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Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations begins; Puja Muhurat, Rituals, and Special Foods

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Ganesh Chaturthi 2018

New Delhi, Sep 13: Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations have kicked off and the 10-day long festival is being celebrated with much fervour across the different parts of the nation.

States like Goa, Mumbai and Pune in Maharashtra and some parts of South India are in high spirits and celebrating the occasion cheerfully.

Devotees in Mumbai throng to the most famous ‘Lalbaugcha Raja’ to have a glimpse of Ganpati Bappa on the occasion of Ganesh Chaturthi.

Also known as Vinayaka Chaturthi, is celebrated in honour of Hindu God, Lord Ganesha, who is said to leave mount Kailasha to be with his followers for these ten days.

ganesh chaturthi

The auspicious day marks the birth of Hindu God Ganesha and starts with the ‘sthapana’ of the Lord in the house, ending with ‘visarjan’ on the tenth day.

Devotees clean up their houses and install idols of Lord Ganesha and worship him with flowers and delicious sweets.

Ganesh Chaturthi 2018

In states of Maharashtra and Karnataka, you would find massive Ganesh pandals, with artful clay idols of Lord Ganesha.

Craftsmen and sculptors from across the country begin sculpting idols of Lord Ganesha months in advance. Post the Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations, these clay idols are immersed in river.

ganesh

Ganesh Chaturthi 2018

The celebrations of Ganesh Chaturthi started today (September 13) and the visarjan will take place on September 23. The colourful and spectacular celebrations go back years in time and hold a very significant place in every devotee’s heart.

Puja Muharat:

13 September:

Afternoon- 1:30 pm to 3:21 pm

Evening- 4:53 to 9:21 pm

14 September:

Morning- 3:13 to 6:09 am

Afternoon- 12:16 to 1:48 pm

Evening- 4:52 to 6:24 pm

15 September:

Morning- 7:41 am to 9:13 am

Afternoon- 12:16 pm to 4:51 pm

Evening- 6:23 pm to 7:51 pm

Night- 9:19 pm to 1:45 am (September 16)

16 September:

Morning- 4:42 am to 6:10 am

17 September:

Morning- 6:11 am to 7:42 am and 9:13 am to 10:44 am

Afternoon- 1:47 pm to 7:49 pm

Night- 10:47 pm to 0:16 am

18 September :

Morning – 1:45 am to 6:11 am

19 September:

Morning- 6:12 am to 9:13 am and 10:44 am to 12:15 pm

Afternoon- 3:16 pm to 6:18 pm

Night- 7:47 pm to 0:15 am

20 September:

Morning- 3:14 am to 4:43 am

23 September:

Morning- 7:43 am to 12:13 pm
Afternoon- 1:43 pm to 3:13 pm
Evening- 6:13 pm to 10:43 pm

Significance of the Festival:

Known as the God of beginnings, no rituals or ceremonies in Hindu culture is begun without performing his puja first. He is known to ward off the evil eye. Ganesha has 108 different names and is also the Lord of arts and sciences and the deva of wisdom. Also, popularly called Ganpati, Vinayaka, and Vighnaharta.

Hindu devotees worship him prior to all Hindu Gods. His name is repeated before starting any work and is believed to be very fortunate and auspicious. People even keep an idol or image of Ganpati on their door entrance to let positive vibrations enter the house.

ganesh_chaturthi_idol

During Hindu marriage ceremonies, the first invitation is presented before Lord Ganesha to seek his blessings. He is also associated as the God of power and wisdom. There are various stories that show how cleverly and calmly he used to deal with complicated matters.

Mythological Significance:

Lord Ganesha was the second son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Paravati. There are many legends associated with Ganpati’s birth. But the most famous story goes like that once Maa Parvati asked his son Ganesh whom she created from the dirt that came out of her body while taking bath and then breathed life into him. She asked him to guard her door while she finishes her bath. When Lord Shiva returned and found this little boy who would not let him go past the gate he was livid. He pursued Ganesha but he was unwilling to budge.

Little Ganesha even called for a combat. Angry Lord Shiva severed the head of Ganesha after a combat between the two. Upon seeing the dead body of little Ganesha, Goddess Parvati broke down and asked Lord Shiva to do something to bring their son back to life again. Lord Shiva ordered other devas to head to the north direction and bring the head of whoever they find first. They found an elephant and as instructed by Lord Shiva, brought its head. Lord Shiva fixed the elephant’s head on the child and brought him back to life.

Lord shiva parwati ganesh

Lord Ganesha is designated as vighnaharta, the one who averts obstacles. Through the span of Ganesh Chaturthi, devotees pray to Lord Ganesha to rid them of all their obstacles in their personal and professional lives.

Rituals:

During the festival, colourful pandals (temporary shrines) are setup across across the nation specially in the state of Maharashtra and the Lord is worshipped for 10 days. Beautiful Ganpati idols are created – some enormous in size for the pandals and some in size as tall as two feet for people’s humble abode. Throughout the 10 days, cities like Mumbai and Pune are in high spirits, right from the first day of the festival to the last day.

There are four main rituals during Ganesh Chaturthi. The first is Pranapratishhtha – the process of infusing the deity into a murti or idol; second is Shhodashopachara – 16 forms of paying tribute to Ganesha; third is Uttarpuja – puja after which the idol could be shifted after it’s infusion; fourth is Ganpati Visarjan – immersion of the idol in a water body. For the all the days, the idol is worshipped with Ganpati puja, devotional songs and Ganesh aarti in the morning and evening.

On the last day of the festival, during Ganesh Visarjan, people gather on the streets and dance on the beats of the drums and bid adieu to their beloved Ganpati with utmost joy and happiness and pray to him to return next year as soon as possible.

ganesh chaturthi

Must Visit Ganesha Temples:

There are several temples in India dedicated to the elephant god that devotees must visit at least once in a lifetime. These temples are known for their architecture as well for the history behind them. Few temples like Siddhivinayak Temple, Mumbai; Dagdusheth Halwai Ganpati Temple, Pune; Rockfort Ucchi Pillayar Koil Temple, Tamil Nadu; Manakula Vinayagar Temple, Puducherry and Kanipakam Vinayaka Temple in Chittoor are a must visit.

Siddhivinayak Temple, Mumbai

Siddhivinayak Temple, Mumbai

Ganesh Chaturthi ‘Special Foods’:

It is no strange fact that Lord Ganesha was a fond lover of food, especially ‘Modak’. Modak is a special kind of sweet rice flower dumpling made with fillings of jaggery and desiccated coconut.

modak

Sweetmeat shops across Maharashtra are filled with delicious varieties of modaks during this festive time.

Another popular sweet dish is karanji (karjikai in Kannada), similar to modak in composition and taste but in a semi-circular shape. This sweet is popularly known as nevri in Goa, which is an intrinsic part of Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations in Goa.

Maharashtrian delicacies like Puran Poli, Srikhand, Patholi, Varan Bhaat, Sabudana Vada( traditional prasad or bhog) are popularly made during Vinayaka Chaturthi.

Here’s wishing you all a very Happy Ganesh Chaturthi 2018!  Ganpati Bappa Morya !!

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HAL-built light combat helicopter completes weapon trials

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HAL , Light Combat Helicopter; Image : ANI , Sanjay Simha

Bengaluru, Jan 17: The Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) developed by state-run Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) has successfully carried out air to air missile firing on a moving aerial target and is ready for operational induction, the defence behemoth said on Thursday.

Other weapons on the LCH include a 20mm Turret gun and 70 mm Rockets, the firing trials of which have already been completed last year.

“During the tests conducted at integrated test range, Chandipur Odisha recently, Wg Cdr Subash P John, VM (Retd), test pilot, Col Ranjit Chitale, (Retd), Flight Test Engineer from HAL and Gp Capt Rajeev Dubey, test pilot from the IAF, executed a flawless mission and achieved a direct hit on the aerial target, destroying it completely,” said HAL spokesperson Gopal Sutar in a press statement.

According to the HAL, LCH is the only attack copter in the world which is capable of operating at altitudes as high as Siachen glacier.

The helicopter is equipped with helmet mounted sight and a forward looking infrared sighting system, allowing its pilots to detect and attack any target on ground or in the air.

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President Ram Nath Kovind offers prayer at Kumbh

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President Kovind

Prayagraj, Jan 17: President Ram Nath Kovind on Thursday offered prayers at ongoing Kumbh Mela in Prayagraj.

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Governor Ram Naik were also present.

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Supreme Court allows Mumbai dance bars to reopen with restrictions

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Mumbai dance bars
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Mumbai, Jan 17: The Supreme Court on Thursday allowed dance bars to reopen in Mumbai but imposed regulations such as barring CCTV surveillance.

It said there was no need for CCTV surveillance inside dance bars as it violates privacy.

The apex court said that the performers could be tipped, but showering of cash and coins will not be allowed inside the bars.

The court added that Maharashtra cannot ban dance bars by taking recourse to regulating them, noting that since 2005 no licence has been issued.

“Since 2005 till date, no licence has been issued. There may be regulation but that does not amount to total prohibition,” said a bench of Justice A.K. Sikri and Justice Ashok Bhushan.

Pronouncing the judgment, Justice Sikri said that there could be no segregation of dance stage and that of drinking and eating space as it struck down the provision for “mandatory” installing of CCTV cameras in the dance bars holding that it violates privacy.

The court upheld the definition of obscenity given in the State law saying that it was not vague.

Holding that those visiting the dance bar could give tips, the court said no to the showering of money during dance performances.

The court held as “unreasonable” the provision that says that a dance bar should be one kilometre away from religious places, hospitals and educational institutions.

However, it left it to the state legislature to take a call on the issue.

Striking down the provision that said that the owner of the dance bar should have a “good character” and no “criminal antecedents”, the court said: “There is no precise definition of what amounts to good character and criminal antecedents.”

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