Tree Ganesh Worshipped In Bhubaneswar Park In Unique Celebration

Bhubaneswsar: Ganesh Chaturthi was celebrated in a unique manner by combining religion and a social cause as the Lord took the form of a tree inside Biju Patnaik Park in Odisha capital on Tuesday.

Drawing inspiration from the age-old  practice of worshipping trees in India, volunteers of Bakul Foundation created the Lord Tree Ganesh using upcycled material and new dhotis for the sixth consecutive year.

In this year’s edition of the Tree Ganesh Puja, a painted coconut has become the cutest mouse ever, the vehicle of Shree Ganesh. The Lord himself wears a pink dhoti and turban breaking gender stereotypes and one can see his eyes made of rice and mustard seeds and dal adorning his crown and on his hands.

A tree inside Biju Patnaik Park was chosen for the worship as it was close to the Park Library set up by Bakul Foundation with the support of BDA inside the Park (popularly called Forest Park). The rains would do a natural visarjan of the Lord Ganesh, and there would not be any pollution of water bodies with the immersion of the idols filled with chemicals. Since it was a tree that was the Lord, his prasad was also saplings that was given to the worshippers.

Vice-Chairman of BDA Balwant Singh and other officers, Sujit Mahapatra, Founder of Bakul Foundation and other volunteers of Bakul, morning walkers and visitors participated in the Puja. In an attempt to involve children, we also had an Art Exhibition in the Park Library by children on Green Ganesha.

Sujit Mahapatra said, “It is ironic that trees are often considered obstacles in the path of progress. So, by worshipping a tree as Lord Ganesh, the Bighnaraj, the remover of all obstacles, we are trying to change that mindset. The problem with our society is we have lost a relationship with trees. That’s why we need to worship trees once again.”

Alok Kumar, a Bakul volunteer, said Bakul has been promoting a cultural association with trees since 2009 realizing that it is only when we have a personal relationship with trees and love and worship trees that people will value trees more would lead to more and more people planting, nurturing and protecting trees and forests.

Shruti Kanungo, another Bakul volunteer added that, “This year we are seeing the impact of our sustained campaigns. DAV Chandrasekharpur, EuroKids Angul also celebrated Tree Ganesh Puja and shared pictures with us. KIDDZ Bloomingdales, another school has also celebrated Tree Ganesh Puja inspired by us.

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