'Ganeshotsav' celebrations start with traditional gaiety in Goa

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Panaji, Sep 3 (UNI) The celebrations of 11-day 'Ganeshotsav', the festival of Lord Ganesha, the remover of all obstacles in life, began with traditional gaiety and enthusiasm in Goa on 'Ganesh Chaturthi' today.

The Chaturthi is celebrated on the fourth day of the Bhadrapad month of Hindu calendar. The festival marks the birthday of Lord Ganesh. On the occasion, idols of clay or metal of the elephant- headed God in various sizes have been installed in highly-decorated 'pandals' at roadsides and the housing colonies.

Despite rise in prices of essential commodities and other puja materials, people were seen throning the shops to buy the goods including sweets.

Hotels and other establishments were closed as the employees, mostly non-Goans, proceeded on a week-long leave to celebrate the festival in their home states.

Due to closure of hotels, the tourists had bad time as they had to move from one place to another in search of boarding and lodging.

Security has been beefed up in the state in the wake of recent serial bomb blasts in Ahmedabad and Bangalore to ensure peaceful conduct of the festival.

The police have deployed two companies of Central paramilitary forces in the state, including Salcete region of South Goa, as a precautionary measure. Patrolling has been intensified and a close vigil is kept at vulnerable areas. including markets.

Meanwhile, Governor Dr S S Sidhu and Chief Minister Digambar Kamat today extended warm greetings to the people of the state on the occasion.

Interestingly, Archbishop of Goa and Daman Fr Pilipe Neri Rodruigues, in his message, said. ''We take particular note that Ganesh is venerated as an icon of wisdom, tenderness, compassion and prosperity. While sharing in the joy of our Hindu brethren, we also pray that those high qualities of human interaction be instilled in the members of the Goan community, that they may serve to strengthen the fabric of tolerance, cooperation and mutual help which have marked it for centuries.'' UNI BM SSS SB ND1300

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