Ganesh Chaturthi is a Hindu festival that is celebrated in India on the day of the rebirth of Lord Ganesha. The festival is a must see for travellers in India and is celebrated for 11 consecutive days from the 9th of September 2013. Don’t miss the opportunity to witness colourful processions on the streets, devout chanting and incredible drum performances that are truly out of this world. On the final day of the festival India erupts in a huge celebration, watch in wonder as the idol of Ganesh is submerged into the sea and enjoy the colourful street parties that follow this memorable moment.
History of the Ganesh Chaturthi
Lord Ganesha is worshipped in the Hindu religion as the God of wisdom and prosperity. His birthday, or rebirth as followers of the Hindu religion believe, has been celebrated in the Pune region of India since around 1650 AD, when the tradition was started by Maratha ruler Chhatrapati Shivaji to promote nationalism.
Initially Hindi families were encouraged to celebrate the Ganesh Chaturthi privately at home, but in the late 19th century the festival moved to the streets after backing from Indian freedom fighter Lokmanya Tilak. By 1983 the celebrations had been transformed to a large public event in order to build unity between all castes of the community and encourage nationalistic sentiment against colonial rule.
The festival grew in scope and size over the years to include representations from all aspects of Indian culture. Poetry recitals, concerts, plays and dances were incorporated into the Ganesh Chaturthi festival, ensuring the whole community could contribute and get involved. At a time when public gatherings were discourage by British colonial rulers, the festival was a direct rebellion against British authority.
Where is best to celebrate the Garnesh Chaturthi?
The whole of Hindu India celebrates the Ganesh Chaturthi festival, although in some locations the festival is much more spectacular than others. To ensure you don’t miss out head right to the heart of the party in the New Delhi region of India.
New Delhi is an ideal spot for visitors to celebrate the Ganesh Chaturthi festival. Each year on the eve of the festival Indian President Pranab Mukherjee gives a memorable speech to the nation, following this the city erupts into a sea of fireworks and festivities. Tourists can watch parades through the street of brightly coloured idols created with elaborate detail. The crowd is a great place for celebrity spotting so don’t miss the opportunity to catch your Bollywood idols in the flesh. Over the 11 days of celebration New Delhi is transformed from a busy industrial city to the cultural heartland of India. The Ganesh festival represents a great opportunity for visitors to experience Hindu culture like an insider, for many travellers this is a once in a lifetime experience that is never to be forgotten.
Choosing to stay at a hotel in Dwarka will put you at the heart of the action, while allowing you to enjoy a luxury stay full of modern comforts. Escape the heat in your air conditioned room or take a dip in the pool to refresh yourself after a long day of visiting local cultural sights and celebrating the festival. Your friendly hotel staff will be able to offer you all the advice and information you’ll need to enjoy Ganesh Chaturthi to the max.
Recently on his world wide trip, Matthew learnt worthwhile information about a variety of locations and hopes to share his experience with everyone around him to ensure they get the best experience.