Time to celebrate the birth of the Elephant-headed God!
I visited my home town Nagpur, for the first couple of days of this 10 day long birthday party! 😀
I took this picture on my first night home.
Then my mom told me the following story.
Lord Ganesha was taking a moonlight stroll on the night of a chathurthi (the fourth day of the lunar month). The moon saw him and laughed at Ganesha’s big round belly and half elephant form. That made Lord Ganesha very furious and he cursed the moon, saying, “Whoever looks at you on the night of chathurthi, will be accused of theft.”
“You are not supposed to look at the moon tonight”, my mother added, “let alone take pictures of the moon!”
No, i wasn’t accused of stealing anything and i returned to Pune after a happy visit home.
Now, Pune is a city that goes berserk over Ganpati celebrations! The main reason being that, Pune is the city, where Lokmanya Tilak first introduced the concept of Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav. For Tilak, it meant bringing the people from diverse cultures together and making them a part of something bigger than themselves.
This Muslim man sat outside the Ganpati pendal, selling coins.
The coins went inside this iccha purti kalash, to make your wish come true. (Navsacha Ganpati)
It took me and my two friends four attempts each to get one coin inside the pot! Coincidence?
Up close, Navasacha Ganpati.
The crowd outside. I love taking pictures of the crowd! We did our Ganpati darshan on the day when the crowd was comparatively thin.
Dagdusheth Halwai Ganpati and his vahana, mouse.
People offer the Lord flowers, coconuts, durva, in gratitude or in prayer for strength, wisdom, happiness and contentment.
The Dagdusheth Halwai Ganpati is always under high security beacuse of the sheer number of people who turn up!
Stay tuned for the rest of the story!