Lord Ganesh is widely worshipped in Hindu religion. He is believed to be the god of wisdom, prosperity and good fortune. Traditionally, at the beginning of a new venture or a journey, devotees pray to Lord Ganesha for fruitful results. Ganeshothsava or the festival of Ganesha is typically observed in the Hindu calender month of Bhadrapada, starting on Shukla Chaturthi.
In Udupi, Ganeshothsava is celebrated in a loud manner at homes as well as public places. The entire town of Udupi comes alive in the ten days of "Ganeshothsava" with every household and public places celebrating the festival in devotion and reverence for their favourite deity. One can see colourfully sculpted images of "Ganapathi" installed in various places. Those installed in public places usually depict a theme related to social awareness or current issues prevalent in the society.
The celebration and devotion reaches a different high during the aarthi, with worshippers chanting prayers to the lord, followed by some loud music and dance by young and old enthusiasts. The tiger dance which is a unique form of folk dance in Dakshina Kannada is performed during the final procession on the 11th day of Ganeshothsava, that is on "Anantha Chaturdashi". The processions by public mandals are done on a large scale with ample music, dance and colours in the air. The idol is immersed into the water symbolizing the departure of lord Ganesha towards his abode in Kailasa while freeing the devotees from their misfortunes.