Thousands pour in as Ganeshutsav draws to a close

Thousands pour in as Ganeshutsav draws to a close

People crowd during the Ganesha immersion at Girgaum chowpatty in Mumbai. DH Photo

A sea of humanity poured into the streets of Mumbai and elsewhere in Maharashtra as people bade a traditional farewell to Lord Ganesha on Sunday.

'Ganpati Bappa morya, pudchya varshi lavkar ya' and 'ek, do, teen, char, Ganpati ka jai jaikaar,' and 'undir mama ki jai' rent the air as people bade an emotional adieu with welled eyes to the elephant-headed pot-bellied Ganesh, the God of new beginnings, remover of obstacles, wisdom, intelligence and prosperity.

On the occasion of Anant Chaturdashi, that marks the end of Ganeshutsav, devotees offered special prayers to the Lord Ganesh, the son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati and then walked in procession amidst beating of drums and strokes of cymbals and spraying of gulal.

Because of the directive of the Bombay High Court, DJ music was not allowed.

An estimated 3.5 to 4 lakh idols of Lord Ganesha of varying sizes, shapes and themes were immersed marking the end of the biggest festival of Maharashtra.

The size of the idols ranged from a few inches to over 22-feet.

In the Mumbai Metropolitan Region, that comprises of Mumbai and parts of neighbouring districts of Thane, Raigad and Palghar, more than a lakh idols of Lord Ganesha were immersed in the Arabian Sea, rivers, lakes, ponds and artificial water bodies.

A large number of people have thronged the Lalbaug-Parel area to see the procession of Mumbai cha Raja of Ganesh Gully, Lalbaug cha Raja, Chintamani of Chinchpokli and Tejukaya, the four big idols of Mumbai.

People were seen rushing and jostling to have a glimpse of the Lord Ganesha.

People showered flowers as the idols passed by.

The year 2018 marked the 126th anniversary of the public Ganeshutsav celebrations in Mumbai and its suburbs.

Reports of celebrations  also reached Mumbai from Pune, Nashik, Nagpur, Kolhapur and Aurangabad.

Besides Mumbai, the festivities were on a high note in the coastal Konkan districts of Palghar, Thane, Raigad, Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg.

It was in 1893, Lokmanya Tilak started the first public Ganesh festival in Pune.

In 1894, it spread to other places including Mumbai where it made debut at the Keshavji Naik Chawl in Mumbai.

Large crowd was seen at Girgaum Chowpatty, one of the biggest, popular and crowded immersion sites.

Huge crowd was also seen at the Dadar Chowpatty and Girgaum Chowpatty.

The Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation and the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation created special facilities for foreign tourists to see the festival.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, accompanied by his family, immersed their idol at an artificial pond in south Mumbai.

In Mumbai, tight security arrangements were seen with CCTVs across the procession route, aerial surveillance by Coast Guard choppers, drones hovering over immersion spots and police personnel in plain clothes on streets. Hovercrafts and boats too were pressed into action.

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