Ganesh Chaturthi is an important festival in the India. It is celebrated with extreme zeal and passion amongst the Hindus in the country. The objective of this festive celebration is to commemorate the birth of Lord Ganesha, the son of Lord Shiva and Parvati. This celebration was a homely affair before the year 1893 when Lokmanya Tilak made it a community festival to promote the interactions between brahmin and non-brahmin community in Maharashtra. Now, the community celebrations of this festival in Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh are well known for their exceptional grandeur throughout the country
The festive celebration of Ganesh Chaturthi festival goes on for ten days. It starts in the month of Bhaadrapada, on the fourth day of the waxing moon period, this festival according to the Gregorian calendar falls between 20 August and 15 September The final day of the celebration witnesses' extreme enthusiasm. The devotees of Ganesha observe a whole day fast and take out a long procession of the Lord throughout the city. During these ten days, all the devotees gather in the community Pandals for the celebration every day. The Pooja, celebrations and feasts are arranged at the Pandal for the entire ten days. People of various communities share a common platform to celebrate this festival. These Pandals are beautifully decorated and does look no less than a grand film set.
The concept of community celebrations has given way to huge grandeur in the celebrations. On this occasion, the community pandals are arranged where the ten days Pooja is carried on. This Pandal is like a temporary abode for the deity. This is also the common place for feasts and celebrations for the devotees. The Pooja is carried on in this Pandal in a very interesting way. Half the Pandal is decorated for the Pooja and half of it is arranged for sitting arrangements, get-togethers, feasting and celebrations of the devotees. The making of Pandals for the Pooja begins day before the actual Pooja starts.
The making of Pandal is also a complex and lengthy phenomenon. It is an intricate affair of arranging a beautiful and temporary shelter for ten days celebrations. The entire cost of arrangement of the Pandals is met by community donations. Making of the Pooja Pandals follows pre-decided plans that use bamboo poles, wooden planks and clothes. The use of colorful clothes and fresh flowers for ambiences enhance the beauty of the Pandal. The decorations of the Pandal are done in accordance with space available and the expected gathering.
It has now become a fashion to set Pooja Pandals through community contribution in every colony and street especially in Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh. The trend of designer Pandals with complex lightings and intricate patterns are also in extreme demands on this occasion. Decorated by lights, flowers and several such items, the modern Pandals give a grand look. The Pandals all over the city give a mesmerizing look to the city as well as extreme enthusiasm and grandeur to the festival.