Ganpati takes a mountain vacation

Lord Ganesh smiles at everyone from his rocky boulder abode in the Sahyadris, while Tiger Junior attempts a growl from the side.

The Sahyadri Ganpati

Having his human head replaced with an elephant’s must have bitterly hurt, but the endearing trunk and pot-bellied stomach are definite contributors in making Ganpati a permanent resident of every heart in Pune – for that matter, Maharashtra.

The year begins here with the anticipation of Ganesh Chaturthi, the Lord’s birthday celebration. The streets are crowded all ten days of the festival, the shops bursting with people. Ask a Maharashtrian about the event and he’ll go at length to explain how Ganpati bestows wisdom and good fortune on one and all. He is, for every household here, extended family.

During the ten days of the festival, life-like idols of the Lord are worshipped in pandals and in homes. It is believed that he heeds all prayers made to him during this time. On the eleventh day, the idols are immersed in water – symbolizing Ganpati starting his return journey to Mount Kailash, where his parents (Shiv and Parvati) reside. In his back pack he carries all the woes of his worshippers, presumably to dump them into some dark abyss.

As the toy train to Matheran (a tiny hill station in the Sahyadri mountain range of Maharashtra) turns a narrow curve, he waves at all the passengers, lighting up their faces with delight.

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17 thoughts on “Ganpati takes a mountain vacation”

  1. I was fortunate to enjoy the festival of Ganesh Chaturthi when I was in Bombay. No matter what the condition/circumstances, there is always so much energy and devotion. It is indeed a great sight to watch and a feeling to savor. Not to mention the amazing larger than life idols of Lord Ganesha himself.
    “Ganpati Bappa Mourya” indeed!!!

    1. I wish I get to see the Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations at Mumbai sometime. We couldn’t go despite several plans and re-plans. Anyhow, Pune too went all out last year and I had an enthralling time.
      Yes, the huge idols present some sight! It’s like during Durga Puja.

  2. Nice one Deboshree. Btw, it is Ganapati bappa Morya, which is a short form of Moreshwar. You know how ‘ya’ is added as a term of endearment at the end of a name.

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