Maharashtra Tourism puts Ganesh Festival on the international map
While celebrating Ganesh Chaturthi has been a traditional festival being celebrated in Maharashtra and other Indian states, the frenzy that we see today has its origin in a patriotic zeal.
It is said that in the 1890s, Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak, a nationalist and popular leader from Maharashtra, realised that community celebrations were a fitting way to unite the society, thereby paving the way to drive away the British.
According to reports, the Girgaum Keshavji Naik Chawl, started in 1893, is Mumbai’s oldest ‘sarvajanik’ or community Ganapati festival, which will be observing its 130th anniversary this year. The famous Lalbaugcha Raja will be celebrating its 90th anniversary.
While there are scores of big and small community festivals across Maharashtra, this year the state’s tourism department has decided to popularise the festival on a global scale.
Called the International Ganesh Festival, the maiden edition will take place between September 19 and 28 this year.
Photo by Sonika Agarwal/Unsplash
Four circuits have been developed largely centred on Mumbai, Pune, Palghar and Ratnagiri, where visitors will get a chance to see some of the famous celebrations along with learning about the local history and culture.
For example, learn about Warli painting in Palghar or take a walk through Ganesh Galli in Mumbai.
In Mumbai, a ‘cultural hub’ has been planned at the Gateway of India which overlooks the Arabian Sea on one side and the city on the other.
It will be held from September 25-27. Apart from a projection mapping on the iconic structure, there will be sand, mosaic and scroll art focused on the elephant-headed god as well as art and culture exhibitions.
This year, Ganeshotsav will be held between September 19 and the final immersion will take place on September 28.
(Reporting by Uttara Gangopadhyay)