10-day-long Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations begin, people welcome Lord Ganesha amid fanfare
People in Maharashtra on Monday welcomed the God of good luck and prosperity - Lord Ganesha - to their homes and community pandals amid fanfare.
Mumbai/Hyderabad/Bhopal/Chennai/Bengaluru: Ganesh Chaturthi, marking the beginning of 10-day festivities, was celebrated across the country on Monday with people welcoming God of good luck and prosperity - Lord Ganesha - to their homes and community pandals amid fanfare.
Cities in various states wore a festive look as the festivities kicked off amid gaiety and the prayers by devotees.
In Maharashtra, the festival began with devotees, attired in traditional clothes, installing colourfully-crafted idols in their homes and tastefully decorated pandals across the state, including in major cities like Mumbai, Pune and Nagpur.
Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, who installed an eco-friendly Ganesh idol at his home, appealed the public to celebrate the festival in an environment-friendly manner.
"Happy Ganesh Chaturthi to all! Let's celebrate and enjoy Ganeshotsav the environment friendly way," he tweeted.
— Devendra Fadnavis (@Dev_Fadnavis) September 5, 2016
— Devendra Fadnavis (@Dev_Fadnavis) September 5, 2016
In Mumbai, devotees took part in 'aarti' at several temples, including the famous Prabhadevi-based Siddhivinayak Temple.
This year, megastar Amitabh Bachchan has lent his voice for an 'aarti' at Siddhivinayak Temple. The 73-year-old actor tweeted that it was a "blessing" for him to be given the "divine honour".
Several popular Ganesh Mandals were thronged by devotees since wee hours, with the popular Lalbaugcha Raja starting prayers at 4 AM, followed by darshan at 6 AM.
Other prominent Ganesh mandals like GSB Seva Mandal in Kings circle, has a 14-feet long idol made of clay while Wadala GSB Mandal has designed its pandal like the famous Tirupati Balaji Temple. These pandals witnessed long queues of people waiting to get darshan of the God of Wisdom.
Bollywood personalities like Salman Khan, Jeetendra, Nana Patekar, Akshay Kumar, Hrithik Roshan, Shilpa Shetty, Suresh Wadekar, Govinda and a host of Marathi film and theatre actors are the prominent names who celebrate Ganesh festival at their homes by installing idols.
In Nagpur, Union Shipping minister Nitin Gadkari performed the traditional rituals in presence of his family members at his residence 'Gadkari Wada' in Mahal area in the eastern part of the city.
As many as 1,163 Ganesh idols are being installed at public places in Nagpur, as per the city Police Information Centre.
Police have beefed up security for the festival across the state, as per PTI.
Rest of the country:
In Hyderabad, Lord Ganesha's idols of all sizes and in different colours and 'avtars' were installed in specially decorated 'pandals' or on makeshift platforms in residential neighbourhoods and commercial centres. About 40,000 idols have been installed in public places.
Like every year, the tallest idol has been installed in Khairatabad, the heart of the city. This year, the organisers have arranged 58-foot tall idol. Long queues of devotees were seen at the biggest idol.
Telangana and Andhra Pradesh Governor ESL Narasimhan and his wife Vimla Narasimhan started the festivities with 'puja' at Khairatabad idol.
The festivities will conclude on September 15 with a mammoth immersion procession, which brings the entire city to a halt.
As the festivities are coinciding with Muslim festival of 'Bakr Eid', police is making additional security arrangements to maintain law and order. 'Bakr Eid' will be celebrated on September 13, as per IANS.
Thousands of people across Karnataka celebrated the beginning of the 10-day Ganesha festival on Monday with religious fervour and piety.
In Bengaluru, the famous Dodda Ganesha temple at Basavangudi in the southern suburb, was the centre of activity, as the people from across the city made a beeline since morning to pray and worship him with offerings.
In Madhya Pradesh, devotees crowded temples while many people installed idols in their homes with great pomp and show.
People were seen visiting the Birla temple and other temples in the capital city Bhopal since morning. Many people were seen buying Ganesha statues from the major markets in the city.
Grand Ganesha statues are being installed in public places where religious and cultural programmes related to the festival are being held.
Ganesh Chaturthi, also called Vinayaka Chaturthi was celebrated across Tamil Nadu with people performing prayers before clay idols of the elephant-headed god.
People also thronged Vinayaka temples, where special prayers were conducted before the grandly decorated idols.
Many houses wore a festive look, as people held special prayers at home too.
History of the festival:
The festival, initiated in an open public format in 1892 by Mumbai's Bhausaheb Laxman Javale alias Bhau Rangari, enters the 125th year.
It was popularised on a mass scale by freedom-fighter Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak from 1893 onwards in Pune to unite the people against the British Rule and in the struggle for Indian Independence.
In less than a decade, it had spread across the state in a big way and even other parts of the country where public Ganeshotsav celebrations were held.
A century and a quarter later, the festival has transformed into Maharashtra's biggest, most opulent, glittering fiesta drawing lakhs of devotees and tourists, with the biggest celebrations held in Mumbai, Pune and the coastal Konkan region.
(With Agency inputs)