Ganpati Visarjan 2019: Rituals and traditions behind grand farewell

Updated: Sep 12, 2019, 15:44 IST | Saumya Gourisaria

The devotees and the 'karyakartas' play colour and celebrate the festival, though with tears in their eyes and with hopes of Bappa coming again next year

Ganpati Visarjan 2019: Rituals and traditions behind grand farewell
Khetwadichaganraj's ready to go for Visarjan. All pics/Saumya Gourisaria

After presiding at pandals and gracing homes for 11 days during Ganesh Chaturthi, the city of Mumbai is gearing up for Ganesh Visarjan. The Ganesh Visarjan marks the end of the Ganesh Chaturthi festival and devotees bid goodbye to Lord Ganesha and await his arrival next year. A belief which is associated with the Ganesh Visarjan is that Lord Ganesha takes away all the obstacles, hindrances and problems from one's life.

The pandit at Khetwadicha Ganraj mandal was busy with the preparations as he said, "There are many rituals and traditions which are performed before the Ganesh Visarjan happens. The morning aarti takes place as usual at 8:30 am. Later, in the afternoon, the Satyanarayana puja and the last aarti or the 'uttarpuja' takes place. The 'Uttarpuja' holds a special significance as special mantras are chanted and people take a promise or a 'Sankalpa' to pay obeisance to God. Chandan, Haldi-kumkum(sandalwood-turmeric-gulaal) is put on Ganesha as part of the tradition. Flowers are offered on his feet and an incense stick is waved. After offering a waving ghee-lit lamp, water is released from one hand. As the aarti takes place, the eyes of the devotees well up as they get ready to take the Lord on his last journey. It is believed that Ganesha went to his parents, Lord Shiva and Parvati after the Visarjan."

Ganpati Visarjan

The organiser then slightly moved the Ganpati idol 1 inch forward which indicates that it is
visarjan time. One of the karyakartas named Hardik said, "A mixture of 5 things, jaggery, curd, dry coconut and 5 different grains for his journey, is put in a red cloth and tied to his hand, just how we offer food to anybody while he/she is taking a long journey. After taking his blessings and thanking him for all his blessings, raw rice and flowers were sprinkled over the Lord. Thereafter, he is picked and is ready for visarjan."

Ganpati Visarjan

The devotees and the 'karyakartas' play colour and celebrate the festival, though with tears in their eyes and with hopes of Bappa coming again next year. The entire pandal is now broken down and is in shambles. After reaching the Girgaum Chowpatty, a small puja is performed and the garlands and the jewellery is taken off. The Ganpati is taken ahead into the sea on four boats tied together and is pushed facing the Chowpatty to bid him farewell.

Also read: Ganesh Chaturthi 2019: Devotees prepare 'Chhappan Bhog' for Ganpati at Khetwadi cha raja

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Ganesh Chaturthi 2019: Here's all that took place at Khetwadicha Raja
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    Khetwadicha Raja Mandal was established in the year 1959. It is currently one of the most-visited pandals in the city. It stands out for its theme and the Ganpati's height which is over 13.5 feet. This year, the idol of Ganesha has been designed and decorated in a look like that of Kangana Ranaut in 'Manikarnika'. The pandal has been designed to give a feel of 'Bajirao Mastani.'

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    Even in the midst of heavy rains, a sea of high spirited individuals thronged to the pandal to make it for the aarti. The colourful attire and the festive mood added to the celebration. The sound of the bells, 'nagadas', dhols and the melodious aartis, it takes you to another world. 

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    As some people were busy performing the aarti, there was an artist who was drawing a sketch of Khetwadicha Ganraj. He took minute details into consideration, like the eyes and the trunk of Ganesha. 

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    It's a fun fact that only Lalbaugcha Raja and Khetwadicha Raja have a patent on the Ganesha idol's face. Ranjeet Mathur, the owner of the pandal says, "The face of Khetwadicha Ganraj is absolutely different from the rest of the Ganpati idols. One will not find such eyes, ears and trunk in any other idol."

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    One ritual which is diligently followed at Khetwadicharaja is the Chhappan Bhog which literally means 56 types of food that are offered to God. The bhog consists of sweets in a variety of different flavours, namkeen samosas, chaat, kachori chocolates and a special cake. 

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    Every dish is made with a lot of love and devotion by the devotees and the people who are attached to the Mandal. The cake was the star attraction of the feast, which had  'Ganraj' written in Hindi. 

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