Mumbai: The 10-day long Ganesh Chaturthi festival kicked off with great enthusiasm in Maharashtra. People across the state came together to welcome the deity into their homes and pandals, including prominent political leaders and celebrities.
Uddhav, Aaditya visit Lalbaugcha Raja
Former Maharashtra Chief Minister and Shiv Sena (UBT) Chief Uddhav Thackeray, accompanied by his son Aaditya Thackeray, visited the iconic Lalbaugcha Raja in Mumbai to seek the blessings of Lord Ganesh.
Shinde offers prayers in Thane
Maharashtra's current Chief Minister, Eknath Shinde, marked the occasion by offering prayers in Thane. Meanwhile, Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis welcomed Lord Ganesh at his residence and later paid a visit to MNS Chief Raj Thackeray's house.
History of Ganesh celebrations
The history of public Ganesh celebrations in Maharashtra goes back to the 1890s when nationalist leader Bal Gangadhar Tilak and others initiated the tradition to unite and mobilise the masses.
In the last few days, Ganesh mandals in Mumbai and other major cities of Maharashtra took part in grand processions, accompanied by the lively beats of dhol-tasha. Many households brought Ganesh idols on Monday night or Tuesday morning with joyful chants of 'Ganpati Bappa Morya.'
Devotees thronged markets and stalls to purchase flowers, puja materials, sweets, and decorative items for their celebrations.
Mumbai, in particular, was abuzz with devotion as the city adorned pandals and houses with intricate decorations. A total of 2,729 'sarvajanik Ganeshotsav mandals' received permission from the city's civic body to organize public Ganesh festivities, complete with elaborately constructed 'pandals.'
The preparations for the festival were meticulous, including thorough inspections of pandal premises, idol immersion routes, and spots.
One of the highlights of the celebrations is the visit to Lalbaugcha Raja in central Mumbai, considered one of the city's most celebrated Ganeshas. Another prominent attraction is GSB Seva Mandal's Ganpati in Matunga, known for its opulence and grandeur. Other famous Ganesh mandals can be found in Chinchpokli, Ganesh Gully, and Tejukaya.
As the Ganesh Chaturthi festival unfolds, Maharashtra resonates with fervor, unity, and devotion, bringing communities together in celebration.