Ganesh Chaturthi 2017, Maharashtra and the especially of Mumbai gear up to celebrate birthday of Ganpati Bappa on August 25. The region’s most popular festival season will once again bring dance, colors and joy to the streets of Mumbai in a unique display of reverence and affection for Maharashtra’s most loved Bappa.
The 10-day long festival is a celebration of the birth of Ganesha, the part-human part-elephant god, and, besides Maharashtra, it is also popular in states like Goa, Andhra Pradesh, and Tamil Nadu. In the 10 day period, worshipers will install the idol of Ganesha at their homes and offer prayers before the idols before saying goodbye in a grand immersion ceremony commonly known as visarjan on the tenth day, with people taking out rallies and carrying their idols to the seas and rivers.
The Ganesh Chaturthi festival of modaks involves idol immersion on such a scale that the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation(BMC) has spent lakhs of rupees to clean up about 20 ponds(called talaos by the locals). The cleanup involves getting rid of the muck left behind from last year’s immersion and the objective is to keep the oxygen content high so as to minimise the poisonous content of the water. The work has been outsourced to contractors, and ward offices have also enlisted the help of NGOs in the cleanup.
Meanwhile, after much delay in setting up single window clearance counters for granting permissions to the setting up of mandals in the city, the process has begun in earnest. According to the BMC there are close to 11,800 mandals, of which maybe 800 are public, and the rest are erected on private grounds. Last year, around 30,359 idols were immersed in artificial and natural immersion sites, of which there was 785 public Ganesh idols and 21,574 household Ganesh idols.