One thing I enjoy studying is variance within the same. What I mean is how many different ways can the same haircut be performed and get the desired results, how many different ways are there to make bread, how many ways are there to skip rope? Also, how many ways are there to perform Ganesha puja? This is a question that can never fully be answered because the truest and most complete answer is that there are as many ways are there are people performing the puja. Youtube is full of suggestions, as is the Interweb in general. Ganesha puja can be as complex as you need, but because He’s the closest to the material plane of existence, and is also the most easily satisfied, puja to Him can be as simple as wanted, too. Many times, the details are ironed out for one by the forerunners of the sect he’s adhering to.
Below is one example taken from a blogspot entry, which conveniently enough also offers guidances on puja for Hanuman, Shiva, Shiva/Parvati, Krishna, and Ram.
How to do Ganesh Puja?
“Vakratunndd mahaakaay Suryakottisamaprabhaa. NirvighnaN kuru me dev sarvakaaryesshu sarvadaa.” Meaning: O Lord Ganesha of large body, curved trunk, with the brilliance of a million suns, please make all my work free of obstacles always.
Ganpati Puja : Stepwise-wise directions
Puja must be commenced only after performing ablutions. Begin by reciting “Aum Shri Ganeshya Namah” (1) Follow this by repeating “Aum” thrice. Now take a sip of holy water and invoke the god to purify you by repeating Aum Shri Ganeshya Namah thrice and wash hands. Now the puja can begin.
Sprinkle the ganesha idol with rice grains and flowers and chant Aum Shri Ganeshya Namah Asanam Samarpayami
Next wash the feet of the idol with rice and sandal water and chant ‘Aum Shri Ganeshya Namah Padyam Samarpayami.’ Next wash the hands of the idol with sandal water mixed with rice and flowers and chant ‘Aum Shri Ganeshya Namah Samarpayami.’
Next offer the idol water to drink , thrice , while chanting ‘Aum Shri Ganeshya Namah Achmaneeyam Samarpayami.‘
Next the idol has to be bathed with milk, curd, ghee. Honey and sugar. Chant ‘Aum Shri Ganeshya Namah Panchamrita Snanam Samarpayami.’
After this make holy water offering. All the five offerings are to be made separately chanting ‘Aum Shri Ganeshya Namah Payah Snanam Samarpayami ‘ when offering milk.
‘Aum Shri Ganeshya Namah Dadhi Snanam Samarpayami‘ when offering curd.
‘Aum Shri Ganeshya Namah Ghrut Snanam Samarpayami‘ when offering ghee.
‘Aum Shri Ganeshya Namah Madhu Snanam Samarpayami’ when offering honey.
‘Aum Shri Ganeshya Namah Sharkara Snanam Samarpayami’ when offering sugar.
Now offer holy water to the idol and then wipe it clean with a piece of cloth while chanting ‘Aum Shri Ganeshya Namah Uttaraposhnam Samarpayami.’Now all the necessary ablutions have been completed.
The puja will proceed by making various offerings to lord ganesha. Offer raiment to the idol in the form of two threads chanting ‘Aum Shri Ganeshya Namah Vastropvastram Samarpayami.’When offering white thread repeat ‘Aum Shri Ganeshya Namah Yagyopveetam Samarpayami.’
Now red sandal powder paste is applied to the brow of the idol while chanting ‘Aum Shri Ganeshya Namah Gandham samarpayami.’
Offer rice and chant, ‘Aum Shri Ganeshya Namah Akshtam Samarpayami.’ Garland the idol, shower flowers and chant, ‘Aum Shri Ganeshya Namah Puspam Samarpayami.’ Offer Durva grass chanting, ‘Aum Shri Ganeshya Namah Durvan Kuran Samarpayami.’ Leaves offering chanting ‘Aum Shri Ganeshya Namah Bilvapatram Samarpayami.’ Burned perfume offering to be made while chanting ‘Aum Shri Ganeshya Namah Dhoopam Agrapyami.’
Perform the aarti of the idol with a ghee lamp chanting ‘Aum Shri Ganeshya Namah Deepam Darshyami.’
Give sweets to the lord, chanting ‘Aum Shri Ganeshya Namah Naivedyam Samaryami.’Offer water to the idol ‘Aum Shri Ganeshya Namah Achmaneeyam Samarpayami.’
Offer fruit, ‘Aum Shri Ganeshya Namah Phalam Samarpayami.’
Offer betel nut, betel leaf, clove and cardamom and chant ‘Aum Shri Ganeshya Namah Tamboolam Samarpayami.’ Offer perfume and chant ‘Aum Shri Ganeshya Namah Itram Samarpayami.’ Offer coins and chant ‘Aum Shri Ganeshya Namah Dakshinam Samarpayami.’ Now offer sandal rice, flower, and durva all mixed in water and chant ‘Aum Shri Ganeshya Namah Vishesh Argyam Samarpayami.”Now genuflect before the idol while chanting, Aum Shri Ganeshya Namah I bow before you.
Finally to bring the puja to a close, circle the idol in a clockwise direction while chanting Aum Shri Ganeshya Namah Pradakshinam Samarpayami once.