Odisha is a state of unending festivals. Season by season festivals come and go . The fervor and purity that grips folks all together lies in these celebrations. Vinayaka Ganesh, the most beloved deity comes on the auspicious day of Suklapaksha Chaturthi. With prosperity and wisdom He lands on earth. People worship Lord Ganesh to befitting their sorrows and prosper their domain of knowledge.
The celebration of Ganesh Puja as a festival is never a small thing. In a state particularly like Odisha, the festival fetches organizers to observe in a great and grand manner. Many puja mandaps build up statues of various themes of different height and materials.The Siddhi Vinayaka Shree Ganesh visits the earth only once in a year. Therefore, everyone welcome their Lord with gaiety. Lord Ganesh lives here for around 11 days and blesses all His devotees. Finally, He returns back accompanied by a huge procession called as Bisarjan.
Everything begins with His name. He is the only God with whom starts the beginning of every small and big work. He is the master of knowledge and wisdom.
The preparations for Ganesh Puja celebration starts before months and weeks. For arranging a huge festival such as Ganesh Puja it takes hard work. Normally, there are Puja Committees for the organization of the festival. In Odisha, all most all the cities observe the festival with enthusiasm.
Initially, a budget is fixed. Organizers collect money for the arrangement of Puja from the contributors. Around 10 to 20 lakhs makes a good budget for the puja in a large scale. The idol of Shree Ganesh puts the actual cost into effect. The process of idol making keeps the artists busy for a month. The artists put their utmost effort into the soil-postures to turn them lively. The beauty of the idol mesmerizes the watcher. Hence the Puja is an opportunity for the statue makers. They gain some profit as well as showcase their talents.
The decoration of the pandal and sometimes a gate enhances the Puja’s charismatic appearances. The mandaps decorated with lights attract the visitors to have a view. So, maintaining a nice decorum is the main aspect of the Puja.
Ganapati festival lasts for a period of 11 days. From the first day till the last day, daily worshipping of the Lord is performed. Finally, Ganesh goes for the bisarjan.
The Insights of The Celebration
The rigor of the festival kicks off with the installing of Ganesh idol. Moreover, the cities look stunning with innovative theme based idols. The colorful pandals and lighted streets double the beauty. The festival serves the cities with optimum gaiety. The following are the insights of the festival. Let’s have a look.
Theme Based Idols
Have you ever seen an idol of Ganesh holding a camera with a tripod ? Isn’t it interesting? Actually, last year a group of journalists in Cuttack thought of this idea. Now a days, people are coming with a number of themes.
Prominent cities like Cuttack, Bhubaneswar, Rourkela, Brahmapur etc race amongst for making unique Ganesh idols. High idols of Ganesh made of stones, marbles, wax, thermocol, fibres make the list. We often see outrageously beautiful Ganesh idols in each and every streets. But the theme based approach is what makes some idols different and unique.
Decoration of the Mandaps
The pandals are another cause of attraction for the devotees. Often organizers spend lakhs of money in decorating the mandap. The mandap is a hall like place around the idol of Lord Ganesh. So, the pandal is a mere attraction for the people who come for the darshan of the Lord.
In Odisha, decoration is the main thing. Even in schools and colleges, the arrangement of Ganesh Puja starts with decoration. Decoration of the streets during the Ganesh festival offers a colourful view. With different colours of lights, the sides of the streets leading to the puja mandap takes you to a different world. Large puja mandaps decorated with stylish decorums provide an extinguishing look.
Also, decorating the idol of Lord Ganesh is important. Devotees come to see their lord. Jewels and lights adorn the idol of Lord Ganesh. The prolific and stunning idol of the Lord looks more outstanding.
Worshipping the God of wisdom Shree Ganesh vanishes off our pessimism. Vighna harta Ganesh takes away all our sorrows and fills our heart with gratitude. Lord stays with everyone for eleven days. Worshipping the God for all these days is the motive of the Puja celebration. Also, students of schools and colleges worship the idol of Ganesh praying Him for acquiring knowledge.
Normally, a Pujari ( colloquially called Nana) comes for the rituals of the Puja. He lists a large number of ingredients required for the Puja starting from Duba Leaves to Ghee and fruits. With the chanting of slokas, the worshipping creates a devotional atmosphere around the Puja mandap. Finally, after the offering of flowers (Pushpanjali) is over, Prasad is prepared and served to everyone.
The Significance of The Puja
The significance of celebrating the Ganesh Festival lies in the devotion for the Lord. Without Bhakti (devotions) in the heart, no worshipping, no celebration works. It is therefore, essential to pray Him with a pure heart.
Although Ganesh Puja as a festival is being celebrated for several years in Odisha, the inclusion of high budget and sophistication is new. Now-a-days, the celebration is so grand.
The younger son of Lord Shiva and Parvati, Ganesh has many lessons to teach us. His witness, knowledge and bravery conveys us the greatness of His life. Ganesh is a motivation for all.
Last but not the least, Bisarjan is the day when Ganesh bids us good bye and returns. The day falls on 11th day from the starting of the Puja. Taking a huge procession of light, sound, brass party and even DJ, the organisers lead Lord Ganesh towards a water channel or river. At last, they put the idol of Ganesh into the water. There is a ritual of Bisarjan Puja often arranged before the Bisarjan.
Finally, Lord Ganesh leaves us but with a promise to come back next year with more blessings, happiness and good luck.
Editor’s note: This year, no permissions are being given for public celebrations.