Ganesh Chaturthi, a jubilant and spiritually enriching festival, is celebrated with unbridled enthusiasm throughout India. This captivating festival, also known as Vinayaka Chaturthi marks the birth of Lord Ganesha, the beloved elephant-headed deity in Hinduism who is worshipped as the God of wisdom, new beginnings, and remover of hurdles.
This 10 days long vibrant festival typically falls in the Hindu month of Bhadrapada, which usually corresponds to August or September in the Gregorian calendar. It begins on the fourth day of the waxing moon period (Shukla Chaturthi) and lasts for ten days, culminating on the fourteenth day (Anant Chaturdashi).
During Ganesh Chaturthi, streets and homes come alive with beautifully adorned Ganesha idols. Special prayers and community pandals that resound with hymns, music, and dance mark the celebrations. Modak (a sweet dumpling considered Ganesha’s favourite) is prepared and offered as prasadam (sacred food) during the festival. The grand finale sees processions immersing the idols in water, symbolizing the departure of Lord Ganesha to his heavenly abode, taking away devotees’ troubles. The ritual of immersing Lord Ganesha idols in the ocean or other water bodies is known as ‘Ganesh Visarjan‘.
This year, the celebrations of Ganesh Chaturthi will begin on September 19th, 2023, Tuesday, while the Ganesh Visarjan will be observed on September 28, 2023, Thursday.
One of the highlights of Ganesh Chaturthi is visiting the famous Ganesh temples scattered throughout the country. These temples not only hold religious significance but also showcase the rich cultural heritage of India. In this article, we have listed 10 famous Ganesh temples that you must visit during Ganesh Chaturthi.
Experience the grandeur of Ganesh Chaturthi at Mumbai’s Siddhivinayak Temple, a sacred haven dedicated to Lord Ganesha. This iconic temple is renowned for hosting the grandest and the most enthusiastic Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations in the country. One remarkable feature of the Siddhivinayak Temple during Ganesh Chaturthi is the grand procession of Lord Ganesha’s idol, known as the ‘Ganesh Visarjan‘.
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This event is marked by vibrant processions, traditional music, and the participation of numerous celebrities and prominent figures, adding a touch of glamour to the festivities. It is believed that Lord Ganesha, also known as Navasacha Ganpati (fulfiller of wishes) of this temple, listens to the sincere prayers and heartfelt wishes of his devotees and grants them. This sacred belief makes Siddhivinayak Temple in Mumbai in the state of Maharashtra, a must-visit temple in India, especially during the auspicious occasion of Ganesh Chaturthi.
Kanipakam Vinayaka Temple at Chittoor in the state of Andhra Pradesh is a famous Ganesh Temple to visit in India during Ganesh Chaturthi. Ganesh Chaturthi at this temple is not just a one-day affair but a grand celebration that extends over 21 days, marked by the annual Brahmotsavam Festival.
The highlight of the Brahmotsavam Festival is the procession of the Utsava Moorthy (idol) of Lord Ganesha on various exquisitely decorated vehicles known as Vahanas. Each day of the festival witnesses a different Vahana, such as the Hamsa Vahana (Swan), Mayuka Vahana (Peacock), Gaja Vahana (Elephant), and more, making it a visual spectacle. It’s a time to offer prayers, seek blessings, and witness the divine energy that envelops this sacred place during this auspicious festival. The uniqueness of Kanipakam Vinayaka Temple lies in its self-manifested idol of Lord Ganesha, which is believed to be growing in size over the years.
Kottarakkara Ganapathy Temple is a centuries-old, most famous Maha Ganapathy Temple in Kerala, situated in Kottarakkara, in the Kollam district. The temple celebrates Vinayaka Chaturthi (Ganesh Chaturthi), the birthday of Lord Ganesh, with grand festivities. One of the significant rituals performed during this celebration is the “Maha Ganapathy Homam” which involves the offering of 1008 coconuts to Lord Ganesh.
Kottarakkara Ganapathy Temple is renowned for Unniyappam, a delicious sweet fritter, which is considered the primary Prasad (sacred food offering) to Lord Ganesha at this shrine. Don’t miss the chance to visit Kottarakkara Ganapathy Temple, especially during Vinayaka Chaturthi, where you can experience the divine blessings of Lord Ganesha and savour the delectable Unniyappam.
The Rockfort Ucchi Pillayar Koil Temple at Trichy in the state of Tamil Nadu celebrates Ganesh Chaturthi with great religious fervour. Devotees flock to this iconic temple, perched atop a massive rock, to offer their prayers and seek the blessings of Lord Ganesha. Special pujas and ceremonies are conducted throughout the day to celebrate their beloved elephant-headed God.
It is interesting to note that the rocks used in the construction of the Rockfort Ucchi Pillayar Koil Temple are believed to be among the oldest rocks in the world, predating even the Himalayan Mountains. If you’re in Trichy during Ganesh Chaturthi, don’t miss the chance to partake in the enchanting and spiritually enriching celebrations at Rockfort Ucchi Pillayar Koil Temple.
Celebrating Ganesh Chaturthi at Ganesh Tok Temple in Gangtok, Sikkim will be a unique experience. This lesser-known Ganesh Temple in Sikkim is perched atop a hill, offering glorious views of the of the majestic Kanchenjunga Mountains and arresting green valleys.
Devotees and tourists alike visit this gorgeous temple during Ganesh Chaturthi to seek the blessings of Lord Ganesha while enjoying the serene natural beauty of Sikkim. Don’t miss the divine experience of celebrating Ganesh Chaturthi at Ganesh Tok Temple.
Ranthambore Ganesh Temple in Rajasthan is the oldest Ganesha Temple in India which is a must-visit during Ganesh Chaturthi. It is located near the historic 1000-year-old Ranthambore Fort. The celebrations of Ganesh Chaturthi at Ranthambore Ganesh Temple is a grand affair. The Ganesh Mela held here during Ganesh Chaturthi attracts approximately one million devotees to the temple.
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This exquisite temple enjoys immense popularity, with people from all across the nation sending mails and wedding invitations to seek the blessings and love of Lord Ganesha. A unique feature of Ranthambore Ganesh Temple is that it is the only temple that houses the entire family of Lord Ganesha, including his wife, Riddhi Siddhi, two sons named Shubh and Labh, along with his loyal companion, Mushak.
Ganesh Chaturthi is a major festival celebrated at Manakula Vinayagar Temple in Pondicherry with great zest and pomp. It is situated at the heart of the French Colony in Pondicherry. During Ganesh Chaturthi, the temple comes alive with elaborate decorations, special rituals, and vibrant celebrations.
Devotees from near and far gather at the temple to seek the blessings of Lord Ganesha as well as to witness the grandeur of this divine festival. According to local belief, the Ganesha idol of this temple was immersed in the sea multiple times, yet it mysteriously reappeared at its original location each day. This miraculous occurrence contributed to the temple’s fame and enduring significance.
Adi Vinayaka Temple is another must-visit temple in India during Ganesh Chaturthi. It is nestled near Thilatharpanapuri in Tamil Nadu’s Muktheeswarar Temple complex.
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Adi Vinayaka Temple is a one-of-a-kind temple that showcases a divine form of Lord Ganesha with human face, known as ‘Nara Mukha Vinayaka’. It is said to be Lord Ganesha’s holy form, before taking on the ever-popular avatar of the elephant-faced deity.
Khajrana Ganesh Temple in Indore is one of India’s well-known Ganesh Temples. It is a great place to be at to celebrate the birth of Lord Ganesha. The temple holds immense religious significance, drawing a large number of visitors from all walks of life.
Devotees offer their prayers and believe that making a wish at this sacred site can lead to the fulfilment of their desires. If you are in Indore, Madhya Pradesh during Ganesh Chaturthi, make sure you visit Khajrana Ganesh Temple.
Dagdusheth Halwai Ganapati Temple in Pune, Maharashtra is yet another famous Ganesh Temples to visit in India during Ganesh Chaturthi. The temple celebrates the 10-day Ganesh Mahotsav in great grandeur and pomp. Thousands of devotees flock to the temple to partake in the elaborate celebrations during the festival.
They also seek the blessings of Lord Ganesha and offer their prayers and wishes. With a history dating back over a century, the temple’s architecture is designed to allow visitors to catch a glimpse of Lord Ganesha’s idol from outside.
If you’re planning to immerse yourself in the spirit of Ganesh Chaturthi, these famous Ganesh Temples in India should definitely be on your must-visit list. Each temple has its unique traditions and rituals, making the festival a truly diverse and enriching experience. Wishing you a joyous and blessed Ganesh Chaturthi! May Lord Ganesha bless you with wisdom, prosperity, and happiness on this auspicious occasion!
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