Ganesh Chaturthi festival is drawing to a close as devotees prepare for Ganesh Visarjan, bidding farewell to their beloved Ganpati Bappa with the hope of his early return next year. Many states across India, including Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Goa, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, and others, celebrate Ganeshotsav grandly, marking a 10-day festival. Ganesh Visarjan coincides with Anant Chaturdashi, a festival of worship of Lord Vishnu.
Some people celebrate Ganesh Visarjan at intervals of 1.5, 3, 5, and 7 days, attaching special significance to the final day when Lord Ganesha returns to his divine home. In Telugu-speaking areas, people refer to it as Vinayaka Nimajjanam.
A multitude of devotees carries the Lord Ganesha idol for immersion, accompanied by the resonating beats of dhol and the heartfelt chants of “Ganpati Bappa Morya,” bidding Him a poignant farewell, often in a river, lake, or the sea. You can also perform Visarjan at home using a tub or bucket as an alternative option.
Auspicious timings for Ganesha Visarjan
Ganesha Visarjan is scheduled for Thursday, September 28, 2023, on Anant Chaturdashi. There are auspicious Choghadiya Muhurats available for the immersion ceremony.
Morning Muhurat (Shubha) – 06:12 AM to 07:42 AM
Morning Muhurat (Chara, Labha, Amrita) – 10:42 AM to 03:11 PM
Afternoon Muhurat (Shubha) – 04:41 PM to 06:11 PM
Evening Muhurat (Amrita, Chara) – 06:11 PM to 09:11 PM
Night Muhurat (Labha) – 12:12 AM to 01:42 AM, Sep 29
Chaturdashi Tithi Begins – 10:18 PM on September 27, 2023
Chaturdashi Tithi Ends – 06:49 PM on September 28, 2023
Rituals of Ganesh Visarjan
- Prayer and Offerings: Devotees gather around the Ganesha idol for a final prayer, seeking His blessings and expressing gratitude. Devotees make offerings of sweets, fruits, flowers, and camphor to the deity.
- Aarti: Aarti, a ceremonial prayer involving the circling of a lit lamp or camphor in front of the idol, is performed. It is accompanied by singing devotional songs and chants.
- Breaking the Coconut: In some traditions, devotees break a coconut as an offering to Lord Ganesha, symbolizing the act of breaking one’s ego and overcoming obstacles in their path.
- Immersion Procession: The Ganesha idol is then carried in a procession, often accompanied by music, dance, and enthusiastic chants of “Ganpati Bappa Morya.” Devotees carry the idol to a body of water for immersion.
- Immersion: At the water body (usually a river, lake, or sea), the idol is gently lowered into the water. This symbolizes Lord Ganesha’s return to His heavenly abode. Some prefer to immerse the idol in a tub or bucket of water at home.
- Dissolving the Idol: In eco-friendly practices, idols made of clay or other natural materials are used to minimize environmental impact. These idols dissolve in the water over time, leaving no pollution behind.
- Offering Farewell: Devotees bid an emotional farewell to Lord Ganesha, often with tearful eyes. Expressing their hope for His swift return the following year.
- Distribution of Prasad: Following the immersion, devotees share prasad (blessed food) as a symbolic gesture representing the distribution of Lord Ganesha’s blessings.
- Environmental Awareness: In recent years, there has been a growing awareness of environmental conservation during Ganesh Visarjan. Many communities and individuals opt for eco-friendly idols and practice responsible immersion to protect water bodies.