10 September 2008

A happy end for Ganesh

Above: Ganesh on his way to Ulsoor Lake

Ganesh Chaturthi is one of the most popular festivals celebrated in most parts of India with much noise and fanfare. For the past week, colourful and noisy processions have been taking place every evening through Bangalore’s streets in honour of the elephant-headed god Ganesh.

For weeks before the festival, colourful statues of the god in all shapes and sizes are sold in the streets. Huge Ganesh statues are erected in each neighbourhood where he is decorated with flowers and worshipped by the locals before they hoist him onto a tractor and take him to one of the city’s lakes for immersion.

The Lake Development Authority has run a campaign asking people to only buy idols made with natural colours to avoid the unnecessary pollution of the city’s lakes with toxic chemicals. Many of the statues are made of clay or mud which dissolves easily once in contact with water. At various points around the city, huge bins of water have been set up so that people can come and bring their idols for immersion. A priest is on hand to perform the final puja before the elephant god is dunked. The idols are then disposed of instead of being dumped in a lake.

Should devotion lead to destruction? Think about it! declares an ad in the paper:


Here, There, Elsewhere... and more said...

Great post - good idea the authorities encouraging the use of non-toxic colourings - I love your blog, always interesting + beautiful photos..:)

Jen Kumar said...

Like the post. Glad lake authority is educating the people. Do you think it works? I know the problem is out of control in Mumbai. I celebrate in my own way here in US and in an earth friendly way. If you find time read my post at http://alaivani.com/Blog/tabid/56/EntryID/265/Default.aspx
Actually my friend in Mumbai has posted this article in Marathi in a newspaper there!!