Hyderabad: With the auction of the customary "Balapur Ganesh Laddu", the grand event of Ganesh idols immersion began here on Sunday with much fanfare and amid tight security.
The famous "Balapur Ganesh Laddu" (a sweetmeat offered to Lord Ganesh), which went under the hammer for Rs 9.50 lakh last year, fetched Rs 10.32 lakh in the auction this year, the organisers of the two-decade-old tradition said.
"After the beginning of immersion of small idols, the main procession has begun. The entire immersion process is expected to end during the early hours of tomorrow," a police official said.
Over 20,000 policemen, including personnel from central paramilitary forces, have been deployed as part of the massive security arrangements for Ganesh immersion in the city.
Union ministers M Venkaiah Naidu and Bandaru Dattatreya are expected to address the procession at one or two important locations.
Thousands of idols will be immersed in Hussain Sagar lake in the heart of the city and dozens of other lakes on the outskirts, marking the culmination of 11-day-long festivities.
400 CCTV cameras were installed along the main procession route to keep a tight vigil on the proceedings, Hyderabad Police Commissioner M Mahender Reddy said.
Nine companies of central paramilitary forces and police forces from Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and other neighboring states were deployed, he said.
More than 50,000 idols have been installed in the limits of Hyderabad and Cyberabad police commissionerates. More than half of them will be immersed in Hussain Sagar lake, where 50 cranes have been installed.