For decades now, the Khandvilkar family in Dadar has been hosting a ritual on the fifth day of Ganeshotsav, when over a hundred women come together to at their house to welcome and worship Goddess Parvati or Gauri.
Regarded as a Maharashtrian festival, Gauri Pujan sees women perform an aarti of the Goddess. According to the Khandvilkars, their family has been following the ritual for over a century now, where the women offer puja to the Goddess and then make a wish or navas. The belief is that their wish is almost always fulfilled.
It was no different this Friday. A special aarti of 21 diyas was performed to welcome Gauri, and then the navas was offered. While the custom is to immerse the Gauri idol a day or two after welcoming her along with the Ganesh idol, the Khandvilkar family says it does not believe in immersing the Goddess’s idol. “It is a tradition in our house,” said Shubhangi Kandvilkar (47), a teacher.
“For the days of the festival, our Gauri is draped in a new sari. We believe this will bring prosperity to the family. Special flowers and leaves are also placed atop the idol,” Shubhangi added. Her husband Hareshwar said, “Initially, we would have our Gauri made of Plaster of Paris. But as we do not believe in a new idol every year, we started making it with teakwood, so that we could preserve it.”