Category Archives: Ganesh Festival in Gujarat
The replica of Kailash and Mansarovar, the abode of Lord Shiva, on a 12,000 square feet area at hostel ground inBharuch is drawing huge crowd during the ongoing Ganesh festival since Wednesday. This concept is the brainchild of Nisarg Community Welfare Trust (NCWT) and a few other organizations.
One of the NCWT trustees Nareshbhai Thakkar said, “Only a few hundred are able to reach the abode of Lord Shiva at Kailash every year. Hence, we thought of creating a similar set here in Bharuch. We have created colourful mountains and also Mansarovar lake. Mount Kailash is shown under a cover of snow. The idol of Lord Ganesha has been placed between Gauri Kund and Om Mountain.”
He said that more than 40,000 people had visited the set in the first two days itself. The organizers expect over 2 lakh people to visit the site during the nine-day festival. For the cooling effect, 16 air-conditioners have been installed. The set has been kept open for all and there are no entry passes. The set has been made at a cost of Rs 25 lakh
Seventeen years after she married Yunus Ansari against her family’s wishes, a lot has changed for Rajeshree Naishetty, except her religion.
Rajeshree says that besides her’s, she applies to the Ganesh Utsav Samithi of Surat for permission to hold the puja in the name of Rehana and Arefa Shaikh.
Rajeshree, who runs Ekta Mahila Vikas Mandal in her area for the welfare of women from downtrodden sections of society, says several people from the two communities in the area participate in the puja organised by her.
“We celebrate Ganesh festival every year, which brings communal harmony in our area. Hindus and Muslims take part in puja and other activities in the pandal for 10 days. I wish festivals were celebrated in this manner across the country to develop a good bonding among people,” Rajeshree says.
She further says she celebrates festivals of both the religions with equal fervor and even observes fasts during the month of Ramzan.
Rajeshree says she and Yunus, who runs a textile business, got married after eloping 17 years ago. After the marriage, their families maintained a distance from the couple but they reunited after the birth of their first child Amena.
“I am happy with what I have got from my family and relatives,” says Rajeshree, adding that her in-laws never pressurised her to change her religion or customs.
Limbayat is not the lone area in the city where such communal harmony prevails.
If you have not seen Mumbai’s famous ‘Lal Baug ka Raja’ you can check out its lookalike in Ahmedabad. ‘Lal Baug Ka Raja, Ahmedabad Ka Maharaja’ was installed by the Krishna Mitra Mandal at Naranpura on Wednesday morning. The idol is nine feet tall and made of a mixture of clay and plaster of Paris (PoP).
The idol was gifted to the mandal by Sanjay Dabade and Santosh Kumar from Mumbai. This is the second year that the mandal has brought the lookalike of ‘Lal Baug Ka Raja’ to the city.
Speaking about the fresh elements this year, chairman of the trust Dharmesh Mehta said, “This year, we have introduced special facilities for children of Andhajan mandal and senior citizens of the Naranpura old age home. We have arranged a free pick-up and drop facility for their darshan.”
He also said that a series of cultural activities has been planned for 10 days of the Ganesha festival. “We have arranged for Gujarati folk dance and retro dance competition, Daayro, Gujarati ghazal program, hi-tech laser show and bhajan sandhya for 10 days.”
‘Lalbaugcha Raja’ is a popular ganesh idol in Mumbai. Lakhs of devotees throng the mandal to get a darshan of the beautifully decorated Ganesha idol. It is believed that the lord is a fulfiller of wishes, and lakhs of devotees wait for days in queues to touch the feet of the Elephant God.
Around 50 lakh devotees throng for the darshan of ‘Lalbaugcha Raja’ every year.
Amdavadis Meena and Sandeep Damre have created an eco-friendly Ganesha out of palm leaves with the help of their children Sravishta and Renesh. The couple has been making eco-friendly idols since 2000. “Ganpati festival is a good time for children to learn about climate change and global warming and the need to stop abusing the environment,” says Meena.
The couple has been making eco-friendly Ganesh using natural material like clay, leaves, flour, puffed rice, fruits and vegetables. Ganesha idols that are immersed in rivers and lakes are made mostly of Plaster of Paris (PoP) which does not dissolve in water, while the dyes and paints used on the idols release harmful substances like lead, mercury, arsenic and cadmium.
“According to our ancient traditions, only plain clay was used to make Ganesha idols. However, the facts that PoP costs less and is lighter had started a different trend,” Sandeep adds.
Lord’s message: Keep politics clean
The bright Ganesha with orange-red hues at Bhimjipura Crossroads in Nava Wadaj is an eye-catcher. This idol is made of buckets, tumblers, brushes and myriad other tools which are used to clean. In fact, this Ganpati also has a washing machine!
“This year the theme is cleanliness in general and in politics in particular,” said Tushar Tapodhan, a former make-up artist and one of the brains behind the idol. Interestingly, while this Ganesha made of plastic buckets and tumblers is not exactly eco-friendly, what helps it stake a claim is the fact that the organizers will not take this idol for immersion. “We never immerse our Ganesh idols but donate it to charity. Since these are pieces of art, they are lapped up by organizations and used as exhibits in institutes. Last year we had made Ganpati on the theme of Swarnim Gujarat which was donated to the Gujarat Cancer Hospital,” said Tapodhan.
While piety-gripped Amdavadischant Ganpati Bappa Morya on Wednesday, idols making space in city homes is also expected to reach mammoth proportions today.Guesstimates peg a total of more than 1,50,000 statues of the Lord that are likely to grace Amdavadis’homes from Wednesday.
Looking at the sales figures ofGulbai Tekra alone, it seems likely that city worshippers of the god of wisdom, prosperity and good fortune, have also bought their deity’s idols from other cities too.
On Tuesday, idol makers of Gulbai Tekra, considered hub of idol-making in the city, was seen making brisk business. ‘Hollywood’ as it is popularly called, saw massive footfalls on Tuesday with devotees indulging in the last minute purchase of idols in the narrow lanes.
Despite facing low demand compared to last year, each idol maker, on an average was able to sell around 50-100 idols. “I had made 150 idols of plaster of paris (PoP) and have managed to sell around 70% of them till now. I am hoping that my finish my stock looking at the crowd,” saidArjunbhai, an idol maker at Gulbai Tekra.
Gulbai Tekra alone has around 1,200 idol makers and is the single largest supplier of Ganesha idols to the city as well other parts of the state. According to a rough estimate, around 90% of the total idols of the city are supplied by Gulbai Tekra. Every idol maker at Gulbai Tekra made around 50-100 idols, out of which, 60% were sold before Tuesday.
Another idol maker, Govindbhai said that he had made around 50 idols and had already sold 25 of them.
Gulbai Tekra was not the only place selling Ganesha idols as Sabarmatijail inmates also did good business. Most of their idols had been sold by Tuesday. Talking about the idols sold, Sabarmati jail superintendent, RJParghi said, “Ten prisoners had made 250 idols of clay ranging from 2 to 8 feet. We did a good business this year as around 200 idols have already been sold.”
Some ardent followers have not kept their horizon limited to city alone as they have gone on idol hunting spree to as far as Mumbai and many other places. Cities like Vadodara, Mumbai and others have also received orders from the Amdavadis for their favourite lord. One such mandal in Maninagararea has placed order for a huge idol from Mumbai. “We have ordered huge idol from Mumbai measuring 11-feet to give it an entirely different look,” saidParag Naik, member of Shree Shivshakti Yuvak mandal.
VADODARA: Diamonds are forever and many yearn to possess one and keep it for life. But a group of youths from Gotri area of the city will immerse a diamond-studded Ganesh idol in the sea at Somnath. The three-foot idol that has four original diamonds is worth Rs 19 lakh.
Ahmedabad: Thousands of Sthanakwasi Jain devotees thronged Upashrayas on Thursday for performing pratikraman rituals on the occasion of Samvatsari. Another sect, Derawasi Jains, will perform the ritual on Friday and end their fast on Saturday morning.
Vishok Jain, a volunteer of Shalibhadra Jain group, was among the devotees who performed pratikraman on Thursday. He said, “Around 1300 devotees attended the pratikraman and actively participated in it. In the evening, we asked each other for forgiveness by saying ‘Micchami Dukkaddam.”
After Samvatsari, devotees will break their fast in Upashrays by consuming sweet water on Friday morning. This ritual will be followed by celebrations in Jain houses.
However, Derawasi Jains will observe Samvatsari on Friday. Speaking on the importance of Samvatsari for Sthanakvasi Jains, president of Kutchi Jain Sewa Samaj, Ashok Mehta, said, “Those who could not fast for eight days, observed fast for a single day on Samvatsari. We consider the day very auspicious. Nowadays Sthanakwasi Jains opt for single day of fasting and end their fast after Samvatsari.”
Do rituals performed by Derawasi Jains on Samvatsari differ from Sthanakwasi Jains? Mehta said, “Apart from minor differences, there is hardly any difference in pratikraman and the morning ritual. Tomorrow, Jain devotees will gather at Upashrays, perform pratikraman and say ‘Micchammi Dukkaddam’.
Vadodara: High cost of Lord Ganesh idols has not dampened the spirit of the ongoing ten-day Ganesh festival celebrations in Gujarat.The price rise this year was due to 15 to 50 per cent hike in rates of materials like Plaster of Paris (PoP), colours and transportation expenses, said J Mistry, an idol maker.Another reason was non-availability of raw materials for PoP from the neighbouring Rajasthan, where heavy rains forced closure of mines and factories, he said.However, the high input cost did not affect idol sales in Vadodara and other parts of central and south Gujarat like Bharuch, Surat, Panchmahals, Anand, Dohad, Dangs, Bulsar, Navsari, and also Union Territory of Diu, Dadranagar Haveli and Daman, traders said.”A huge number of idols of Lord Ganesh have been installed across the state,” sources in Ganesh Idol Makers Association of Gujarat said.Ashok Ajmeri, an idol maker, said “about 1,800 Lord Ganesh idols have been installed in public places in the Vadodara city alone.” The idol prices ranged between Rs 400 and Rs 10,000.PTI COR
By Chaitra Devarhubli, DNA
The various Ganesh mandals of the city have planned a grand Ganeshotsav this year.
They have planned events – competitions, performance by mimics, daayro singing, and several others – that will be held at most mandals for over 10 days beginning Thursday.
The venues where idols of Lord Ganesh will be installed have been tastefully decorated on different themes.
The Umasut Sarvajanik Mitra Mandal of Vasna, for instance, has planned a number of events such as Sangeet Sandhya, daayro, and comedy and mimicry performances for the festival this year.
The mandal expects to attract huge crowds this year as well. An office-bearer of the Mitra mandal told DNA they would be having an eco-friendly idol this time.
“And, like last year, we will have mimicry shows. This time we have also planned daayro singing and performance of music but the schedule has not been decided yet,” he said.
Devotees can see the tallest Ganesh idol of the city in Maninagar. It measures 21 feet in height and has been installed by Shiv Shakti Yog Mandal of Dakshini Society, Maninagar.
The unique thing about the idol is that it is made of one lakh rudraksh beads. The Mandal organizes events during Ganesh festival every year.
An office-bearer of the Mandal, Parag Naik, told DNA that they would be holding a number of competitions, including rangoli and mehndi competitions for women.
“Incidentally, we never immerse the idol but gift it to a trust. We have identified 3-4 trusts who can be gifted the idol but the name of the trust which will get it is a secret, ” Naik said.
If you go still further in Maninagar, you can see another eco-friendly Ganesh idol. This one has been installed by Shree Sarvajanik Ganesh Utsav Mandal of Shreepadwadi Dakshini Society.
Executive member of the mandal, Ravindra Akolkar, said that they had decorated the idol in the style of an ancient fort.
The Orissa Socio-Cultural Association will have Ganpati installed only for a single day and will have a cultural programme on Thursday evening.
Vadodara: Corruption and Anna Hazare are the favourite themes at Ganpati tableaux. Mandals or pandal organisers in the city are known to embrace issues that are widely discussed or debated and make decorations or backgrounds using them as theme. In the past the Godhra carnage, terror attacks, Sohrabuddin murder case and similar issues have been recreated by pandals. Some have even made comments on these through audio-visual presentations.
At least three pandals in Vadodara and one in Godhra have raised the issue of corruption and included Anna Hazare in it. Shri Balaji Navyuvak Mandal at Ghee Kanta Road in Raopura has used images of tainted persons like DMK‘s Kanimozhi and A Raja, Suresh Kalmadi as well as suspended Vadodara Municipal Corporation city engineer V N Taylor in its pandal.
The pandal even raises the issue of corruption in the city survey department, roads and in school admissions as donations. Kirad Modi, one of the organisers of the pandal, said that people need to become more aware and should start resisting corruption. “Pandals have always raised such key issues and we are doing the same this time around,” he said. And Anna seems to show the way ahead appearing prominently in the background of Ganesha.