Ganesh Chaturthi is an important festival celebrated amongst the Hindus in the country. The objective of this festive celebration is to venerate the birth of Lord Ganesh, the son of Lord Shiva and Parvati. Since Lord Ganesh is considered a symbol of wisdom and a bringer of good luck, according to the Hindu belief Lord Ganesh is worshipped first on all auspicious occasions, whether it is a marriage or a religious function. He is regarded as the destroyer of all problems and obstacles. This celebration was restricted to homes before the year 1893 when Lokmanya Tilak made it a community festival to promote the interactions between brahmin and non-brahmin community in Maharashtra. His basic motive was to evoke nationalism through religious passions which not only inspired feelings of Hindu unity in Maharashtra, but also gave freedom fighters an opportunity to meet, when the Ganesh Chaturthi DecorationBritish government illegalised any gatherings, writings and slogans that could incite violence. Now, the community celebrations of this festival in Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh are well known for their exceptional grandeur throughout the country.
This festival lasts for ten days. It starts in the month of Bhaadrapada, on the fourth day of the waxing moon period. Observed during the Hindu month of Bhadra (mid-August to mid-September), this festival lasts for 10 days, ending on the day of 'AnantaChaturdashi'. The final day of the celebration witnesses extreme enthusiasm. The devotees of Ganesh fast for the whole day and then offer prayers. During these ten days, all the devotees gather in the community pandals for the celebration. Huge arrangements are made for feasting, under these pandals. People of various communities share a common platform to celebrate this festival. These pandals are beautifully decorated and looks no less than any grand film set.
The concept community celebration has given way to huge grandeur in the celebrations. On this occasion huge pandals are arranged to house the large number of devotees, who gather to offer prayers. This pandal serves as a temporary abode for the Lord as well serves as a common place for feasting and celebrating together. The offering of pooja under these pandals, are carried on in a very interesting manner. Half of the pandal is set aside for pooja purpose while the other half is allotted for devotees who want to sit around or want to follow the pooja procedures. The making of pandals begins the day before the actual pooja starts.
Thus pandals seems to play an important part in the celebration of Ganesh Chaturthi. Thebuilding of these pandal is a very complex and lengthy process. It is an elaborate affair of arranging a beautiful and temporary shelter for ten days celebrations. These pandals are built according to some themes. As a result of which complicated brains work behind its formations. Thus many prior plans are to made before actually working on its framework. Making of the pandals follows pre-decided plans, whether to use bamboo poles, or wooden planks and clothes. The use of colorful clothes and fresh flowers for ambiences enhance the beauty of the Pandal. Moreover government have imposed strict rules regarding what materials are to be used. Hence builders of these pandals have to keep so many issues under consideration before actually proceeding with his ideas. Thus the decorations of the pandal are done in accordance with the many rules and regulations that are quite mandatory. Furthermore the decorations of the pandal are also done in accordance with space available and the expected gathering. And the entire cost of arrangement of the pandals is met by community donations.
It has now become a fashion to set pooja pandals in every nooks and corners of streets and roads, especially in Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh. The trend of designer pandals with complex lightings and intricate patterns are also in great demands on this occasion. Decorated by lights, flowers and several other artistic items, the modern pandals depicts a majestic look.