Lord Ganesha or Ganesh The God of India

Lord Ganesh or Ganesha is one of the most commonly worshipped deities in the Hindu pantheon. Lord Ganesh is also known as Ganapati, Vinayaka, Vigneshwara, Ganesa, Vignesh, and Pillaiyar. Lord Ganesha is depicted as an elephant headed figure with a large belly and four hands. The elder son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati, Ganapathi is highly revered as the Remover of Obstacles and Lord of Beginnings, God of Education, Knowledge, Wisdom and Wealth. Lord Ganesh is the one who is worshiped at the beginning of rituals and ceremonies. The name Ganesha is a Sanskrit word, derived from ‘Gana’, meaning a ‘Group or Mass’ and ‘Isha’, meaning Lord or Master. Skanda, also called as Kartikeya or Lord Murugan, is the brother of Ganesha.

Story on how Ganesha Got the Elephant Head

According Shiva Purana, Lord Shiva beheaded the head of Lord Ganesh and later it was replaced with that of an elephant. However, Brahma Vaivarta Purana says that when Ganesha was born, all the gods gathered to see him. Though Lord Shani was also present there, he refused to look at the child. However, on the insistence of Parvati, he looked at the baby which caused its head to be burned to ashes. Then, it was Lord Vishnu who replaced the missed head with that of an elephant.

Lord Ganesha, also known as Ganapathi or Ganesh or Pillayar is known as the God of India

Popular Festivals of Lord Ganesha

Vinayaka Chaturthi

Vinayaka Chaturthi or Ganesha Chaturthi is an important festival dedicated to Lord Ganesh. Also known as Vinayaka Chavithi, the festival commemorates the birthday of the Lord and is observed in the Hindu calendar month of Bhaadrapada (mid August - mid September), starting on the shukla chaturthi (fourth day of the waxing moon period). 

Ganesh Jayanti

Ganesh Jayanti Festival is also known as Magha Shukla Chaturthi, Vinayak Chaturthi and Varad Chaturthi. This festival also celebrates the birthday of Ganesha. But this is held during the Shukla Paksha Chaturthi day (fourth day of the bright fortnight or the waxing moon) in the month of Maagha (January/February). This festival is more popular, particularly in the Indian state of Maharashtra, where it is called as Tilkund Chaturthi.

During the day, the idol of Ganesha is made from turmeric or sindhoor powder or cow dung and worshipped.  The idol is immersed in water on the fourth day after the festival. The lord is offered a special food prepared from sesame seeds. Some devotees observe fast during the day.

Important Temples of Lord Ganesha in India


There are numerous temples dedicated to Lord Ganesh in India. Some of the most popular among them are Ashtavinayak temples, Chintamani Ganesh Temple in Madhya Pradesh; Dhundiraj Temple in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh; Ranthambore Ganesh Temple in Rajasthan; and Ganesha temples in Wai, Maharashtra.

The Ashtavinayak temples on Lord Ganesh - a group of eight Ganesha temples around Pune, Maharashtra – are the most popular Ganesh temples in India. Each of these eight shrines houses a particular form of Ganapati and they form the most important pilgrimage for the devotees. The eight Ashtavinayaka are

1) Moreshwar Temple in Morgaon
2) Siddhivinayak Temple in Siddhatek
3) Ballaleshwar Temple in Pali
4) Varadavinayak Temple in Mahad
5) Chintamani Ganesh Temple in Theur
6) Girijatmaj Temple in Lenyadri
7) Vighnahar Temple in Ozar
8) Mahaganapati Temple in Ranjangaon

Ganesha Temples in Tamil Nadu 

Karpaka Vinayakar Temple in Pillayarpatti
Rockfort Ucchi Pillayar Kottai in Tiruchirapalli

Ganesha idol of Karpaka Vinayakar Temple in Pillayarpatti, Tamil Nadu, India

Ganesh Temples in Karnataka

Shri Ganapathi Temple Idagunji, Karnataka
Sharavu Mahaganapathi Temple in Mangalore, Karnataka

Ganapathi Temples in Kerala

Maha Ganapathi Temple in Pampa
Pazhavangadi Ganapathi Temple in Thiruvananthapuram
Kottarakkara Ganapathi Temple
Maha Ganapathi Temple in Sulthan Batheri

7 comments:

  1. In the London BAPS Swaminarayan temple, when I first visited, Lord Ganesh was seated and Lord Hanuman held the hair of a demoness. Now, Lord Ganesh is standing and Lord Hanuman gives "ashirwad". Why have they changed the consecrated deities? Everything else may change in a temple except the gods. Has no-one noticed this? Why? What happened to original deities?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Vaakundaam
    Nalla manamundaam........

    ReplyDelete
  3. is that how you say ganesh day in india

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  4. Someone at BAPS answer the question about Ganesh and Hanuman deities being changed please

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  5. Us hindus have made god cheap. God used to be sacred, but not any more.

    In the old days there were no pictures or deities. People used to draw a simple pattern with kumkum, or light a lamp. They had simple living but high thinking. They used to treasure what they had.Perhaps on very special days they would travel miles to a temple where it would be a real treat to see the image of the lord.

    Now we see god everywhere: seated on a car dashboard or on a fridge door, on a t-shirt, or even printed next to the picture of the deceased in a newspaper which eventually goes in the bin. We have plastic gods that sit on fireplaces that are made in china and gods that are given as cheap gifts at functions.

    Even though we can see them everywhere, the gods are losing their sacredness and ultimately we are losing our culture.

    ReplyDelete

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