Report: Jaya Ramesh
Photographs: Ramesh Babu & Suresh Nair
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Om Gananam Tvam Ganapati Havamahe
Kavi Kavinam Upshvastam
Jyeshtaraj Brahmana Brahmanaspate namaha
Shrunvaukti Siddhi Sadnam (Rig Ved)
In translation this reads:
“Oh Lord Ganapati! You are the scholar learned Brahmanaspathe.
You are the Supreme.
We plead you to come with your full strength and stay with us ……
Muscat Aug 29, 2009: Lord Ganesha, fondly known as elephant headed God, is also popularly thought of as Vignaharta, the remover of obstacles from the path of his devotees and the supreme god of wisdom, fortune and prosperity. Even whilst being venerated in the primeval form, He assumes diverse potencies like Lord of Culture, Nature, and sustainer of meditation and provocateur of action. He is a deity who is propitiated at the commencement of projects, enterprises, institutions and in times of distress.
25 GLORIOUS YEARS OF TRADITION..
Year 2009 marks the 25th year of celebrating Shri Ganesha Festival by the Tulu community in Oman.
How it all began…
A quarter of a century ago, on Shree Ganesh Chaturthi day, the founders and members of TULU KOOTA, MUSCAT, got together to celebrate the first Ganesh Festival in a classroom of Indian School, Muscat.
The Journey continues….
The very next year, they moved to the Indian Cultural Association Hall (Darsait) and thereafter, in mid 1990, the venue for this celebration was shifted to Lord Shiva Temple, Muscat. Since then, the tradition continues in the temple.
Ganesh Chaturthi Celebration
The five day long celebration commenced in grandeur from the 23rd of August 2009 – Ganesh Chaturthi day. It is the birthday of Lord Ganesha, the son of Lord Shiva and Parvati. The festival is observed in the Hindu calendar month of Bhadrapada, starting on the shukla chaturthi (fourth day) and lasts till Anant Chaturdashi. It was organized by the Tulu community at the Shiva Temple with great piety and festivity.
The first day morning marked the ritual of Prathisthapana by the main Archaka Shri.Shankar Narayan Adiga, assisted by a group of Archakas. Amidst the chanting of mantras and shlokas, Shri Shankar Narayan Adiga invoked the idol of Lord Ganesha, followed by Panchamrita Abhisheka, Gowri Pooja and Gana Homa.Om Shree Ganesha Vrinda chanted the Ganapathi Sahasranama. Many devotees participated in the Shatakai Pooja and sought the blessings of the Lord. Ranga Pooja was conducted on two days and the devotees paid homage to the deity.
Offerings of Panchakajeya and Modhak, as Prasada, were offered to Lord Ganesha.
The ceremonial couple for the Silver Jubilee celebration was Shri and Smt. Pithamber Alke, the Convenor of the Committee, and a senior active member of the Tulu community.
The Temple Hall Entrance was decorated traditionally with Banana Stems, Mango leaves, Cluster of Tender Coconuts, Bunches of dates and flowers. The alcoves on the ceilings of the entire hall were adorned beautifully in fresh flower garlands in an artistic pattern, with light and dark hued flowers alternately arranged. Almost 4 Quintals of fresh flowers of different varieties and colours were flown in from Bangalore, Mangalore and Mumbai, Kochi and Chennai. Fresh flower garlands of Mangalore Malice, Roses, Jasmine, Lotus, Kewra, Marigold, Zeenia, etc adorned the idol of Lord Ganesha on all the five days. Shri Nirmal Kumar, Bangalore, as always, arranged to air cargo the flowers real fresh well in time... The entire decoration was aesthetically created by a team of enthusiastic, creative volunteers led by Shri Prakash Naik Koni.
Right in front of the Mandap, a colourful Rangoli depicting a standing statue of Lord Ganesha with an ornate crown gilded with different coloured stones, bejeweled with stone necklaces, brightly coloured attire, was created by Smt. Paru Negandhi and Smt. Bijal Ved. The Rangoli design was complete with all the symbolic representations.
Dr. (Smt). Swati Kulkarni, Counsellor, Embassy of India, Muscat, partook in the pooja. Shri and Smt. Kanaksey Khimji and family; Shri and Smt. Kiran Asher; Shri. Anil Khimji; and Shri Ashwin Dharamsey Nensey and family, among the members of the merchant community, and Shri and Smt .Krishna Kumar Taori an entrepreneur from the community, were also present and partook in the Aarti and pooja.
Devotional music strains diffused in the environs of the hall and the air reverberated with melodious keynotes from the harmonium, pulsating beat of the tabla and mridang, clankity clank of cymbals, plucking of strings of veena , rhythmic footsteps coupled with the bells of the anklets .. Popular Bhajans like Aane moneda …, Gajamukhane Jayatu…Sharanu sharanu, Jai Ganesha Jai Ganesha, deva...Mata Jaaki Parvati… etc. rented the air the hall.
The hall reverberated with the Vedic Chants by Shri Vaidhyanathan and Group; Shukla Yajur Veda chanting Ghanam by Shri A.V. Manohar. Devotional music resonated in the air with musical offerings by Om Shree Ganesha Vrinda, Mata Amritanandamayi Bhajan Group, Oneness Group, Sai Devotees, Shri Krishna Bhajan Group ,Chinmaya Bala Vihar Group, Maithri Vrinda Group, Divine Park Group, Art of Living Group, Shri Thyagaraja Samiti ,Muscat, Muscat GSB Group, Hare Krishna Group, Ms.R. Meenakshi & Party,Smt. Latha Balaji and disciples, Smt. Jyoti Balaji , Veena Recital by Smt. Chitra Ravi and Disciples. Mangalarchana in the Odissi dance form by Kum. Shreya Bangera. and Bharata Natyam dance recital by Smt Padmini Krishnamoorthy's disciples were presented as an offering to the Lord .The Om Shree Ganesha Group rendered devotional songs on the first and the concluding session before immersion.
A manuscript of Taulava Ramayana in Tulu and Kannada, written by Shri Ratnakar Rao Kavoor, a renowned writer, Director and Actor of Tulu and Kannada dramas in Karavali Karnataka, was placed as an offering and dedication to Lord Ganesha, prior to releasing for publishing.
The finale of the five day celebration was the ritual of immersion. Amidst the repeated and befitting choral chants of Ganpati Bapa Morya, Pudchya varshi Lavkar yaa… Ek Don Teen Char …Ganpaticha Jayjaykar, the immersion of the idol of Lord Ganesha was conducted. Thousands of devotees partook in the five day celebration and sought the blessings of Lord Ganesha. Traditional Mangalorean cuisine was served as Prasad on plantain leaves enhancing the flavour of the festival.
The Committee members, under the able guidance of the Convenor Shri Pithamber Alke have impeccably conducted and devoted all their efforts undauntedly towards the proceedings of the five day long festival. The Muscat Ganesh Festival Committee comprises of Shri Pithamber Alke, Convenor, Shri .Dayanand Rao Kavoor, Shri Prakash Naik Koni, Shri Ramanand Kunder, Shri S.K. Poojary; Shri. Ramesh Shettigar; Shri.Umesh.Bantwal; Shri Shashidhar Shetty Mallar; Shri Karunakar Rao; Shri Ashok Kotian; Shri Nagesh Shetty; Shri Ravi Kanchan and Shri Mangaldas Kamath.
Shree Ganesh Festival Committee takes the opportunity to thank the President and Members of the Hindu Mahajan Association and all their Patrons for their continued valuable support. They wish to pay their tribute to all who have volunteered their unstinting support to lay the foundation from Day One for the culmination of the Grand Annual Festival, for the community. They convey their wholehearted gratitude to all the Volunteers, who have tirelessly striven day and night to transform the festival into a grand success.
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M'lore: Last of Ganesha given a farewell
Pomp and gaiety marks Ganapathi visarjana
Mangalore goes Ganapathy
Ganapathy arrives amid uneasy calm
Undaunted by the threat of communal disharmony- City preparing for Ganapathy