Maharashtra set to welcome Ganesha

Maharashtra set to welcome Ganesha

The idol of Lord Ganesha at Ganesh Gully of Mumbai. DH PHOTO

Chants of "Ganpati Bappa Morya" rent the air as people in Mumbai and Maharashtra welcomed the elephant-headed Lord Ganesha to their homes and pandals on the eve of the 10-day-long Ganeshutsav.

The spiralling inflation, northward movement of petrol and diesel prices and the recent plastic and thermocol ban imposed by the Maharashtra government is the backdrop in which this year's Ganesh festival is being celebrated.

From Wednesday noon, people were seen taking idols of Lord Ganesha to their homes and housing societies in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region.

On Thursday morning on the auspicious occasion of Ganesh Chaturthi, the sthaapna pooja will be performed followed by traditional aartis to mark the birthday of Lord Ganesha, the son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati.

The 10-day-long festival attracts people from all over the state, country and even foreign tourists during the festivities.

In the MMR itself more than 3 lakh idols will be installed at homes, housing complexes and in public venues by various mandals or associations.

Like previous years, this year too there are several themes.

"There are historical and contemporary themes and the range is very wide this time," said Naresh Dahibawkar, president of the 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 is of the order of Rs 1,000 to 1,200 crore.

"The Ganpati market is huge. It encompasses idol making, decoration items, flowers, sweets, fruits and coconuts, electric items, decoration items, transportation, jewellry and imitation jewellry, clothes, band troupe and so on," said Ajit Joshi, a veteran independent journalist and writer, who is an expert on Mumbai's markets.

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