Festival - Ganesh Puja

After Varalakshmi Vratham, comes Ganesh Chaturti or Vinayaka Chathurti or Chavithi .  It is celebrated on Chathurthi (the fourth day) after new moon  in the Tamil month, Aavani and Bhadrapada maasa in other calenders.Again, I would like to share how I celebrate this festival according to the method followed in our family.  There may be different methods followed in different families in various places in India.A similar design drawn with 7 to 1 dot pattern from my YouTube Channel - in the video link below.It is the latest dot rangoli added for this festival season and  gives all the information from dot pattern to the steps needed for drawing this dot rangoli design.

Arugampul (Bermuda grass) and arali (oleander) are two of the most important offerings for Ganesh Chathurti celebrations.  This simple garland is my offering for Ganesh Puja.  A tuft of arugampul and two oleander flowers are placed together as shown, oleander above arugampul and strung into a garland following the usual method of stringing flowers.  For different methods of stringing them please see Flower decoration.

This decoration idea is demonstrated through steps in the images below.  I have chosen arugampul and sampangi.  Both are tied on one side only to get a semi circular shape.  The ends can be tied to get a circular shape garland that can be placed at the feet of Lord Ganesha.  If it is left in the semi circular shape it can be used to decorate the image of Lord Ganpathi.



We have our rose wood mantap that is used for Varalakshmi Vratham or Puja that is cleaned well and placed facing east.  Hridaya kamalam or Aishwarya (patra rangoli ) kolam is drawn on the base of the mantap.

These rangoli and other puja rangoli are in  Rangoli for Puja

Puja mandir decoration with rangoli

After cleaning the mandap or mandir, we usually draw the hridaya kamala kolam with a kaavi border traced with a cotton bud.  Then a plantain leaf ( nuni elai as we say in Tamil ) is placed on the kolam and then we rice  is placed on the leaf.  On this leaf we place the moorthy or image of Lord Ganesha of Ganpathi.  The images below show the steps.






 Then a banana leaf  (nuni ilai in Tamil ) is placed on the mantap and rice in placed on the leaf and the thoranam arrangement is similar to the one used for Varalakshmi Pooja.

OHP sheet toran or thoranam - Craft ideas for festival decoration at home


Toran or Thoranam is an important part of celebration of any festival.  The image above shows a festoon  or toran made from artificial mango leaves - may be useful where mango leaves are not available.  The leaves are made from OHP sheet using a template prepared with card board, the veins are drawn with out-liners, the remaining portion filled with green colour to give the mango leaf effect.  The leaves are mounted on a colourful and fancy tape.  A chamki is placed between two leaves to enhance the beauty. The images below show the steps.






Traditional maavilai thoranam is more important that the artificial thoranam or thoran we make as a craft. Oraganize mango leaves of almost similar length as shown in the photo.  Then using a pair of scissors cut the stalks.  Then as shown in the second photo,fold the leaves around a string and staple them so that we get a toran with all elements of equal length.  A quick and easy way to make a mango leaf thoranam unlike the traditional method of making thoranam where we use the stalk to pierce the leaf so that it holds on to the string.  This may considered to be a modern and sophisticated method of making a thoranam

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Though ready made thoranam made from coconut fronds are available the video in my channel Rangolisansdots for those who want try at least once - how to make a thoranam  

 Video from my Channel on YouTube


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Simple kolam with dots for Pillayar Chaturthi or Vinayaka Chathurti      

How to draw Pillayar kolam with dots - just 4 dots !

This kolam is drawn with a dot grid 4 dots to 1 ( idukku pullli ) a simple and small kolam suitable to be drawn before the Puja mandapam only ( not to be drawn at the entrance ).  The kolam / muggu through a few steps in the photos . Simple decorations using the lotus enhance the attractiveness of the kolam .



Another simple rangoli design with 4 dots to 1 dot grid can also be drawn in the Puja Mandapam.  This rangoli evolves from the basic shank or conch design as seen from the images below.  We can decorate the rangoli further with few more patterns



The image on the top I drew in front of Ganpati for Puja.  I used a rangoli stencil after a long time.  The central flower design was filled with one colour and the outer motif with blue.  Finally I added some colourful lines on the outside.

In Tamil Nadu, the tradition is purchase a clay idol of Ganapthy and an umbrella, the idol is placed in the mantap and is decorated with plantain leaves and maavilai thoranam.
First we make a Ganesh (Pillaiyar) with turmeric mixed with water.  Pooja is performed to this Ganapathy first by rendering simple slokas or mantras or songs in the language of our choice. Sandalwood paste, turmeric and kumkum are applied and a nevedhiyam (or offering ) is done.  

The main idol is decorated with flower garlands, sacred thread. A coconut is placed near Lord Ganesh and on it turmeric and kumkum.  Sandal wood paste, turmeric and kumkum are applied to the forehead of Ganesha and is  adorned with  erukkampoo malai  (Calotropis ) and a cotton garland.  Archana is performed using flowers and arugampul (Bermuda grass )

 Turmeric is applied to the garland at the narrow areas.  A 21 ball cotton garland is used.Again we can recite slokas or songs according to our customs.(Where one does not get banana leaf, mango leaves etc. replicas may  be used)   Offerings to the main idol include fruits - bananas, wood apple, sugarcane, corn, coconut, betel leaves and nuts,  kheer or payasam amavadai and of course kozhukattai and modhakam.

How to make kozhukattai

Rice flour and water in equal proportions are taken.  Water is boiled adding a pinch of salt and 1/2 teaspoon oil.  Rice flour is added to boiled water, the stove brought to "sim".  Stir continuously to avoid formation of lumps.  The colour changes to light brownish when it is completely cooked.  Allow it to cool.

Coconut puran or pooran is prepared with coconut and  jaggery - 1 measures coconut for 3/4 measure jaggery (approximate), a pinch of cardamom powder. Coconut and jaggery (powdered ) are heated in  a kadai (vessel) , after adding a teaspoon of ghee,   Stir well till  it does not stick to the vessel.  Place the coconut puran inside the  dough and make the required shapes - kozhukattai or modhakam. - and cook with steam.

Ganesh Chaturthi Naivedyam recipe

A simple and easy naivedyam for Ganesha Chaturthi is called meva or mewa.  It is made from puffed rice, powdered jaggery , grated coconut and cardamom powder.  Soak puffed rice in water for ten minutes and then drain the water.  Add grated coconut. jaggery to taste and cardomom powder and mix well.  The offering is ready for Lord Ganapathi and is very tasty also.  This naivedyam is usually prepared with coconut that is placed beside the clay image of Lord on the day of Visarjan. However this can also be offered for Lord Ganesha along with kozhukattai since it is easy to prepare.





We can also include some special decorations to celebrate the festival.  I make  this cotton craft garland
for this Puja and Navratri celebrations.  A long piece of cotton is pulled to make a ball at regular intervals.  Using a pair of scissors cut to get three pieces with a pair each.  Place them one above the other and stick all the three pairs with a decorative element (green in the garland on the right ).  Now stick this on the garland base.  Repeat the steps to get the garland in the image. The steps showing how to do it through a video is available in my YouTube channel . The steps are explained in details through the series of photos and detailed explanation below.

It is natural, that we try to innovate, try something different and the result is the variation of cotton garland shown below.  Follow the method shown above to get the garland as shown in the first photo.  Using a pair of scissors cut the garland so that we get three pairs of cotton spheres as shown in the second image.  Place the first pair of spheres on the floor or table. Apply a drop of adhesive and place the second pair on top of the first ( at right angles ).  Now place the third pair of cotton spheres on the second after applying adhesive at an angle so that we get a shape similar to a six petal flower.  Allow the three pairs of cotton spheres to stick well.  Now on a golden or silver coloured lace apply adhesive and place the six petal cotton flower ! one by one as shown in the fourth image.  We can use any other material suitable for forming this garland.  This garland can be further decorated with colourful chamkis as shown. They can be of the same colour, or different colours or alternate flowers may have same colours, the choice is ours according to our imagination. This variety of cotton garland can be used for regular decoration in addition to special occasions or puja while the former type of cotton garland is used only for puja.  




                The day before Ganesh Chathurthi is celebrated as Hartalika Vratha or Hartalika Teej or Gowri Puja in some parts of India. It is said that Goddess Parvathi performed this Vratha.  An image of Gowri is worshipped. It is done in different methods in different parts of India.  Offerings include fruits particularly wood apple, kheer.   Some fast after the puja.

Some kolam and other decoration ideas that may be useful for celebration of Ganesha Chathurti are at

Vinayakar Chaturthi kolam and decoration

A related post
Rangoli for Puja room

Simple decoration for Ganesh Chathurthi


Using CDs that are no longer being used we can make beautiful decorations for festivals.  I have drawn the rangoli with 3D outliners.  Simple free hand designs are drawn on the six CDs and the patterns are filled with glass colours.  We can draw the patterns straight away or we can draw the template first. At the centre paste the picture of Ganpathi taken from any source ( I have taken Lord Ganpathi from a dhoop stick box ). The entire arrangement can be placed as a decoration during Ganpathi Chathurthi.

1 comment:

  1. Very good information on Ganesh Pooja and its rituals. We should know the proper procedures while doing Ganesh poojas at home. Thankfully, i found the authentic procedures of doing Ganesh pooja with the help of Pureprayer website.