Ganesha Puja festivities end with immersion of idols

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Mumbai/Pune, Sep.3 (ANI): A large number of Lord Ganesha devotees converged at different places of Maharashtra on Thursday evening near rivers and sea for immersion of colourful idols, worshipped during the last 10 days of religious festivities in several Puja Pandals.

Ardent devotees converged to bid farewell to Lord Ganesha here while chanting 'Ganapati Bappa Moriya.... Loukariya' (Hail Lord Ganapati, go home and do return next year) on the final day of religious festivities.

In Pune city of Maharashtra, devotees carried their heavily garlanded idols of Lord Vinayaka, as the Ganesha is also called by His devotees, in processions amidst beating of traditional drums during the farewell ritual.

"Lord Ganapati is very dear to our hearts. It makes us nostalgic to see our Lord leaving us after the 10 days of festivities performed at various Puja Pandals. We wait for this religious festival every year with big enthusiasm," said Trupti, a college lecture and a devotee in Mumbai.

The festival marks the birth anniversary of Ganesha, who is revered by the Hindus as the divine index of good omen and prosperity.

Following authorities advisory due to swine flu, there were fewer number of people than hundreds of thousands that converge on this occasion.

The civic authorities of the city had forewarned the people not to converge in large numbers for the procession in view of the swine flu scare.

"Due to swine flu, we appealed to the masses that they should watch the procession at their homes on their television sets. Also, we wanted that fewer crowds should be present in the procession so as to prevent spread of swine flu and we are thankful, as all the festival committees did abide by our advice," Rajlaksmi Bhosle, Mayor, Pune.

The immersion of the idols marks the conclusion of festivities for many, but the devotees believe He will again return next year and bring happiness and joy. By Shivaji (ANI)

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