Mumbai: With 19,000 cops deployed to oversee the festival, the Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations lasting 10 days begins here on Wednesday. The aarti and sthapan puja (devotional worship) were held in various pandals (associations) to mark the birthday of Lord Ganesha, the son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati.
Ganesh Chaturthi, also known as Vinayaka Chaturthi is one of the important Hindu festival. As per the mythological stories, Lord Shiva declared Vinayaka as superior to all the Gods. Ganesha is widely worshipped as the God of wisdom, good luck and prosperity. The Ganeshotsav is celebrated with pomp and show through out the country, Mumbai being the head of all the merriment.
Millions of Mumbaikars remain awake through the night making last minute preparations for the installation of gigantic, medium and small idols of Lord Ganesh in different public venues, housing complexes and homes.
Since last week, over 300,000 big and small idols started arriving in the city from artists' studios in different parts of Mumbai and Raigad.
Over 12,500 registered associations, apart from the 40,000 private housing complexes, have been preparing for the past few weeks for the popular festival.
Naresh Dahibhavkar, president of Mumbai Brihanmumbai Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Samavaya Samiti (BSGSS) said, "The festival is celebrated with great enthusiasm in the city, the entire coastal Konkan region and Pune."
While a majority of the gigantic idols were installed last week in different marquees to enable decoration before being unveiled on Wednesday, the small idols started arriving since Tuesday evening.
Some of the public mandals have erected the idols with thematic presentations replicating the likes of famous Dilwara temple of Rajasthan, Nepal's Pashupatinath temple or Bikaner's Laxmi Vilas Palace.