On the auspicious occasion of Ganesh Chaturthi, thousands of devotees thronged Siddhivinayak Temple in Mumbai on Thursday to take part in the ‘aarti’.
Mumbaikars welcomed their most beloved and venerated deity –Lord Ganesh–into their homes and community pandals, kickstarting the ten-day Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations with zeal and devotion.
The festival commenced with devotees installing colorfully-crafted idols of Ganesh, known as the Lord of Good Fortune and Destroyer of Obstacles in their homes and beautifully decorated pandals across the city with full customs and rituals.
Thousands of devotees thronged to the famous Siddhivinayak Temple at Prabhadevi in South Mumbai to participate in the ‘aarti’ and seek Ganesha’s blessings amid chants of “Ganpati bappa morya” .
Ganesh mandals like Lalbaugcha Raja, GSB Seva Mandal in Kings circle, Wadala GSB Mandal and Ganesh Galli Ganpati are some of the other famous venues in Mumbai, where people queue up in huge numbers for worship.
Lalbaugcha Raja Live Darshan 2015
Meanwhile, authorities have made stringent security arrangements across the city to prevent any untoward incident during the festivities.
Around 35,000-plus security personnel including those from Quick Response Team, Rapid Action Force, and State Reserve Police Force have been deployed in the metroplis. They will also be assisted by volunteers from National Cadet Corps, Scout and Guide, and NGOs.
Bollywood personalities like Salman Khan, Jeetendra, Nana Patekar, Akshay Kumar, Hrithik Roshan and a host of Marathi film and theatre actors are prominent among the celebrities who celebrate Ganesh chaturthi at their homes.
Among the politicians, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, Rural Development Minister Pankaja Munde, former union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde, Mumbai Congress chief Sanjay Nirupam, former Chief Minister Manohar Joshi, NCP leader Chhagan Bhujbal host the Lord in their homes.
G.S.B Seva Mandal Ganpati Virat darshan
The Bombay High Court, earlier this week had said that it would issue contempt notices to all those political parties, trusts and organisations which set up pandals during ‘Dahi Handi’ and Ganesh Chaturthi festivals without securing permission and flouted noise pollution rules.
BJP President Amit Shah visited the residence of Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal in Mumbai. He also paid visit to the famous Siddhivinayak temple in Prabhadevi area and Lalbaugcha Raja. Later, he will visit the residence of Mumbai unit chief Ashish Shelar.
Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, while speaking to reporters said, “Lord Ganesh is known as ‘Vignahartra'(remover of obstacles). I prayed to him to remove all obstacles faced by the state.”
Fadnavis’s wife Amruta said this was their first Ganesh festival in Mumbai.
“The faith and devotion is the same like we had in Nagpur,” she said.
Maharashtra Congress chief Ashok Chavan, told reporters after the traditional ‘puja’ at his house here that he had prayed for rains to help farmers tide over the agrarian crisis.
“Farmer suicides are on the rise and rural economy in Maharashtra is on the decline due to the agrarian crisis. I prayed to the Lord for good rains,” he said.
Former India cricket player Sachin Tendulkar and his family were among the first to visit Lalbaugcha Raja and seek blessings of the Lord.
Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu welcomed the Lord at his residence in Khar while State Education Minister Vinod Tawde brought Lord Ganesha at his home in Vile Parle.
Actor Nana Patekar said festivals are meant to bring people together and should not be a matter of pomp and show.
“Water situation in rural Maharashtra is extremely serious due to lack of rains. There is possibility of serious law and order problem in the next few months due to migration from rural areas. Urgent steps need to be taken now to redress problems of water shortage. There should be a united effort,” he said.
Meanwhile, in Nagpur, heavy rains since last night welcomed the elephant God but it failed to dampen spirit of the devotees.
Union Minister for Shipping and Transport Nitin Gadkari performed the ‘Puja’ of Lord Ganesha at his residence ‘Gadkari Wada’ in Mahal in eastern part of the city.
In Nashik, devotees welcomed Lord Ganesha in a similar fashion.
Eco-friendly Ganpati idols
New Delhi: Eco friendly idols are the most sought item this Ganesh Chaturthi. The Ganpati idol fashioned from ‘Chadu clay’ which is taken directly from the river is seeing an increased demand this festival season, according to shopkeepers.
“People demand for the eco-friendly idols and we have made the idols from ‘Chadu Clay’ or the river clay as it dissolves in water within 10-15 minutes. Other larger idols take a little more time to dissolve in the water,” says Mandar Shinde, curator of the idols at Maharashtra Emporio here.
Beginning today, the 10-day long festival, which is also known as Vinayak Chaturthi, marks the birth of Lord Ganesh, the elephant-headed God in Hindu mythology.
Although the authentic idols are not available in the national capital, idols resembling Lalbaugcha Raja and Dagduseth Halwai have been the most selling item at the shop.
“In Mumbai we can get all kinds of idols, including the one seen in a recent movie. But for Delhi, the favourites are the Lalbaugcha Raja and Dagduseth. Others like Ashtivinayak and Titwala can also be bought,” says Shinde.
The idols with prices ranging from Rs 600 to Rs 11,000 can as tall as 2 feet. The dresses for the idol, also known as ‘Pitambar’ are available along with the idol. But one has to buy Puja Thali and Puja Samagri individually from the shop.
“We have idols in the range of Rs 600 to Rs 11000 and our main customers are non-Maharashtrians,” says Shinde.
While the shops are all geared up, the state house or Maharashtra Sadan in the national capital is all set to host the 10 day extravaganza. Invitations have been rolled out to all the MPs from Maharashtra and all the IPS and IAS officers of the Maharashtra cadre.
“We have invited all the MPs and IAS and IPS officers of Maharashtra. Also the events are open to all. We have organized Bhajans, Lavanis (folk dance of Maharashtra). The Ganpati would be established today at the Sadan,” says Dayanand Kamble, Deputy Director, Maharashtra Information Centre.
The Ganpati idol to be established at the state house is brought from Maharashtra. Alongside a ‘Mahaprasad’ comprising of modak, puranpoili and other authentic Maharashtrian dishes is being organised on the 8th day for all those visiting the Sadan.
“Stalls of Maharashtrian delicacies including vadapav, bhel, puran poli are set up by the Maharashtrians at the Sadan,” Kamble adds.
Artists from Maharashtra will showcase the traditional art from Maharashtra accompanied by a Zhanj path scheduled on Septmber 26.