Residents of the Kailasu region in Uttarkashi district believe that Lord Ganesha was born at Dodital, a fresh water lake here.

A group of 30-40 residents celebrate the Ganesh Chaturthi with gaiety and have placed a clay idol of the elephant god at Gangori, the base for many villages of Kailasu. The villagers will be immersing the Ganesha idol on 3 September and not on 5 September as it will be done elsewhere.

Kamal Singh Negi, president of the Dodital Paryatan Vikas Simiti, said, “We asked for an auspicious date from Naag Devta (snake god) and were given 3 September as day for immersion.”

There are many legends about the birth of Ganesha, one being that he was created from clay.

The belief of the local people is based on the fact that Lord Ganesha is known as Dodi King in the area. They say Kailasu is mentioned in scriptures.

As per the beliefs of the locals, Lord Shiva married Parvati at Triyuginarayan temple and the place where angry Shiva chopped off the head of Ganesha is Munkatia (both in district Ruderprayag).

A Ganesha temple exits on one corner of the Dodital, located at an altitude of 3,024 metres above the sea level. The lake is a major tourist destination, which can be reached by undertaking a 21-km trek from Sangamchatti.

This time the villagers were thrilled as a small group of tourists from Maharashtra came to Dodital for offering prayer at the Ganesha temple.

Local resident Umed Panwar rues, “Ganesh Chaturthi is one of the most popular festivals in India now. If the tourism department promotes Dodital as the birth place of Ganesh, it will emerge as a major religious destination of Uttarakhand.”

The villagers will start the Ganesh Visharjan procession from the confluence of Ganga and Aasiganga at Gangoti on 3 September. It will conclude at Manikarnika Ghat in Uttarkashi.