On day 2, post the immersion of one and one and a half day Ganesha idols, those associated with the festival say that Mumbai’s city’s Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations this time is bigger than the Pre-COVID days.
Early on Thursday the figures of Ganesh idol immersions in Mumbai was released by the BMC, which stated that a total of 55,623 idols were immersed at different spots in Mumbai.
The number is huge, and putting in the words of Ganesh Walavalkar, the secretary of Ganeshotsav Samanvay Samiti of Mumbai, the numbers of celebrations taking place in the city of Mumbai is bigger than that of the Pre-COVID days.
Unlike the last two years of the COVID pandemic, when the city faced several stages of lockdown and curbs, this year the Eknath Shinde-Devendra Fadnavis government relaxed all the curbs on the celebrations. First it was relaxed for Dahi Handi which took place earlier last month and then Ganesh Chaturhti which began this week.
Walavalkar claims more people have brought in idols and it is clear from the number of invites that people are receiving. “Ganesha is the aaradhya of entire country and everyone worships him first. The last two years there were many reasons because of which people couldn’t celebrate, including curbs and also deaths that took place during the COVID 19 pandemic. But this year the figures are good and I think more than that of the Pre-COVID era,” he said.
On day two of the 10 days celebration, Mumbai witnessed a total of 55,623 immersions, of which 231 were Sarvajanik mandals, 55,333 were those idols that were brought in by individual families and 59 were Hartalikas.
Of the total immersions, 133 Sarvajanik immersions, 22,540 individual Ganesha idols and 14 hartalikas were immersed in artificial lakes in Mumbai.
The main reason for the rise in Ganpati idols and the celebrations this year is majorly the gap of two years. The aagman sohlas (welcome program) of the Ganesha idols also saw a huge crowd on the streets. People from all walks of life came to participate in the programs. Most pandals are seeing huge crowd and post the five days celebrations will be over in most homes, the crowds at Sarvajanik pandals are expected to surge.
Ganesh Chaturthi is considered as the biggest festival of Mumbai, where for the first five days even schools and colleges are shut for the celebrations. During COVID led pandemic there were many restrictions which were imposed on celebrations, the same were relaxed recently after the government changed in the state.