The 10-day-long 'Ganeshutsav', the biggest festival of Maharashtra, is all set to commence on Thursday with people welcoming the elephant-headed-lord into their homes, housing societies and 'sarvajanik mandals'.
The festivities begin on September 13 on the auspicious occasion of 'Ganesh Chaturthi' and ends on September 23 on 'Anant Chauturdasi'.
This year’s 'Ganeshutsav' coincides with other festivals as well - the fasting month of 'Paryushan' is underway and also the Mount Mary fair. Besides, 'Muharram' would be observed on September 20.
Tight security arrangements are being made and special traffic arrangements on days of immersion – September 14, 15, 17, 19 and 23.
Over the last two weekends, big 'mandals' have started bringing in the idols. However, the maximum number of Ganpati idols which will be worshipped at homes will be brought on Wednesday amid chants of "Ganpati Bappa Morya".
'Ganeshutsav' is the biggest festival of Maharashtra and the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) attracts people from all over the state, country and even foreign tourists during the festivities.
In MMR, more than 3 lakh idols were installed at homes, housing complexes and in public venues by various 'mandals' or associations. In the entire state, by some estimates, more than 10 lakh idols are installed.
Special prayers will be performed at various temples like the Siddhivinayak temple at Prabhadevi and Ganesh Mandir at Borivali.
The festival in this form was first celebrated at Keshavji Naik Chawl at Girgaum in Mumbai, where Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak started the first ‘Sarvajanik Ganeshutsav' in 1893. It was done to garner support for India’s freedom struggle.
Serpentine queues will be witnessed at famous 'mandals' across Mumbai, including the Lalbaug-cha-Raja at Lalbaug; Mumbai-cha-Raja at Ganesh Gully, Lalbaug; Tejukaya Mandal, Lalbaug; GSB Seva Mandal, Matunga-Kings’ Circle; GSB Sarvajanik Ganeshutsav Samiti, Wadala; Kethwadi, 11thLane and 12th Lane; Sahyadri Mandal, Tilak Nagar-Chembur; Shri BalGopal GaneshUtsav Mandal, Marine Lines; Fort Vibhag Sarvajanik Ganeshutsav Mandal, Fort; Andheri-cha-Raja or the Azad Nagar Sarvajanik Utsav Samitee at Andheri and Chinchpokli-cha-Chintgamani.