Today is the final day for the immersion of Ganesha Idols. It is a holiday for all Schools, Shops, few Business establishments and Offices. Everyone is in a holiday mood and enjoying the day. Immersion of Ganesha Idols in a Lake or River is called “Ganesha Nimajjanam” in Telugu. The festival of Vinayaka Chavithi that is of Lord Ganesha was celebrated on 11th September 2010 at all houses of Hindus and at thousands of Ganesha Pandals set up by communities all over the city, with great devotion. The festivities and worship of Lord Ganesha continued until today morning, 22nd September, that is Bhadrapadha Shukla Chaturdashi. After the final worship the Idols are being brought in procession from different areas for immersion at Hussain Sagar Lake, located at the center of the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad. All the major roads leading to the lake are filled with processions carrying thousands of Ganesha Idols small, big and gigantic and people who have come to see and worship the Idols. There is a lot of merriment going on in the processions with dances, music, fancy dresses and slogan shouting. The immersion of Idols in the lake is expected to continue all through tonight and until tomorrow afternoon. All the Telugu TV News channels are continuously covering the processions and the immersion.
Immersion of Idols took place in substantial numbers even on 13th, 15th and 19th September that is on the 3rd, 5th and 9th day after the festival. So one can have an idea how fondly, grandly and in large numbers the festival has been celebrated. The above photographs are an indication of the events today.
Idols of Gods at Temples are made from precious metals or sculpted from rock. Puja is done at Temples every day by learned Purohits as per ancient Shastras and Temple rituals. But for Vinayaka Chavithi Puja which is done in every household; it is not possible to follow the same Temple procedures, so it is recommended to get clay from Riverbed and shape it in the form of Lord Ganesha, offer Puja and immerse it back in the River. Leaving any idol without any regular Puja and offering of Naivedhyam daily or discarding it carelessly out of the house is not acceptable.
The Puja at home is done by invoking Lord Ganesha, doing Praana Prathishta and worshipping with a variety of flowers, leaves, fruits and by offering Naivedhyam of Lord Ganesha’s favorite food like Kudumulu and Paasham. The clay Idol is then immersed in a River or Lake along with all the Puja items like flowers, leaves, fruits, turmeric etc. This practice of immersion since ancient times had great environmental benefits. Bringing clay in large quantities from banks of Rivers and Lakes and putting it back in the form of idols away from the banks along with all the Puja material like turmeric and the various leaves (herbs) and fruits was good for purifying the water and served as food for fishes and other water creatures.
However the modern practice of making beautiful and colorful Ganesha Idols with Plaster of Paris and other hazardous materials and chemicals and then immersing these Idols in water bodies is certainly very harmful. Hope everyone would realize this before it becomes a major problem.