Mumbai: Despite high inflation and spiraling fuel prices, Maharashtra rolled out the red carpet for the popular elephant-headed god, Lord Ganesha as the state immersed itself in the 10-day long and biggest public festival on Thursday. Around one million gigantic, big and small idols of Lord Ganesha have reached the homes of the commoner people, celebrities, industrialists and politicians, housing complexes, waadis/waadas, private and public companies, besides the huge or gigantic ones at public marquees organized by Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Mandals in Mumbai and all over the state.
In Mumbai, an estimated 3,00,000-plus big and small idols of Lord Ganesha will be installed at private and public venues, and around a million across Maharashtra, said Naresh Dahibhavkar, President of the Brihanmumbai Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Samanvay Samiti (BSGSS).
The day started with the ‘sthaapna pooja’ followed by traditional ‘aartis’ and chants of ‘Ganpati Bappa Morya’, as the fest started without plastic, thermocol decorations and other harmful materials, besides observing air, noise, and water pollution norms. Special prayer ceremonies were performed at various Ganesha Temples including the Siddhivinayak Temple in Dadar, Ganesh Mandir in Goregaon and Borivali, and the Ashthavinayak Temples in the state. Celebrations with tight budgets started in cities like Pune, Nagpur, Nashik, Kolhapur, and coastal Konkan, where Ganeshotsav is the most important festival in the annual calendar, surpassing even Diwali.
The Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) has made special arrangements for domestic and foreign tourists with special bus tours to important venues, walking trips, exclusive viewing galleries during immersion ceremonies and other activities for the next 10 days. (IANS)