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Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations begin across India

India is gearing up for week-long Ganesh Chaturthi beginning Wednesday, Sept. 19 with beautiful pandals coming up in every nook and corner of all metros and towns across the nation, heralding the festive season this year, though nuances of inflation reflect strongly in higher costs for organisers across the country.

While youngsters are seen busy preparing for installation of idols, intermittent showers in most of the metros charged their enthusiasm with pitched slogans ‘Ganapati bappa moriya’ which aired throughout the day.

The Day in Epic Mahabharata:

The general belief on Ganesh Chaturthi is that one should not see the moon or else they face wrong accusations in life. Going by Mahabharata where Krishna, after seeing the reflection of the moon in milk he was drinking on Ganesh Chaturthi day, faced similar allegations and had to fight a war to come out clean.

Since, most of the metros have clear sun on Wednesday, the moon will be clearly visible and devotees are advised to be cautious not to see the moon to ward off any ill-effects today.

Otherwise, the tradition of Ganesh Festival gained prominence during India’s freedom struggle as leaders like Bal Gangadhar Tilak, who used the occasion as an opportunity to bring thousands of people to one place and raise the feeling of nationalism against the the British rule in the beginning of the 20th century. His call to celebrate the festival together in public spaces caught the attention and is continuing even to this day though it led to intermittent clashes between the Hindus and Muslims.

Hyderabad: The city is known for its largest number of pandals after Mumbai and on Ganesh Chaturthi day, the streets were wearing a festive look with local markets decorated with Ganesh pandals in every corner. About 50,000 Ganesh idols are put up for the occasion in Hyderabad this year. Several trucks, small and big, are seen transporting the Ganesh idols in the city of Hyderabad.

Besides pandals, the arrangement of sound systems is another feature in many places while the rush to visit them will intensify by evening. Narayanguda,
S.R.Nagar, Koti, Monda Market, Gachibowli, Secunderabad and Dhoolpet areas are seen busy with youngsters and businessmen giving final touches to pandals and arrangements.

Inflation has little effect on shoppers as the lanes of Monda Market and Begum Bazaar were filled with shoppers on buying spree for flowers, banana leaves and lotus leaves for Ganesh puja.

The organizers have arranged CCTVs and strict secutiry measures in Khairatabad and Dilsukhnagar. An interesting feature this year is that many local organizers have used modern technology to stream puja live (virtual puja) across the websites. The Khairatabad committee has allowed 1,000 puja requests through emails. The Bhagyanagar Ganesh Utsav Samithi has gone a step ahead to connect organizers of several pandals online and through Facebook and live blogs.

MUMBAI: Mumbai on Wednesday inaugurated the 10-day Ganpati festival with tight security arrangements while aarti and sthapan pujas marked the occasion in the morning with gigantic, medium and small idols of Lord Ganesh coming up in streets and housing societies. An estimate by the NDTV puts the number of pandals at 300,000 this year in Mumbai and Raigad, besides 12,500 associations and 40,000 housing societies.

Mumbaikars are enthusiastic on Ganesh Chaturthi the way Bengalis celebrate Durgashtami and Gujaratis during the Navratra, Muslims in Ramzan and Christians in Christmas.

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