GANESH Chaturthi Concludes

WITH immersion of idols of Lord Ganesh, the 11th -day Ganesh Chaturthi fest in Maharashtra has ended. People were seen carrying the idols in processions for immersion in rivers, lakes and other water bodies in the western Indian State on Sunday past midnight. In big cities like Pune and Mumbai, processions carrying huge idols of the elephant-headed Ganesh, considered God of prosperity and wisdom, idols were carried on decorated trucks, accompanied by thousands of devotees and troupes of drummers. While community puja Mandals immersed in their nearby water bodies including   sea and rivers, families which worshipped smaller idols conducted ‘viasarjan’ at homes in buckets of water. Several civic bodies set up artificial ponds for immersion to ensure that water bodies were not polluted. In Mumbai, the famous Lalbaugh ka Raja Ganpati, which attracted hundreds of  thousands  devotees during the festival, was among the early starters for immersion at the sea shore in Dadar.The festival commenced on Ganesh Chaturthi on September 13 and concluded on  Sunday on ‘Anant Chaturdashi’.Chroniclers recall community Ganesh festival dates back over a century  when it promoted  by  eminent freedom fighter  Bal Gangadhar Tilak (1856 to 1920) to promote nationalist sentiment during the colonial rule. In Mumbai, prime locations for immersion  were Girgaum Chowpatty (beach), Juhu, Powai lake and Dadar Chowpatty.In Pune, the top five Ganesh Mandals set out for immersion in the morning. In Nashik city of North Maharashtra, Ganesh Mandals decided not to use hi-tech sound amplifying systems and ‘gulal’ powder (which is sprinkled during the procession) during the immersion. The immersion procession of over 50 Ganesh Mandals began in the morning from Wakadi Barav locality in Nashik. It culminated on the bank of the river Godavari. Devotees of Sholapur, Kolhapur, Aurangabad, Nanded, Jalgaon, Amravati, and Nagpur also bid aideu to their favourite God. The Bombay High Court on Friday refused to lift the ban imposed by the state government on the use of hi-tech sound-amplifying systems such as DJ and Dolby sound during Ganpati immersion and the coming Navratri festival. This year, the Ganesh festival also became a public outreach opportunity for politicians, who are eyeing blessings of both Lord Ganesh and his devotees ahead of an election year. As both the Lok Sabha and Maharashtra polls are due in 2019, political parties renewed their contacts in their constituencies during the celebrations (image courtesy:  Dgreetings)

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