Gajalaxmi Puja in Orissa is observed for a week from the full moon day (Purnima) in Ashwin month and is dedicated to Goddess Lakshmi. Gajalaxmi Puja 2016 in Orissa begins on October 15. The festival is more popular in the Dhenkanal and Kendrapara regions in Orissa. Lord Ganesha and Goddess Lakshmi are worshipped during the period in temporary temples. Gajalakshmi festival begins on the famous Kumar Purnima day.
Gajalaxmi, or Gaja Lakshmi, is a manifestation of Goddess Lakshmi – as Gajalakshmi she is the Goddess of elephants – symbol of fertility.
Goddess Gajalakshmi symbolically represents power, strength, grace and authority.
In some regions, Gajalaxmi Puja is observed for 11-days. The main rituals involve worshiping of Goddess Gaja Lakshmi. Puja committees make makeshift temples and install idols of Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Ganesha. The pandals are beautifully decorated and is usually based on a theme.
The week-long festival is used by many puja committees to spread social and environmental friendly messages.