanshi said and added the deity in their ‘pandal’ would be adorned with silver ornaments.
Pandit Ashok Soman of the Maharashtrian community will perform the ‘prana pratishtha’ ritual at 10am on Wednesday and the celebration will commence with ‘aarti’ and distribution of ‘prasad’. The ‘aarti’ will be held at 8.30am and at 8pm every day. Various cultural programmes will also be organized which will include dance, singing and games events. A ‘ladies’ special’ programme will be organized on Friday.
“More than 500 devotees take part in the procession on the ‘maha prasad’ day on the concluding day of the celebrations. This year the procession will start at 4pm on September 25 and will go to the Collectorate Ghat via the Dak Bungalow crossing, Bhattacharya Road and Kadamkuan. It will be led by a group of musicians from Mumbai,” Suryavanshi said.
Danapur-based Rising Club Vyapar Sangh has been celebrating Ganesh Chaturthi since 1990. Pt Shambhu Nath Jha will lead a team of five priests to perform the ‘prana pratishtha’ ritual for the 10-ft idol of Lord Ganesh at its ‘pandal’ at 6pm on Wednesday.
Along with the idol of Lord Ganesha, this 400sqft ‘pandal’ is also housing 7-ft idols of Siddhi-Riddhi, Lord Shiva, Lord Krishna, Lord Hanuman and Sai Baba. The idols have been sculpted by Haalu Ghosh of West Bengal. The celebrations at this ‘pandal’ will continue for ten days.
Though cultural programmes have not been organized here, a small fair with stalls of clothes, handicrafts, accessories, swings and food is being organized.
“A large number of devotees visit our ‘pandal’ every year and offer ‘khadau’, or footwear, and umbrella made of silver as their wishes are fulfilled by Lord Ganesh,” said Sangh president Om Prakash Yadav.
Ganesha Chaturthi will also be celebrated at several other places, including temples, in the city.
Danapur, situated on the outskirts of the state capital, is all set to worship Lord Ganesha in a grand manner as ‘Ganesh Chaturthi’, Maharashtra‘s most famous festival, draws near. “Though there are many places across Bihar where this festival is celebrated, it is only at Danapur that it is celebrated in a big way, with over one lakh people visiting the place and offering their prayers before Lord Ganesha during the 10-day celebration,” said Om Prakash Yadav, one of the organizers in the suburban town.
Yadav, who is general secretary of the Rising Club and Business Association, Danapur, said they are again busy making arrangements for the celebration of the festival with religious fervour and gaiety.
“We are celebrating this festival every year since 1990 and every year thousands of people come here to make ‘mannat’ (wish) before the Lord. A large many come to offer silver ‘khadau’ (footwear) and umbrella to Him after their ‘mannat’ is fulfilled. We believe that Lord Ganesha visits this pandal every year and all the ‘mannats’ of devotees are heard and fulfilled by him,” said Parshuraam, secretary of the association.
This year, on September 19, the idols of Lord Ganesha along with Siddhi-Riddhi, Lord Shiva, Lord Krishna, Lord Hanuman and Sai Baba would be placed in the pandal spread over 400 square feet. Haalu Ghosh, an idol maker from Krishnanagar, West Bengal, who is in this craft for the last 25 years, is busy making a lifelike clay idol of Lord Ganesha for the last two months.
“The size of Ganesh idol will be 10 feet while the remaining idols will be of seven feet each,” said Ghosh, adding, “We have bought the clothes of these idols from Patna while their jewellery would be made out of clay.” All the decoration on the wooden throne, on which the idols of these deities would be placed, will be of clay. The contract for preparation of the wooden thrones for these idols has been given to a Danapur-based carpenter, Amit Kumar.
On the first day of the Puja on September 19, priest Shambhu Jha along with four more priests, all clad in dhoti and shawl, would invoke life into the idol of Lord Ganesha amid the chanting of mantras. “This ritual is called ‘pranpratistha’. After this, the usual Ganesh vandana, aarti and puja will be done in morning and evening for the next 10 days. Though we do follow the procedure mentioned in ‘Ganesha Purana’, we don’t follow the Maharashtrian rituals; we celebrate it in Bihar style. For 10 days, at the mandap, the celebration will kick off every day with the chanting of mantras and prayers offered by priests. On the last day, an ‘aarti’ will be held. It will continue till evening and conclude with a ‘hawan’, after which priests will shake the edge of the throne of Lord Ganesha symbolizing that now he can go and is no more present at that place,” said Yadav.
On the 11th day, the idol will be taken through the streets of Danapur in a procession consisting of thousands of people shouting “Ganapati Bappa Morya, Purchya Varshi Laukariya” (O father Ganesha, come again next year) and accompanied with dance and music. Finally, the idols would be immersed in the Ganga at Peepa pul ghat, symbolizing a ritual send-off to the Lord.
During this 10-day-long festival, the committee will also organize a small fair having stalls of clothes, handicrafts, accessories and food items, and swings for the entertainment of visiting devotees. They will get laddoo, til, suji ka halwa and elaichi dana as ‘prasad’.
The puja has been organized in the Maharashtra Mandal hall at Daroga Rai Path. An illuminating and awe-striking idol of Ganesha has been installed for the occasion. “The idol was brought from Mumbai,” Ashok Suman of Maharashtra Mandal said and added the celebrations are held here every year with same gaiety and fervour.
Besides being a religious event, it is also an occasion for various Marathi families based in Patna to meet each other.
Beginning September 11, an `aarti’ of Lord Ganesha is being held here every morning and evening. It is followed by distribution of delicious sweets of varied hues. “Lord Ganesha is specially fond of `modak’, `puran poli‘, `panch khadya’ (dry fruits) and `kheer’ made on this occasion,” a devotee said and added `dubbhi’ and `laddoos’ are also offered to Lord.
The celebration lasts between one and a half day to nine days in Maharashtra. “Ours is a 7-day event,” Suman said.
“We invite all in the neighbourhood to offer puja at each other’s house and share the `prasad’,” said Shalini and Kedar Burande, a Marathi couple working here.
The number of Marathi families settled in Patna has declined during the last few years. There are still many families of professionals, bureaucrats and bankers who reside in Patna __ albeit temporarily. There are few others who settled in Patna long ago. Called Bombaywallahs, they are into the business of gold purification.
“Bombaywallahs are known for their honesty and integrity among jewellers here,” said Suman whose father came to Bihar in 1926.