With a warm welcome given to Lord Ganesh by families and mandals on the day of Ganesh Chaturthi,the annual ten-day festival was kickstarted on Saturday in the city with fervour. But this years festivity got an added flavour to it as Eid -Ul-Fitr was also celebrated on the same day.
Apart from the five manache Ganapati,including the Kasba,Tambadi Jogeshwari,Guruji Talim,Tulshibaug and Kesariwada,the two most popular idols in the cityDagdusheth Halwai Ganapati and Akhil Mandai Mandal and many other mandals,took out processions to welcome the deity.
For a few hours in the morning,streets in core city areas like Shaniwarwada,Tilak Road,Deccan,Laxmi Road,Raviwar Peth started getting crowded as people stepped out of their homes,some,in the traditional attires,to collect the Ganesh idols.
The city was decked up with a lot of decoration material like festoons,rangolis and banners. The traffic police had closed some roads in the core city areas for a few hours in the morning to facilitate people carrying the Ganesh idols.
The procession of the Kasba Ganapati was taken out at 11.15 am. International students also took part in the procession and propagated the message of world harmony. After the procession and puja,five citizens were honoured with the Shri Kasba Ganapati award. Idols of all the other manache Ganapati were placed in the pandals before noon.
Members of big and small Ganesh mandals were also seen carrying the idols in big vehicles,to the accompaniment of traditional instruments like dhol-tasha.
While some of the mandals have completed the work of their tableaux and pandal decorations,a number of them are yet to give the finishing touches,and artists are busy completing the work.
Since the security of citizens and devotees is of a prime concern,the police authorities said that they had made necessary arrangements to tackle the situation. Teams of policemen,comprising senior police officers,have been deployed for the overall bandobast across the city.
The civic body has also made preparations to collect the Ganesh idols at the tanks near the immersion points along the Mutha river,as many people would immerse the idols on Sunday.