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September 27, 2012

The immersion of Lord Ganesha

The culmination of the Ganesh Chaturthi festival is with the most important Ganesh immersion ceremony or Ganesh Visarjan. In 2012, it is on September 29. When to immerse the Ganesh idol? Or when is the Ganesh immersion day? This is a perplexing question for many. Normally, Ganesh Visarjan takes place on Ananta Chaturdashi day. But there are no hard and fast rules for Ganesh Immersion, it usually depends on family tradition. 

2012 Dates of Lord Ganesha immersion
One day  – September 20
Three days – September 21
Five Days – September 23
Seven  – September 25
Ten days  – September 28
Ananta Chaturdashi last day– September 29

Lord Ganesh eco friendly

Why Ganesh Idols Immersed in Water at the End of the Festival?

Hindus worship idols, of their gods because it gives them a visible form to pray to. They also recognize that the universe is in a constant state of change. Form eventually gives away to formlessness. However, the energy still remains. The immersion of the statues in the ocean, or other bodies of water, and subsequent destruction of them serves as a reminder of this belief.Some families perform the ceremony on the very next day. It is believed that Ganesha comes and stays in the idol for a day and returns the next day.There are other families which perform the Ganesh immersion or Visarjan on the 1.5 days, 3rd, 5th, 7th or the 10th day.

Today, many people choose the least crowded day to immerse the Ganesh idol. Those who opt for an eco-friendly Ganesh immersion, do it in a bucket or a tank. In Mumbai, artificial lakes are created to avoid water pollution. This year the governments and NGOs are running a strong campaign for the use of eco-friendly Ganesh idols.
ganesh immersion visarjan 2012

Environmental pollution caused by Ganesh Chaturthi festival

Widespread campaigns are already on for an eco-friendly Ganesh Chaturthi festival but still a large section of the society are unaware of the pollution and environmental damage caused by Plaster of Paris idols and chemical paints. Some large Ganesha Pandal committees, to attract maximum crowd conveniently forget the environmental impact caused by the idols. The main pollution is caused by the Plaster of Paris Ganesh idols and the chemical paints used in them.
Plaster of Paris (POP) is not a naturally occurring material and contains gypsum, sulphur, phosphorus and magnesium. The idols take several months to dissolve in water and in the process poison the waters of lake, ponds, rives and seas.
The chemical paints used to decorate the Ganesh idol contain mercury, lead, cadmium and carbon and this increases the acidity and heavy metal content in the water.Several accessories used during the Ganesh Puja like Thermocole, plastic flowers, cloth, incense, camphor and numerous other materials are dumped carelessly adding more strain to the already polluted rivers and lakes.
Careless dumping of Ganesh idols in waterbodies blocks the natural flow of water. This results in stagnation and breeding of mosquitoes and other harmful pests.The polluted water causes several diseases including skin diseases.The pollution from Ganesh Chaturthi idols also damages the ecosystem, kills fishes and water plants.In many areas, the same polluted water gets pumped into homes.


Use eco-friendly clay idols painted with natural colors.
Use permanent idols made of stone and perform a symbolic immersion and reuse the idol each year.
Avoid public waterbodies to immerse the idols, instead immerse idol in bucket or tub.

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