Wednesday, August 31, 2011

A Galaxy of Ganesha!

We are about to embark on the Ganesh Festival - the Ganesha Chaturthi.

In fact this is a busy festival week, yesterday was Eid-ul_Fitr, the end of Ramadan, today is Ganesh's birthday and next Thursday the feast of St Mary, a Catholic celebration. It seems that a multi-religion country has two options, to take the secular route, as in the U.S, where all religious celebrations have been down-graded to secular holidays, Merry Christmas is now Happy Holidays and Easter is now Spring Break - Christ on the Cross having morphed in to the Easter Bunny! The alternative being the Indian route to embrace the festivals of all religious group and having a plethora of holidays. Hence, I have passed billboards wishing all three on the same poster - Happy Eid-ul-Ftir, Happy Ganesha Chaturthi and Happy Feast of St Mary.

Ganesha is the god of wisdom, prosperity and good fortune. Hence a festival celebrated by most Hindus.

First step in the celebrations is to buy a clay Ganesha, either by family, village or other grouping. Unlike other Hindu gods who take on a standard form Ganesh is a cool dude and very flexible. The only standard characteristics seem to be his rounded chubby potbelly and his trunk. The Indian enthusiasm for vibrant color, wild imagination and excess shines forth. We went to pottery village to the Ganesha Holiday Sale!!
 Pottery town got a write up in the Bangalore Indian Times "An unkempt, unsanitary part of Fraser town, is bestowed with a special glamour. The roads are still just as filthy, and the rain still accumulates in puddles and the potters cottages don't look any more prosperous even though the god of prosperity has taken up temporary abode."

Although they say size isn't everything - in the world of Ganesha it definitely counts for something:
These kids were all too happy to show us their newly purchased Ganesh with real hair!
Once you have purchased your Ganesha, step two is transportation. All hands to the deck!
Driving to and from pottery town we saw many trucks with Ganesha of various shapes and sizes precariously balanced in the back, supported by many hands of families or what looked like whole villages.

Of all the Ganesha we saw these stood out - Caveman Ganesh, see the Tiger head at the bottom of his loin cloth!
Ganesh with beautiful peacock and little black rat:
And Ganesh in a flower or is it a shell?
This one was definitely out of place, as it is verging on the subtle and maybe tasteful!!
The detail on all the statues was impressive - look at the hands of the one below. As the oversize Gansha are waiting to be sold or collected and this being the raining season, they are shrouded in plastic. This Ganesh was peeping out from his!
 This was a great experience, the wonders of India, her culture and country men on show and happy to have us share! True Indian style tho' nothing is ready until the last minute:
The buying of the clay Ganesh is only the first part of the festival, wait for the subsequent installments!!


  1. The rat on the side is actually called Mushika (mouse) which is Ganesha's Vahana (can be interpreted as the deity's transportation vehicle). A good guide about Indian deity's Vahana's:


  2. Venkata -thanks, I have addressed in next blog -thanks for your help!