Chauthi or Ganesh Chathurthi is a grandly celebrated occasion in Tulunadu region because of the fond connection to Lord Ganapathy. One of the special temples dedicated to Lord Ganesha in Tulunadu region is Sowthadka Mahaganapathi temple. A tradition unique to this region in this context, is the use of sugarcane to symbolize Ganesha during Chauthi celebrations. 

As is with several customs in Tulunadu region, this may be attributable to the strong ties to agricultural practices and reverence to Mother nature. All celebrations are carried out with biodegradable material, which do not harm the surroundings or environment in general.

Sugarcane Ganesha during Chauthi celebrations

As part of Chauthi celebrations, Tuluvas create a pyramid structure out of sugarcane sticks to represent the Lord. It is believed that sugarcane is Lord Ganesha’s favorite sweet. The sugarcane pyramid is assembled on day one of Chauthi. It is decorated with a lot of flowers and colorful light. It is dismantled on the final day of immersion. The sugarcane sticks are distributed to relatives and friends as prasadam and/or few sticks are let go into a lake or stream as a symbolic immersion. 

Some families keep a small idol of Lord Ganesha from their home temple room,  temporarily at the foot of the pyramid. This is worshipped by the family every day with deep reverence.

Here’s an interesting photo gallery of sugarcane pyramids of Ganesha.