5 Interesting Facts About Ganesh Chaturthi That Will Surprise You

by Sanjana Shenoy
5 Interesting Facts About Ganesh Chaturthi That Will Surprise You

Ganesh Chaturthi, one of the grandest festivals in India that reverberates divinity, celebrations and splendour. Think Ganesh Chaturthi, and the beautiful Lord Ganesh idol comes to mind, the aroma of his favourite modak tickles our nostrils and excitement just fills the air. But we’re here to tell you that Ganesh Chaturthi is not just a day of festivities in India. In fact, you can trace back its origin to India’s fight for Independence. Lord Ganesha, the remover of obstacles is also revered outside India. Confused? Well, read on to know some really interesting facts about Ganesh Chaturthi that shall leave you awestruck.

1. The First Ganesh Chaturthi Celebration Dates Back to The Era Of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj

While many believe that Lord Ganesha’s birthday, Ganesh Chaturthi was first celebrated when the Chalukya, Satavahana and Rashtrakuta dynasties ruled between 271 BC and 1190 AD. However, the first historical record of Ganesh Chaturthi celebration dates back to the era of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj.  Lord Ganesha was considered to be their Kuladevata or family deity. Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, the founder of the Maratha empire celebrated Ganesh Chaturthi with great fervour in Pune in the 1600s. Post this, the festival continued to be celebrated by the Peshwas.

ganesh chaturthi

2. Bal Gangadhar Tilak  Started Public Ganesh Chaturthi Celebrations In 1893 To Fight The British

Lord Ganesha was a popular deity worshipped across India. And Ganesh Chaturthi remained a homely affair. In the year 1893, freedom fighter Bal Gangadhar Tilak transformed the festival from a private celebration to a grand public event to unite India against the British. To curb mass gatherings, the British forbid Indians to meet in large groups unless its for religious purposes. So for Ganesh Chaturthi, Tilak put out huge hoardings of Lord Ganesha on pavilions in Mumbai. He even encouraged huge Ganpati statues and public celebrations. Lord Ganesha, the removal of obstacles not only brought divinity to the Indian Independence struggle, but also inculcated a sense of patriotism in the people.

ganesh chaturthi
Picture Credits: mid-day.com

Also Read: 5 Fascinating Ancient Ganesh Temples In India You Need To Visit

3. Lord Ganesha Is Worshipped In Countries Like Thailand, Cambodia, China, Japan, Nepal & Afganistan

Lord Ganesha’s divinity isn’t just spread across India. In fact his blessings travel all the way across the boundaries of India to countries like Thailand, Cambodia, Japan and even Afghanistan to name a few. But his depiction differ from one region to other from the Indian avatar. The posture and weapons in his hand are quite different. China worships a deity called ‘Kangi Ten’. They are two elephant-headed figures embracing each other. Lord Ganesha also makes an appearance in Indonesia’s Rs. 20,000 currency note. Cambodia worships a God called ‘Prah Kenes’. Cambodian Ganesha images of the pre-Khmer period depict the Lord with wide-fan like ears, no neck, no-head dress and no-pot belly.

ganesh chaturthi facts
Picture Credits: pinterest.com

4. It’s Considered Unlucky To Look At The Moon During Ganesh Chaturthi

During Ganesh Chaturthi, while revel in colourful celebration and gorge on delicious mithai, make sure you don’t glance at the moon. Why?  Well, it’s considered unlucky to do so. According to Hindu Mythology, Lord Ganesha was riding atop his vahan, mooshik, the mouse while returning from a feast. On seeing a snake the mouse dropped Lord Ganesha. Due to the impact of the fall, his belly burst open and the feast spilt out.

ganesh chaturthi factsGanesha gathered all the called laddoos and modak, put it back in his belly. He then tied the snake around his belly to hold it. The Moon, Chandra watched this and burst out laughing. Enraged by this, Ganesha broke his tooth and threw it at the Moon. He cursed the Moon that he can never shine again. The Moon later sought for forgiveness and the curse was undone. But till today, looking at the moon during Ganesh Chaturthi is still considered a bad omen.

Also Read: Bangalore Created New World Record Last Ganesh Chaturthi

5. Mumbai’s Lalbaugcha Raja Hosts India’s Longest Immersion Procession

Lalbaugcha Raja Mandal is one of the oldest mandals in India, set up in 1934 in the Peru Chawl locality. The chawl was shut in 1932. And the locals who were fishermen and vendors promised to get a Ganpati and set up in the place. The first-ever Lalbaugcha Raja was set up by fishermen. Kambli family in Mumbai design and create the Ganpati idols since 1935. Lalbaugcha Raja hosts the longest immersion or Visarjan procession in India. It starts all the way at 10 am in the morning and ends the next morning. The second longest immersion procession takes place in Andhericha Raja.

So these are some of the most interesting facts about Ganesh Chaturthi, that you might not have heard of. Till then, enjoy the festivities with love, job, fervour and hope. Ganpati Bappa Morya!