Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Ganapati Bappa Moriya!

Oh, my goodness!!  This has been quite a colorful week "At Home in Hyderabad"!  After the last few weeks of seeing trucks of various sizes driving around the town, with mysterious tarp-covered cargo loaded onto their flat-beds...the secret is out!!  The cargo?  Statues, also of various sizes, of Sri Ganesha, Mata jaki, Parvati, Pita Mahadeva ("Born of Parvati, daughter of the Himalayas, and the great Shiva, his Father") - - the tremendously popular elephant-headed god of Wisdom and the "remover of obstacles".  No undertaking begins here without an invocation of Ganesha's name and asking for his blessing.  This is Ganesha Chaturthi !!  It's definitely Ganesha's week here!  (According to my various sources regarding Ganesh: "One of his 108 names is "Ganapati" or "Ganapathi" - This term means he is the "lord of the ganas" - a class of divine entities. This term also means that he is the master of the intellect and discriminating power in man. He possesses great intelligence and knowledge. Such knowledge issues from a pure and sacred mind.")

Devotees of Ganesha are known as 'Ganapatyas', and Ganesh Chaturthi (also known as Ganesha Chaturthi or Vinayaka Chaturthi) is the holy festival that celebrates His Glory through India by all Hindu's. Vinayak Chaturthi is celebrated on the 4th day of the bright half of Bhadrapad. This festival is honored as the birthday of Sri Ganesh. Ganapati transcends all sects and views and is equally worshipped by both Saivites and Vaishnavas because Ganesh is viewed as an Incarnation of both Vishnu and Shiva. Ganesha is even worshipped and revered among Buddhists and Jains. 

So - - what is it like on the streets?  Well...it's like a huge birthday-party for Lord Ganesha!  Actually, it's an eleven-day festival which began on 11 September at about 5:00 A.M. with some serious conch-shell blowing and drumming!  There are Ganeshas everywhere!!  We await next Wednesday (the 22nd) when all of the statues, large and small alike, are immersed in a large body of water. 

For us here in the City of Pearls, it's going to be the the Hussain Sagar Lake in the center of town.  Amy Suzanne and I will try to brave the incredible crowds at lakeside to see this event.  I have the good video camera all charged-up and ready.  I understand it will be a wild experience!  It' will be about a 3 Km. walk to the lake from the place where we will park.  The crowds are so huge and the event is so popular with everybody that just about all the streets are closed...and Deloitte will even close their doors for the day!  I guess there's almost nowhere you can go in the city without seeing a parade of Ganesh statues heading down toward the lake!

I snapped a few pictures as the Ganesh images began to make their appearance this week.  Here are just a few of them....

A Ganesh painting at "Beyond Coffee"!
Some just-completed Ganapati statues!
The Ganesha shrine in KBR Park!
A sizeable Ganapati with his parents, Shiva and Parvati
This Ganesh was just wrapped up as the rains began to fall!
I love this one! We saw him on the road coming back from Gandipet!

Back at "Beyond Coffee"....this Ganesha shrine in the corner of the patio!


  1. Here in America, people would say Ganesha is a mutant baby and the parents would feel they failed to create a child in their image. Good luck on the 3Km walk to the lake.

  2. If he was born in the South of the U.S., you could get away with saying: "What an ugly baby, bless his heart!" ;-D