Ganesh Chaturthi: PM Modi, President,VP & Other Leaders Wish Citizens As Celebrations Commence Across India

Ten-day Ganesh fest, the major festival of Maharashtra, commenced on Thursday with installation of the deity claimed to be younger son of Parvati and Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva is considered one of the three Hindu Trinity – Brahma, Maheshwar and Vishnu .Goddess Parvati, according to the Hindu way of life, is worshipped as the source  of  Shakti –power for fighting the wrongdoers.  It is also celebrated in Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Assam, Bengal , Bihar ,Madhya , Uttar Pradesh ,Telangana, Gujarat  and other states by the people committed to Hindu faith. In India’s western states, Ganesh Chaturthi, also known as Vinayak Chaturthi, is celebrated across the country as birthday of Lord Ganesha which comes to an end after 10 days when people come out in large numbers for immersing the idols in the sea or in different water bodies.The  people  are  in festive mood .The festival began with devotees attired in traditional clothes  bringing colourfully-crafted idols of the elephant-headed God to their homes and pandals and installing them amid chants of ‘Ganapati Bappa Moraya’.Several beautifully decked up pandals have been put up all over Maharashtra and  other states..Idols of Lord Ganesha have been placed on raised platforms for people to worship. Several prominent Bollywood film stars are also worshipping Lord Ganesh in their residences. Devout Hindus commence auspicious programs after seeking  his blessing .His image is found in  Sri Lanka, Thailand, Indonesia, Bangladesh and Nepal besides  across India . Hindu denominations worship him regardless of affiliations. Devotion to Ganesha is widely diffused and extends to Jains and Buddhists, says Wikipedia. Ganesha is widely revered as the remover of obstacles, patron of arts and sciences and intellect and wisdom. Ganesha is also invoked as patron of letters and learning during writing sessions. Several texts relate mythological anecdotes associated with his birth and exploits and explain his distinct iconography. He is worshipped to remove obstacles; He is believed to place obstacles for those who need to be checked.These makeshift tents also serve as a venue for promoting social causes such as free medical checkups, blood donation camps, and charity for poor during the festival days.PM Narendra  Modi, President Ram Nath Kovind, Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu,  Maharashtra Governor C Vidyasagar Rao and Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis have extended greetings to the people on the festive occasion. The festival sees devotees offering to the deity various sweets as Prasad of which ‘modak’ (sweet rice flour dumplings filled with coconut and jaggery) is an integral part. It is believed to be Lord Ganesha’s favourite sweet. 21 modaks are offered to the God and eventually served to devotees. In view of the festival, police have beefed up security. In the state capital Mumbai , at least 15,000 security personnel will keep a vigil during the festival.Along with the personnel of local police stations, the Local Armed Police, State Reserve Police Force (SRPF), Riot Control Police, Quick Response Team (QRT), Bomb Detection and Disposal Squad (BDDS) and the Civil Defence force will be deployed across the city, Mumbai police spokesperson  told reporters. An estimated 500 CCTV cameras have been installed at various locations in Mumbai metropolis for security. Ganesh idols made of sugarcane are being widely used. Eco-friendly Ganesh idols are being worshipped in several places instead of those made of mud instead of Plaster of Paris. The sales of eco-friendly Ganesh idols have seen a sharp rise this year in the city.

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