Ganesh festival starts from August 2

Ganesh festival starts from August 2

An artisan works on an idol of the elephant-headed Hindu god Lord Ganesha at a workshop ahead of the Ganesh Chaturthi festival in Mumbai. AFP photo

Amidst chants of “Ganpati Bappa Morya’....'Mangal Murti Morya' and drizzles,  people of Mumbai and Maharashtra welcomed Lord Ganesha on Sunday on the eve of Ganeshotsav.
There were rains throughout the day in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region and elsewhere in the coastal Konkan region but this did not dampen the spirit of revellers.
The 11-day-long Ganesh festival commences on Monday on the auspicious occasion of Ganesh Chaturthi and culminates on 12 September on Anant Chaturdashi.

From Sunday morning, people were seen taking idols of Lord Ganesha to their pandals,  homes and housing societies.
Right from Chandrayan to Mangalyan to Ram mandir to Mahakaleshwar temple,  the big pandals in Mumbai would have multiple themes.
Despite the current economic slump,  people are leaving no stones unturned to welcome Ganpati,  the remover of obstacles, patron of arts and sciences and the 'deva' of intellect and wisdom.

On Monday morning (2 September) on the auspicious occasion of Ganesh Chaturthi, the ‘sthapna’ pooja will be performed followed by traditional 'aartis' to mark the birthday of the elephant-headed pot-bellied Lord Ganesha, the son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati.

Ganeshotsav 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 the Mumbai Metropolitan Region itself, more than 4 lakh idols will be 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 including Pune and Nashik,  known for grand celebrations.

In Mumbai, the origin of the festival in this form is from Keshavji Nayak Chawl at Girgaum here, where Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak started its first ‘sarvajanik’ Ganeshutsav in 1893. It was done to garner support for India’s freedom struggle.

The dazzling lights gave a festive look at the Lalbaug-cha-Raja at Lalbaug, Ganesh Gully, Lalbaug, Tejukaya Mandal, Lalbaug, GSB Seva Mandal, Matunga-Kings’ Circle, GSB Sarvajanik Ganeshutsav Samiti, Wadala, Kethwadi, 11thLane, Kethwadi, 12th Lane, Sahyadri Mandal, Tilak Nagar-Chembur, Shri BalGopal GaneshUtsav Mandal, Marine Lines, Fort VibhagSarvajanikg Ganeshutsav Mandal, Fort, Andheri-cha-Raja or the Azad Nagar Sarvajanik Utsav Samitee at Andheri.

Markets down

"In terms of donations and advertisements,  there has been a fall of 25 per cent but the Lord will be welcomed with full traditional fervour and gaiety," said Naresh Dahibawkar, the President of BrihanMumbai Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Samanvaya Samiti, the apex body of public Ganpati mandals in Mumbai.

Over the weekend, there was hustle-bustle in the markets. In fact, the turnover of some of the key festival markets combined, in Mumbai alone the volume is of several crores. "The festival market is huge. It encompasses idol making, decoration items, flowers, sweets, fruits and coconuts,  electric items, decoration items, transportation, jewellery and imitation jewellery, clothes, band troupe and so on," said Ajit Joshi, who is an expert on Mumbai's markets.

Themes galore 

There are various themes that have been put up by mandals. While the Ganesh Gully has themed its pandal around Ram mandir and Ayodhya,  Lalbaug cha Raja has Chandrayan theme. At Chandanwadi in Marine Lines,  the Ganesha idol sits on Sheshnag, while Sahyadri mandal in Chembur shows a visitor the Swami Samarth temple in Akkalkot. The 35-ft tall Ganesha idol at Khetwadi resembles Lord Hanuman.


The one-and-a-half-day immersion would take place on 3 September (Tuesday),  three days on 4 September (Wednesday),  five days on 6 September (Friday),  seven days on 8 September (Sunday) and 11 days on 12 September (Thursday).