Ganesha Utsav begins in Maharashtra

Ganesha Utsav 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.

Amidst chants of Vedic mantras and traditional aartis, Mumbai on Monday welcomed its favourite elephant-headed-Lord Ganesha as the 11-day-long Ganesha Utsav commenced with traditional gaiety and religious fervour.

There was much needed respite from the rains on Monday in the coastal Konkan belt - as people welcomed the Lord.

\“Ganpati Bappa Morya’ – rent the air as people welcomed the lord since Sunday evening even as people played religious songs on loud-speakers and burst crackers. 

On Monday morning, the ‘sthaapna’ pooja was performed followed by traditional aartis to mark the birthday of Lord Ganesha, the son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. Lord Ganesha is the Hindu God of wisdom, prosperity and good fortune.

President Ram Nath Kovind greeted the people of India on the occasion of Ganesh Chaturthi. 

" Ganpati Bappa Morya! Greetings and good wishes to fellow citizens on the occasion of Ganesh Chaturthi.May the blessings of Lord Ganesh bring peace, happiness and prosperity to everyone's lives," Kovind tweeted.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi too extended best wishes to the people. "Wishing everyone a blessed Ganesh Chaturthi," he said.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis also wished people on the biggest festival of the state.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah,  who was in Mumbai, visited the Siddhivinayak temple to seek the blessings of the Lord.

Ganesha Utsav 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,  origin of the festival in this form is from Keshavji Nayak Chawl at Girgaum here, where Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak started its first ‘sarvajanik’ Ganesha Utsav 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 Ganesha Utsav Samiti, Wadala, Kethwadi, 11thLane, Kethwadi, 12th Lane, Sahyadri Mandal, Tilak Nagar-Chembur, Shri BalGopal Ganesha Utsav Mandal, Marine Lines, Fort VibhagSarvajanik Ganesha Utsav Mandal, Fort, Andheri-cha-Raja or the Azad Nagar Sarvajanik Utsav Samitee at Andheri.

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 madal in Chembur shows a visitor the Swami Samarth temple in Akkalkot. The 35-ft tall Ganesha idol at Khetwadi resembles Lord Hanuman.

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