Mangaluru: ‘Ganesh Chaturthi’, and the City is gearing up with excitement, with devotees seen thronged at shops and markets buying Lord Ganesh idols, flowers, vegetables and what not, that is required to celebrate the great feast. Ganesh Chaturthi festival in Karnataka is different from other regions as the festival is preceded by the Swarna Gouri Vratam or Gouri Habba and therefore the Chaturthi festival is also known as Ganesh Gouri Festival.
Yes, Ganesh Chaturthi is back, and with it the most lovable deity of contemporary Hinduism, larger and more beautiful year after year. The public celebration of the festival has spread to the whole country, including towns and villages. .Huge Ganesha images are installed on street corners, highways and in remote villages. Shops ( some makeshift shops, just for the occasion) are flooded with colorful Ganesh idols in different sizes and lots and lots of colorful glittering decorative items, tempting the devotees to buy them. Flower vendors have set up their business on the footpaths and at busy junctions.
Kudla is wearing a festive look today with devotees flocking in from different parts of the Coastal City to pick up their favourite Ganesha idol, and the the city is abuzz with activities. Prices on most of idols have gone up due to rise in cost of clay, and also that clay is not easily available. Inflation has not dimmed the locals – People never cared for the price, since they had to celebrate their favorite feast, no matter what the circumstances were. Idols made of Plaster of Paris are also a big hit, since they are bit cheaper than clay made idols.
The main street during the time of “Ganesh Chaturthi’ – The Car street was buzzing with excitement and activities. Street vendors were busy making few bucks here and there, either selling idols, flowers, moode leaves, sugar cane, vegetables etc; etc; Both the street vendors and shop owners are glad the demand has been good so far. Car Street flower market was booming with business, so also the vendors on the streets and by lanes.
According to Suresh Pai, a professor at a university, whom I had asked what actually this feast stands for. He replied, ” All obstacles, whatever they may be, are rooted out by worshiping Ganesha, and it is the blessing necessary to any society.Ganesha derives all his qualities from the elephant. The elephant is huge and strong yet gentle, qualities of Ganesha. The elephant is known to be wise: Ganesha symbolizes wisdom and knowledge”.
So, although there is a soar in prices of Lord idols, flowers, vegetables, but the celebration mood is still buried deep in the heart of the devotees, who are all excited to celebrate the big feast. Weather has been perfect for all the shopping spree, unlike last year it rained heavily. So while Hindus are getting ready to chant,” Ganapathi Bappa Morya “, I on behalf of Team Mangalorean wish our beloved Hindu readers a Happy and Fun-Filled Ganesh Chaturthi.