Ganesh Visarjan recreates Mumbai in San Francisco Bay area

7-webFREMONT: Mumbai was recreated in San Francisco Bay area for Ganesh Visarjan on September 7. There was dhol, tasha, grand parade, cruise to Bay, maha aarti in cruise and the finale with Visarjan in the presence of 600 people in Pacific Ocean to the chants of ‘Ganpati Bappa Mourya.’ Now from Indian Ocean to Pacific Ocean, Ganpati festival is universal and so are his blessings.

Dr Romesh Japra and Rajesh Verma, President and Chair of Fremont temple said, “We have successfully recreated Mumbai in Bay area and in the coming years we will have the largest Ganesh festival and Visarjan parade outside India”.

Deepak Chhabra, Chair Events and head of Visarjan said,” There is lot of effort that goes behind the scenes to get permissions for Visarjan. We need to make sure that all the murtis we get for Visarjan are bio-degradable, made of clay and can dissolve in water.

About five years ago an inspiring thought arose among a group of temple devotees. Starting with the Bay Area Telugu Association (BATA), then Maharashtra Mandal and Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh (HSS) showed genuine interest in organizing a Ganesh Mahotsav or Ganesh Chaturthi. Ganesh Chaturthi is a Hindu festival of Lord Ganesha, the god of wisdom, prosperity and good fortune. The plan involved a week-long festival of organized festivities, cultural programs, and prayer ceremonies.

Fremont Hindu Temple Management decided to make it an annual celebration and Fremont Hindu Temple Ganesh Mahotsav into one-of-a-kind event every year

The temple celebrated with prayer ceremonies and cultural programs every evening. The festival was attended by thousands of people, filling the temple with families arriving in their best clothes, to enjoy this first-of-its-kind event.

As part of the festival, an immersion trip was organized. Six buses filled with over 600 people set out on the immersion trip to the San Francisco Bay on September 7. Buses filled with devotees and enthusiasts of all ages arrived at San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf on a Sunday afternoon for Lord Ganesha’s Visarjan.

The immersion was done in Pacific Ocean near Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco. This has been creating history in Bay Area for the last five years.

The atmosphere on top of the ship that took the 600 devotees to a pre-destined off shore area of the Bay in the Pacific Ocean can only be defined as magical.

‘Ganapati gele gavala chain padena aamhala’ just witnessed an Out Of World Ganesh Visarjan Event in Pacific Ocean near Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco.

The ship was filled with the sound of music hymns being sung by devotees of all ages. Children were seen running around the ship filled with questions, excited because none of them had ever seen this part of their culture before. The experience was further made real when after the prayer ceremony, families were allowed to take their own mini-idols (which were all pre-approved and made of completely biodegradable materials), and immerse them in the Bay waters.

As the individual idols sunk into the deep waters of the Bay, the spirit of the people rose with singing and cheers to celebrate the end of the week long festivities – ‘Ganapati Bappa Morya! Pudhchya Varshi Laukar Yaa… Ganapati Gele Gavala Chain Padena Aamhala.’

Temple management, as represented by Dr Romesh Japra, Rajesh Verma, Manorama Joshi, Govind Pasumarthi, Vijaya Aasuri, Veeru Vupalla and other Management members along with Event Chair Deepak Chhabra concluded the event with a great success.

Deepak Chhabra

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