People bid goodbye to Lord Ganesh

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Mumbai, Sep 25: Lakhs of people today bid adieu to Lord Ganesh on 'Anant Chaturdashi' day, as as he left homes and pandals for his final sojourn at lakes and sea-shores at the end of the 11-day festivities, amidst intermittent rains in parts of Maharashtra, including Mumbai.

In the metropolis, all routes along the main water fronts, including the Girgaum chowpatty, Shivaji Park, Juhu, Versova, Gorai, Powai and other lakes and small rivers were choc-o-bloc with devotees since afternoon. The processions began with beating of drums, sprinkling of gulal and dancing by devotees. Chants of 'Ganpati bappa morya, pudchya varshi laukar ya' rent the air.

Household ganpatis were immersed by noon to avoid the rush of the sarvajanik mandal idols. Large idols were taken in a boat in the middle of the sea for immersion.

Police and the Traffic department made elaborate arrangements to ensure that the immersion passed off peacefully. Adequate arrangement was made at all areas to keep a strict vigil on the crowds.

Several roads were shut for traffic and in many areas traffic was diverted. The immersion procession of famed 'Lalbaghcha Raja' at Parel began at around 1500 hrs. R K studio's ganpati idol in Chembur was taken out for immersion at noon. Late Raj Kapoor's family members including Randhir, Rishi, Rajiv kapoor and Rishi's son Ranbir, led the procession.

Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh visited Girgaum chowpatty and offered prayers to the Lord.

Mayor Shubha Raul showered rose petals from a helicopter on the deities being taken for immersion.

In Pune, the cultural capital of the state, amid chants of ''Ganapati Bappa Morya, pudchya varshi laukar ya'', dhols, tashas, lezim and dance, the first five ''manache Ganpatis'' were immersed into Mutha river here peacefully. The Kasba Ganpati, the first of the five Manache Ganpati, was immersed at 1420 hrs followed by the four others -- Tamdi Jogeshwwari, Guruji Tamil, Tulsibaug and Kesari Wada Ganpati.

Earlier, the Ganesh Idol Immersion Procession began in the city after Mayor Rajlakshmi Bhosale and Guardian Minister Ajit Pawar offered prayers at the Kasba Ganapati.

The procession began from Mahatma Phule Chowk, mandai before noon.

Colourful rangolis adorn the streets as also banners. The atmosphere was charged with enthusiasm with music playing loud and school children and devotees dressed in colourful head gears dancing in front of their Ganapati, as he was being taken for immersion after his annual sojourn here.

The procession is expected to conclude tomorrow morning, Police Control room informed.

UNI

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