Ganesh Utsav of Ganpati, which starts on the auspicious day of Ganesh Chaturthi, the birth anniversary of Lord Ganesha ends on the day of Anant Chaturdashi. To be precise, devotees of Lord Ganesha celebrate the occasion for ten days. Both Ganesh Chaturthi and Anant Chaturthi fall in the Hindu month of Bhadrapada.
The festivity surrounding the occasion of the birth anniversary of Ganesha ends with Ganesh or Ganpati Visarjan; Telugu speaking people refer to this event as Vinayaka Nimajjanam. Whatever it may be called Vinayaka Nimajjanam or Ganpati Visarjan the fact remains the same; during this event the idol of Lord Ganesha gets immersed into a water body, mostly in the sea or in a lake or river.
On the day of Visarjan or immersion, Lord Ganesha is treated with offerings of sweets, coconuts and flowers for one final time; after that, the idol is taken to a water body making a large street procession. The entire event takes place amid much fanfare.
Hundreds of thousands of Ganpati devotees take part in the procession; these people keep on pronouncing chants like “Ganpati Bappa Morya” (this chant is used primarily by people in Mumbai and other parts of Maharashtra) or “Ganesh Maharaj Ki Jai” (this is the chant mostly pronounced by people living in the Hindi speaking parts of India). In Maharashtra, people taking part in the street procession also chant “Pudhchya Varshi Lavkar Ya”, which means “come back soon next year”.
Mumbai probably sees the biggest celebrations surrounding Ganpati Visarjan. The entire event takes place under the supervision of different Ganpati Mandals. Street processions are always accompanied by playing of traditional instruments like Tasha, Dhol etc. The celebrations start early in the evening and finishes on the morning of the following day.
Some families perform the rituals of Ganpati Visarjan on the seventh, fifth or third day of Ganesh Chaturthi; however, most do it on the 11th day.