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Mysore gets ready to celebrate Gauri-Ganapati festival

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By Nithin Sridhar

unnamed (5)Mysore:  Mysore is getting ready for Swarna Gauri festival that falls on September 16 and Ganesha Chaturthi festival that will be celebrated on September 17 this year.

Vendors and hawkers have started selling various essential commodities that would be used during the festival. The banana, its leaves and the stems are all used in the festival. The stem is used for decorating the Puja Mandap (porch like structure where the idol is seated for worship). The banana leaves are used by some people for cooking foods as well as for eating the food in a traditional manner. Bananas are also used for offering to God during puja (worship).

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Banana leaves being sold

Apart from items like coconut, flowers, and fruits that are used during most of the Hindu festivals, the items like traditional mura (winnows) etc. which have specific uses during Gowri festival are also sold.

Winnows are used as a plate in which various items like turmeric, kumkum, cereals, rice, coconut, blouse piece, bangles, etc. are kept and the whole arrangement called as baagina is offered to Mother Gauri during the Gauri festival. Such baaginas are also exchanged among married women.

Baagina being prepared by a widow
Baagina being prepared by a widow

 

But, the main attractions of the festival are the idols of Ganapati and Gauri. The idols, especially of Ganesha, come in all sizes and colors. From unpainted clay Ganesha idol to idols painted in pink or white. In fact, the attire of the idols are embellished with a sundry colour palette.

Even the posture of Ganesha is not always the same. While some idols depict the deity in a sitting posture,others portray him standing. Moreover, some idols, show the deity playing veena or seated along with his consort.

On the other hand, Gauri idols do not have much variety. Most of the idols show only the torso of Mother Gauri and they are usually painted yellow. Some painted in pink are also available, but are lesser in number.

The setting up of pandals (platforms) for housing huge idols of Ganesha for public worship have also started at few places. The temples are also cleaning their premises and making preparations for the festival.

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The spick & span temples

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Celebrate this Ganesh Chaturthi with Over Loaded Zeal and Vigor at Delhi Haat

Most awaited 10-days long Ganesh Utsav has started today. Enjoy a wide variety of Modak during this Ganesh Chaturthi.

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Lord Ganesha's idol on Ganesh Chaturthi
Lord Ganesha's idol on Ganesh Chaturthi. Wikimedia.
  • Time to welcome Lord Ganesha in our homes has arrived.
  • Celebrate this Ganesh Chaturthi with lots and lots of Modaks.
  • Visit Delhi Haat, INA to enjoy this Ganesh Chaturthi with pomp and gaiety.

New Delhi, August 25, 2017: Celebrate this Ganesh Chaturthi with over loaded zeal and vigor at Delhi Haat, INA, as Delhi Tourism in collaboration with M/S Sarvajanik Utsav Samiti is organizing the year’s most awaited 10-days long Ganesh Utsav here, from August 25 to September 4, 2017.

Ganesh Chaturthi is also known as Ganesha Utsav or Vinayak Chaturthi. Lord Ganesha is considered as the lord of prosperity. He is considered as the one removes all the obstacles and brings in the fortune.

Ganesh Chaturthi is one of the most sacred and auspicious festivals in Indian culture. This fervor festival commences on the birth anniversary of elephant god of India during the Bhadrapada month of Hindu calendar. It is commemorated by installing Lord Ganesha’s idol at homes or public pandals.

Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations
A pandal for Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations. Pixabay

With high festive spirits in their heart, people embellish pandals with colorful flowers and dazzling lights. The music system is also installed to play bhajans and aartis. A traditional ambiance is created by devotees in the pandal.

During the 10-days long Ganesha Utsav, morning and evening prayers are offered to the deity. Vedic hymns and Hindu texts are chanted. The Indian sweet dumpling also called modak, is what everybody waits for. It is the main attraction of this festive season. It is considered as the Lord Ganesha’s favorite sweet. After offering the modak to Lord Ganesha, it is distributed among the people as prasadam. At various places, Langars(community meal) is also organized for the devotees. Others sweets and savories such as karanji, Kheer, Puran Polis etc., also adds more sweetness in this festive season.

Lord Ganesha's favourite sweet "MODAK"
Lord Ganesha’s favorite sweet “MODAK”. Wikimedia

Various pandals, also set up tableaux (jhanki) of Lord Ganesha. These tableaux represent some events from the Lord Ganesha’s life. At some places, children and even adults dress up in Lord Ganesha costume to become a part of these tableaux.

At Delhi Haat, INA, a temporary pandal for Lord Ganesha has been setup. Morning and evening prayers are also performed. You can also enjoy the other events in Delhi Haat, INA. Every evening during this festive season, Delhi Haat, INA, will organize cultural shows and performances by the artists of various genres.

“Delhi Haat offers tantalizing glimpses of the vast storehouse of the Indian Culture by holding regional festivals at its open air theatre”, mentioned Delhi Tourism report.

This is a great place to tempt your taste buds with all sorts of dishes. You can relish yourself with these wide variety food stalls in Delhi Haat.

Do visit Delhi Haat, INA to enjoy this Ganesh Chaturthi to the fullest.

How to reach Delhi Haat, INA:
Address: Delhi Haat, West Kidwai Nagar, New Delhi, Delhi 110023                               Nearest Metro station: INA                                                                                       Click on this link to get the exact location on Google maps.

https://www.google.co.in/maps/place/Delhi+Haat/@28.550589,77.1548241,11.43z/data=!4m8!1m2!2m1!1sdelhi+haat,+INA,SOUTH+DELHI!3m4!1s0x390ce263a7a30d5b:0x32405cf05342652b!8m2!3d28.572745!4d77.2090213

prepared by Shivani Chowdhary of NewsGram. Twitter @cshivani31

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24 years after Converting his Faith to Islam, 52-year-old Sheshadri from Mysore Returns to Hinduism

What was the reason for his conversion from Islam to back to his original religion Hinduism?

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Sheshadri originally belonged to a Brahmin family
(Representative image) Sheshadri originally belonged to a Brahmin family. Wikimedia
  • Sheshadri lost his mother when he was only 2 years old and he also lost his father while he was studying in class 10
  • No one from his community came to help him and to survive he had to take odd jobs at hotels in Mysore and Bengaluru 
  • He adopted Islam religion as he developed a liking for that religion

 Mysore, Karnataka, August 25, 2017:  Sheshadri, an old man from Mysore who is  59 yrs old and earlier belonged to a Brahmin family and Shree Vaishnava Pantha Brahmin community. He later adopted Islam religion. Now, after a long duration of time, Sheshadri and his 20-year-old son Syed Ateek have converted back to Hinduism.

Here’s how a Brahmin man who first converted to Islam and later came back to his own religion- Hinduism:

  • Sheshadri is a resident of Jakkanahalli (a small village which falls in Mandya district) town Shree Ranga Pattana in Karnataka. His profession is that of a lorry driver in Mandya.
  • His father’s name was late B Govindaraju, who was a priest and follower of Ramanujacharya, a Hindu theologian and held a belief in Vishishtadvaita (non-dualistic school of Vedanta philosophy).
  • His mother’s name was Kamalamma, who was a Shaiva Brahmin and follower of Adi Shankara’s Advaita Vedanta (a type of Hindu philosophy and religious practice, they believe that their soul is not really different from God). 
  • But his parents didn’t have an easy life as they had to leave the town as the community opposed their marriage.

ALSO READ: Tamil Brahmin’s transformation to urban middle class 

  • Sheshadri didn’t have a normal childhood. He lost his mother when he was only 2 years old and he also lost his father while he was studying in class 10.
  • During those tough days no one from his community came to help him, to survive he had to take odd jobs at hotels in Mysore and Bengaluru.
  • In 1993, he started working as a lorry driver with Syed Keezer from Kollegala. At that time, Sheshadri adopted Islam religion as he developed a liking for that religion.
  • Sheshadri married Fahmida, who was a relative of Syed Keezer and with her, he had two sons- Syed Ateek and Syed Siddiq.
  • But even his marriage didn’t last long as Fahmida left Sheshadri 2 years ago because of some conflict and after it, she started living with her parents and took her younger son Syed Siddiq along with her.
  • This event affected him in a huge way, leaving him frustrated and thus he decided to convert back to the religion he originally belonged to that is Hinduism.
  • His elder son Syed Ateeq joined him in conversion and changed his name to Harshal.
  • Sheshadri talked about the reason for conversion from Islam to Hinduism. According to Banglore Mirror report, he said “I embraced Islam and married a Muslim woman due to restrictions from our community. I was always eager to come back to Hinduism. I will now persuade my wife and the other son to convert to Hinduism.”
  • There was a Ghar Waapsi (homecoming) programme held for Sheshadri, conducted by Pramod Mutalik, Sri Ram Sene chief at the Arya Samaj Mandir, Mysore.

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Now You Can Savor Modaks and Other Healthy Foods on the Occasion Ganesh Chaturthi

Preparing sweets and food at home will help in controlling your oil and sugar intake and enjoying a guilt-free Ganesh Chaturthi

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Ganesh chaturthi
A Ganesh Murti on display on occasion of Ganesh Chaturthi. Wikimedia
  • For people with diabetes, cholesterol, and obesity, Ganesh Chaturthi may feel like a daunting prospect due to fried food and sweets
  • This season, try to make your own delicacies and sweets at home in order to make them healthier
  • Apart from reviving the traditional way of celebration, you will be able to control your oil and sugar intake and enjoy a guilt-free Ganesh Chaturthi without compromising on your health

New Delhi, August 21, 2017: One can’t just ignore the risks associated with health that come along with festival foods, even though they delight the foodie inside you. Aishwarya Parameshwaran has listed a few tips that can make Ganesh Chaturthi both healthy and fun.

During Ganesh Chaturthi, the food items like Puri-bhaji, Modaks, Puran polis, aluwadi are sufficient to melt your heart. We lose control while looking at mouth-watering food but without delicious food and sweets, this festival would be incomplete.

For people suffering diabetes, cholesterol, and obesity, Ganesh Chaturthi might feel difficult to deal with as eating fried festival food depicts a way of celebrating this festival in a traditional manner but it could have an impact on weight management, cholesterol, and glucose level in the blood. Make an attempt to cook your own delicacies and sweets at home this season. You will not only be able to enjoy Ganesh Chaturthi in a traditional manner but it’ll also help you control your oil and sugar intake. This is turn will make your Ganesh Chaturthi guilt-free as you will not be making a compromise with your health.

Listed below are a few tips to go healthy this Ganesh Chaturthi:

Puri

Ganesh Chaturthi
Puri bhaji. Wikimedia

We rely on tissues to make the crispy, fried puris healthier. But, all the oil cannot be soaked from these puris using tissues. If you’re suffering from cholesterol and are stuck in a fix, we will provide you with a solution. The only change you need to take is to try baking the puris instead of frying! Knead the whole wheat flour well and then divide the dough into similar parts to roll them into the shape of a puri. Then, place them on a tray covered with grease after pricking them with a fork. Bake your wheat puris in a preheated oven for about 10 minutes, at 200 degree Celsius. Savor these healthy puris with potato vegetable!

Modak

Ganesh Chaturthi
Using jaggery instead of sugar will make your modaks healthy and tastier. Wikimedia

Consuming this sweet in large quantity can have an impact on your health. It appears as a healthy dish because it is not fried and is steamed, but it still remains unhealthy due to a lot of sugar present in it. You can make it nutritious and healthy by using jaggery instead of sugar. Jaggery, a natural sweetener, is not only enriched with iron but it helps to flush out the toxing from your body by cleaning up the liver. So, make way for healthier and tastier modaks!

 Puran Poli

Ganesh Chaturthi
Maharashtrian Puran Poli. Wikimedia

Puran Poli, Maharashtra’s most famous dish, is a must during the festival of Ganesh Chaturthi. It is a Maharashtra’s classic dish which is made using red gram (tuvar dal) or yellow gram (chana dal) with a mixture of cardamom, ghee, coconut, and jaggery stuffed in it. This mixture is full of calories due to its sweetness. So, we recommend you to use ghee negligible quantities and choose wheat flour to make it even more healthier.

Sheera

Ganesh Chaturthi
Sheera prepared during Ganesh Chaturthi. Wikimedia

All you got to do to make sheera healthier is use minimum ghee and natural sweeteners like banana, dates, or figs instead of sugar. Preparing it at home will make you get everyone’s help at home and also control the quantities of calories/sugar in the sweet. Home-made sheera will definitely be healthier and safer as compared to the outside one.

Also Read: Ganesh Chaturthi: The Birth Anniversary of the Mighty “Vighnaharta”

 Alu wadi

Ganesh Chaturthi
Patrado is a Konkani & Malvani dish from the konkan region. It’s made with Taro leaves stuffed with a coarse paste made of rice, lentils and spices. Patrado also has a sweet version called Alu wadi mostly eaten as a snack in Gujarat. Wikimedia

Alu wadi, also known as Patra is a savory dish of Maharashtra and is prepared during festivals and special occasions in Maharashtra. Alu wadi is prepared with taro leaves, known to be very good for people with diabetes. The leaves also help in digestion due to their high fiber content. You can just consume this dish after steaming it or choosing shallow frying. This way you can enjoy amazing food along with keeping your health in mind.

Fruits 

Ganesh Chaturthi
Choosing fruits as an alternative to sweets and fried snacks is a healthy option. Wikimedia

The hunger between our meals, make us have unhealthy sweets, fried chips, etc and few people even try to disregard that hunger. This can make your body go through acidity because this will only make you restless and tired. Choosing fruits as an alternative is a healthy option and it will not only fill your stomach temporarily but will also prevent you from feeling lazy.

Juices and drinks

Ganesh Chaturthi
Mosambi Juice. Wikimedia

Almost all processed foods or beverages contain huge amounts of fructose which poses a threat to our health. We recommend you to go for juices made from natural fruits like mosambijuice, lemon juice, coconut juice and try to stay away fromsoft drinks. Masala dudh can also be chosen as an option if honey is used as a sweetener.

Prepared by Harsimran Kaur of NewsGram. Twitter @Hkaur1025


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