Miniature temples, crowns, thrones to seat the Ganesha idols, and an array of varied decorative items are some of the items that are most sought after. For the people, the festival is an occasion of great joy and even the hike in prices of the materials because of inflation could do little to dampen their festive spirits. "It is our biggest festival and comes once a year, so we prepare for it with great enthusiasm. But this year, the things are a little expensive due to inflation," said Manoj, a customer. The shopkeepers are a happy lot, as the festival spells booming business for them.
"The market grows by ten per cent every year. As nowadays people are becoming more religious, so they flock the markets ahead of the festivals resulting the market to grow every year," said Gulshan Rane, a shopkeeper.
Meanwhile, considering the recent terror attacks in the country, security has been beefed up in Mumbai.
CCTV's have been installed at the pandals apart from routine fire extinguishing devices and other safety measures.
"We have installed CCTV cameras to keep a track on the visitors visiting the pandals. The visitors should come in queues to avoid stampedes. There will be separate queue for ladies and children. It is very important to make these arrangements to avoid any untoward incidents," said KL Prasad, Joint Commisioner of Police, Mumbai.
Policemen have been deployed to guard the pandals. They have also been stationed around the city at crowded places to keep a check on any untoward incident.
Special arrangements are being made to ensure safe and smooth festival.
The ten-day long festival that marks the birthday of Lord Ganesha is celebrated with great fanfare across the state.
During the festival, Ganesha idols are worshipped at hundreds of 'pandals' or makeshift tents before they are immersed in water bodies.
For years, Ganesh Chaturthi was a personal or private affair, celebrated at homes.
But at the turn of the century, Bal Gangadhar Tilak, freedom fighter and social reformer, converted it into a public event, using it as a platform to fight the British colonial rule.
The festival is very popular in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Gujarat and Maharashtra.