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  • Mumbai: First look of Ganesh idol at Lalbaugcha Raja pandal ahead of Ganesh Chaturthi in Mumbai on Sept 1, 2016.IANS
  • An artisan paints an idol of Hindu god Ganesh, the deity of prosperity, at a workshop ahead of the Ganesh Chaturthi festival celebrations, in Ajmer, in the desert state of Rajasthan, India, August 26, 2016.Reuters
  • An artisan makes an idol of Hindu god Ganesh at a workshop ahead of the Ganesh Chaturthi festival celebrations, in Chandigarh, India, August 16, 2016.Reuters
  • An artisan paints an idol of Hindu god Ganesh, the deity of prosperity, at a workshop ahead of the Ganesh Chaturthi festival, in Bengaluru, India August 30, 2016.Reuters
  • Chennai: A Ganesha idol reaches at Chennai station from Nagpur ahead of Ganesh Chaturthi in Chennai on Aug 31, 2016.IANS
  • An artisan paints an idol of Hindu god Ganesh, the deity of prosperity, at a workshop ahead of the Ganesh Chaturthi festival celebrations, in Ahmedabad, India, August 29, 2016.Reuters
  • An artisan makes an idol of Hindu god Ganesh at a workshop ahead of the Ganesh Chaturthi festival celebrations, in Kolkata, India, August 29, 2016.Reuters
  • Workers transport an idol of Hindu god Ganesh, the deity of prosperity, on a cart ahead of the Ganesh Chaturthi festival, in Bengaluru, India August 30, 2016.Reuters
  • Devotees splash water on an idol of Hindu elephant god Ganesh, the deity of prosperity, as it is carried for immersion into the Arabian Sea on the last day of the Ganesh Chaturthi festival in Mumbai , India, September 27, 2015. Ganesh idols are taken through the streets in a procession accompanied by dancing and singing, and later immersed in a river or the sea symbolising a ritual seeing-off of his journey towards his abode, taking away with him the misfortunes of all mankind.Reuters
  • An idol of Hindu god Ganesh, the deity of prosperity, is showered with coloured powder and flowers as it is taken through a street on the last day of the ten-day-long Ganesh Chaturthi festival in Mumbai, India, September 27, 2015. Ganesh idols are taken through the streets in a procession accompanied by dancing and singing, and later immersed in a river or the sea symbolising a ritual seeing-off of his journey towards his abode, taking away with him the misfortunes of all mankind.Reuters
  • Devotees dance as idols of the Hindu elephant god Ganesh, the deity of prosperity, are immersed into the polluted waters of the river Yamuna on the last day of the Ganesh Chaturthi festival, in New Delhi, India, September 27, 2015.Reuters
  • Devotees gather around the idols of Hindu elephant god Ganesh, the deity of prosperity, before they are carried for immersion into the Arabian Sea on the last day of the Ganesh Chaturthi festival in Mumbai, India, September 27, 2015.Reuters

Ganesh Chaturthi, a Hindu festival celebrated to honour the elephant-headed god Ganesha, is considered auspicious throughout India because it is believed that any new activity begun on this day will be completed without any hurdles. Lord ganesh is the younger son of Lord Shiva and Parvati.

Ganesh Chaturthi, also known as 'Vinayak Chaturthi' or 'Vinayaka Chavithi', is celebrated during the month of Bhaadrapada (mid-August to mid-September) according to the Hindu calendar. Celebrations, which begin on Shukla Chaturthi, are usually held on the fourth day of the second fortnight or the 14th day of the fortnight which is known as Ananta Chaturdashi.

Devotees pray to Lord Ganesha for prosperity. Public pandals are put up and Ganesha idols installed by communities where people come to worship the lord. Families also bring idols home for a few days to mark the festival. Celebrations come to an end with the immersion of the huge idols in water bodies symbolising the seeing-off of the lord's journey towards his abode, taking all the misfortunes of mankind along with him.

The festival is celebrated across India with grand celebrations especially in Maharashtra, where devotees play the dhol and tashato mark the festivities. A delicacy called modak is prepared during the festival. Rice or flour is stuffed with grated jaggery, coconut and dry fruits. A single plate contains 21 pieces of the sweet dish.

Foodies wait for Modak, a sweet dish prepared using rice or flour stuffed with grated jaggery, coconuts and dry fruits. The plate containing the Modak is supposed to be filled with twenty-one pieces of the sweet.

The festival comprises four primary rituals - Pranapratishhtha (moulding the deity into a murti or idol), Shhodashopachara (16 forms of paying tribute to Ganesha), Uttarpuja (Puja following which the idol could be shifted), Ganpati Visarjan (immersing the idol into the river).

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