Why Lord Ganesha idol is immersed in water: Reasons behind Ganesh Immersion or Visarjan

Why Ganesh visarjan is performed? Why Lord Ganesh is immersed in water after Ganesh Utsav? Ganesh immersion, also known as Ganesh Jala nimajjan, is the most beautiful event of this festival. About the immersion reasons and factors, it is the perplexing question to answer.

There are some reasons related to both the Sanatana Hindu dharma and the environment. As per many Hindu scriptures, the clay idols of any God (we usually see the idols of Lord Ganesha and Goddess Durga) should be immersed after performing puja and worshipping for certain period.

But nowadays the idols of Plaster of Paris are also immersed in water. We should immerse only the clay idols in water and not the idols made of other hazardous material like POP and other harmful chemicals.

There is another version of story Ganesh immersion and Durga Visarjan. To reserve fresh water of rainy season in ponds, lakes, tanks, and other water bodies, we need to dig out the old clay or soil in them. To show the accordance between environmental awareness and Hindu rituals, Ganesh idols are prepared with clay of tanks and ponds. But why the clay idols are immersed in the same water from where the artisans picked out the clay? The clay idol is worshipped with turmeric and some other natural herbs during the Ganpati Navratri. The herbal characters of these materials help the water animals like fish, tortoise, etc to grow well.

On the first day of Ganesh Utsav festival (Ganesh Chaturthi), Ganesh idol is installed in Mandap or houses. Installation of an idol is nothing but ‘Prana Prathista’ and ‘avahan’ of the particular God in to that. It symbolizes that Lord Ganesh is there in the idol during the festival and receiving our prayers, chants, and nivedanas. Other than her mother ‘Bhu mata’ (Mother Earth – Bhudevi is none other than Goddess Shakti), no one can bear the power and energy of Ganesha after Ganpati Navratri festival and to symbolize his udwasan (farewell) Ganesha idol is immersed in water. Thus, he goes back to his heavenly abode.

Ganesh festival is not only a Hindu ritual but also reminds us the protection of environment. As per the scriptures and traditions only clay idols are to be worshipped and immersed in water. Those who celebrate Ganesh festival in eco friendly manner and those who avoid immersion of eco-harmful and eco-hazardous material in water would be blessed with better health and better environment.

This is reply to a query posted by N V Bala – “Why Lord Ganesh is immersed – what is the significance of lord Ganesh being immersed?

Read how to do Ganesh immersion… Ganpati visarjan procedure… Ganesh immersion mantras & puja procedure before nimajjanam

Video of Vinayaka Chavithi Vrathakalpam with detailed instructions..

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187 Comments

  1. Hi, what if ganesh visarjan is not done and the ganesh idol is kept at home / temple for further days? Whether it is OK?

  2. Why we immerse ganesh in water we will have gr8 pooja’s too himm and we immerse him in water reason behind it

  3. Thats great and useful info on both rituals and environment sides. Appreciate for sharing with all. Keep posting such important things in our day to day life.

  4. i like dis information abt lord ganesha

    om vakrathundaya namaha
    om eka dantaya namaha
    om mushaka vahanaya namaha

    jai bolo ganesh maharaj ki jai

  5. Pingback: Ganesh festival !! « Daily Thoughts
  6. Mr. Madhav’s statement is thought provoking. I am also from Bengaluru and staying very near to the Ulsoor lake. The stench is intolerable and it has become a part of life of the people living surround the lake. As he said it is, mere foolishness to come to the conclusion that just because the idols of Ganeshs’ immersion made the surrounding stinking and makes the water body contaminated.

  7. Pranam,
    It is interesting and a happy situation to see so many people being aware about the negative impacts of POP and chemicals on water bodies. We should encourage making clay ganesh ji’s more and more. using natural/herbal dyes for decoration is already in good progress.
    However; something that we the literate should question is:
    Through out the year chemical, mechanical, leather, textile and other industries dump toxins into our lakes, ponds and rivers. Agreed people raise awareness about it. However; compare that year round toxicity to the impact created by Ganesh nimajjan. do we really think ganesh nimarjan is causing more harm to our water bodies than the chemicals being dumped by the industries.

    I am not encouraging the idea of using POP based ganeshas; however; let us not say that POP based ganeshas are the reason our water bodies are getting contaminated.

    I’ve lived in several parts in Bharat. In Bengaluru I’ve seen nimarjan in Ulsoor kere, People complained that due to Ganesh nimarjan, the lake is loosing its beauty. Alright, what about the rest of year when the lake is nasty to look at and kept in the worst sanitary conditions?
    Similar case in Bhagyanagar (hyderabad). Hussain sagar lake is stinking through our the year and people complain about the lake getting dirty only during Nimarjan. I don’t think once an year immersion causes year round toxicity!

    We should oppose the use of POPs but with the pretext that it is intoxicating our lakes and other water bodies is irrational. Lets be more thoughtful while making these claims. I don;t think there is a single case in the entire nation where any single individual has contracted diseases and deformities by using water from bodies where Ganesh Nimarjan is done. If there are then I apologize for my ignorance. Again the comparsion would be needed on how many are dying because of industries and how many because of nimarjan.

    I apologize for having spoken about an issue that this may not be the right topic. However; felt it essential to invigorate our thought process in such regards. This could be a cover up for the industries trying to dump toxins by saying that the lake is contaminated because of nimarjan.

    Rise, awake; Bharat rest not till the goal is reached – Swami Vivekananda

  8. A very nice and coherent explanation. Thank you for the clarification. From this year, I’m going to insist on only clay idols be bought in my home (and nearby pandals, if they listen).

  9. Thanks for the clarification. This clearly states the reasons why idols should be made only out of clay and not other mediums.