Abuzz with festivities, THIS Ganesh pandal in Lucknow carries on a letter tradition for Bappa
Amidst the ongoing Ganeshotsav festivities, Lucknow is abuzz with puja pandals and joyous processions before the grand Visarjan ceremony. But did you know that innumerable devotees also convey their prayers through letters addressed to Bappa?
You read that right! While most Ganesh Chaturthi pandals accept mannats or 'manauti's of worshippers, there is a particular pandal that has been keeping alive the tradition of letter-writing for ages. 'Manautiyon Ka Raja' is famed for collecting heaps and stacks of letters from devotees. Believe it or not but they receive as many as 60,000 letters every year!
From favours and prayers to desires, devotees pour their heart in these letters to the Lord
While addressing the lord, many experience catharsis in the process. More so because the art of writing itself leads to hope and clarity. From praying for their loved ones' well-being to getting a good match in marriage, from wishing for good marks to wanting a job, believers express their deepest desires through these letters. It is widely believed that their God answers prayers and favours mentioned in these heartfelt notes.
Following this letter-collecting tradition for decades, Lucknow's 'Manautiyon ka Raja' pandal is said to be inspired by Dhank Temple in Gujarat.
What transpires is that the believer is given a pen and a letter pad where they are supposed to write the mantra 'Om Gan Ganpataye Namah' 108 times, before proceeding to share their grievances or wishes. These letters are also buried along with the idol during the Visarjan ceremony.
With Hanuman Setu and Hanumant Dham temples situated nearby, devotees flock to this pandal in swarms. Set up at Jhulelal Park on the banks of the Gomti River, the Ganesh idol here is decked up while the pandal is engulfed in a colourful fair with a variety of food, rides and cultural shows!