GSB Seva Mandal, the richest mandal in the city, has got an insurance of Rs 259 crore. Considering that the King’s Circle mandal keeps its idol for five days, that works out to Rs 51.7 crore a day, which is probably needed since the amount of gold on the idol itself is worth Rs 22 crore.
The insurance, done by a nationalised insurance company, is the highest for any mandal in the city, outdoing even the Lalbaugcha Raja, which is the city’s most popular and is insured for Rs 51 crore. GSB’s insurance covers the idol, gold, mandap and devotees from threats such as fire, terrorist attacks and even riots.
The insurance cover begins from the first day of the festival and does not end till the trustees lock up the idol’s gold ornaments safely into a bank’s lockers on the last day. The idol is decked in gold jewellery from the first day, right up to the immersion. Just before the immersion, the gold is taken off the idol and kept safely until the next year.
“We floated a tender and only nationalised insurers were allowed to participate. We do not bring in private players and don’t disclose the premium amount, but it is in lakhs. The insurance of the mandal is to the tune of Rs 258.9 crore,” said senior trustee Satish Nayak of the GSB mandal.
Going by the Rs 12 lakh premium that the Lalbaugcha Raja mandal paid for an insurance of Rs 51 crore, it can be assumed that the GSB mandal must have paid a premium of at least Rs 50 lakh.
A senior manager of an insurance company said, “The premium for the insurance of a mandal cannot be calculated like a normal policy. Normally, for a policy of Rs 2 crore, the premium goes up to Rs 2.5 lakh, but mandals function differently.
They are insured for fire, terrorist activities, a specific number of devotees and other such things. The premium for Rs 259 crore will easily be more than half a crore, but even this would be guess work.”
Ganesh Chaturthi is one of the biggest festivals celebrated all over India. Not only is this festival celebrated in temples and pandals but also at homes. Many people place Ganapati idols in their house to celebrate this festival. Many interesting rituals are associated with Ganesh Puja. Every family or community has its own rituals for Ganesh puja.
But there are some rituals that are common for everyone. Ganesh Chaturthi is not a one day festival. It goes on for 10 days of festivities. You can choose to keep Ganesha in your home for 1 and half days, three days, five days, seven days or nine days. Here are some of the most basic Hindu rituals associated with Ganesha puja.
Placing The Idol
First of all, the idol of Ganesha has to be placed on a high pedastal that serves as his throne. The kids in the family usually decorates the area surrounding the Ganesh pedastal. You can use flowers and colourful papers to decorate the idol. You can also make crafts like caves, fountains etc to make your Ganesha idol look attractive.
After placing the idol, the next ritual of Ganesha puja is to sprinkle holy Gange waters on the idol and do the ‘pranpratishtha’. This is the ‘life installing’ Hindu rituals are performed with the help of Vedic mantras.
Riddhi n Siddi
Many families choose to keep the two wives of Ganesha ‘Riddhi’ and ‘Siddhi’ along with him. These two women are also worshiped along with Ganapati during the 9 day festivities.
Aarti is the most important ritual associated with Ganesha puja. Aarti is basically a collection of songs that are sung in praise of Ganesha. All the family members gather together in the morning and evening and sing praises of the elephant lord. A plate with an oil lamp is moved in circular motion in front of the idol the aartis are sung.
Modaks n Ladoos
Ganesha is a Hindu God with a very good appetite. And he has a special weakness for sweets. That is why, Ganesha’s favourite sweets ladoos and modaks are offered to him on Ganesh Chaturthi.
The Bitter Modak
During the aarti, modaks are offered to Lord Ganesha. One of the modaks in the plate is made with a bitter filling purposely. When the sweets are distributed, the one who gets the bitter modak is supposed to have a lucky year ahead.
The last ritual of Ganesha puja is visarjan or immersion. While Ganesha idols are taken to the nearest water body to do visarjan, the young people play with gulaal. They also sing and dance to bid adieu to Lord Ganesha. These are some of the lively rituals associated with Ganesha puja.
Hundreds of devotees performed ‘puja’ in Ganesh temples and to idols installed at specially decorated ‘pandals’ or makeshift platforms erected by various neighbourhood and traders’ associations.
Andhra Pradesh and Telangana Governor E.S.L. Narasimhan and his wife performed ‘puja’ to the huge idol installed at Khairatabad near Raj Bhavan, the official residence of the governor.
A large number of devotees including VIPs made a beeline for worship at over 50-feet-long idol, the tallest in the city, at Khairatabad.
The governor said he prayed for the happiness and prosperity of people of both the Telugu states.
This is the first Ganesh Chaturthi after bifurcation of the state. Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu offered puja at Telugu Desam Party (TDP) headquarters in Hyderabad. He wished for the well-being and development of people of both the states. TDP leaders from both the regions greeted Naidu.
According to Bhagyanagar Ganesh Utsav Samithi, over 50,000 idols have been installed in and around Hyderabad for the 11-day long festival this year. This is in addition to small idols installed in apartments and individual houses.
The idols of different sizes, shapes, colours and in myriad forms have been installed on streets in major markets and residential localities across twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad.
Hundreds of trucks and smaller vehicles were seen carrying the idols from Dhoolpet area to their destinations. The devotees were doing the last minute shopping for marigold flowers, leaves and other materials for puja.
The sweet shops and the supermarkets were also teeming with people, buying sweets and groceries for the festival.
Police have made massive security arrangements for the festival, especially in the communally sensitive old city. Over 15,000 policemen and paramilitary personnel have been deployed in the state capital.
The festival will conclude with a mammoth procession Sep 8 when thousand of idols will be immersed in Hussain Sagar Lake in the heart of the city.
The festival also began in other parts of Telangana with people installing idols at homes and on streets.
The festival is celebrated on a massive scale in Hyderabad and other parts of Telangana but is a low-key affair in neighbouring Andhra Pradesh.
You know Delhi has officially adopted the tradition when what is arguably the biggest, grandest, Ganpati Puja in the city, is organized by a group which has just one bona fide Maharashtrian in it. The Raja Lalbagacha Ganpati Mahotsav?Delhi’s version of it?is being held on a grand scale. It covers 10,000 square feet of Netaji Subhash Place Ground; has an idol that’s 14 feet tall and set on a six-foot high stage; and, according to its organizers, was visited by over 10,000 worshippers on the first day. Festivities will continue till September 8.
“We wanted to welcome Ganpati in the north as well,” explains Rajesh Gupta, secretary of the trust and mela mantri. “And most of those visiting are Delhiites.” There are few Maharashtrians where the mahotsav is being organized, concedes Gupta?himself a Delhiite?but adds that the team has informed Marathi groups in other parts of the city?east and south in particular?and people are visiting.
There’s ?modak’?a sweet dumpling served as Prasad ?for everyone. There are cultural programmes every evening and Gupta promises the best of Delhi’s performers. Actors from the television series, Bharat Ka Veer Putra?Maharana Pratap, will visit. It’s hard to organize a do of this scale on the first attempt; most of the trust members are seasoned organizers of such religious festivals. Gupta himself is involved in organizing Ramlilas.
This is not the only non-Maharashtrian group to organize a Ganpati festival in the city. “Over the last few years, there has been an increase in the participation of non-Maharashtrians. Many small traders’ associations organize their own festivals,” observes Yashpal Mhaskar who is associated with a number of Ganpati festivals across the city and also runs a website that keeps track of the number of mandals?and Marathis?in Delhi.
There are ones organized by members of the community at Anandvan Society (Pashchim Vihar), Datta Vinayak Mandir (Janakpuri), Vitthal Mandir (RK Puram), Anand Vihar (organized by Purvanchanl Maharashtra Mandal), Naya Bazar and Karol Bagh. “There are about 50-60 Ganpati utsavs organized across the city,” says Mhaskar. There is a state-sponsored Ganpati Utsav that’s organized at Maharashtra Sadan on Copernicus Marg every year.
While there were rumours that Salman Khan would be giving Ganesh Chaturthi a miss this year, the Kick star has made sure that he and his family celebrate Ganpati even in his absence
Salman Khan might have skipped the Ganpati festival this year, but his sisters Alvira and Arpita have made sure that they stayed up to the reputation of their Ganpati decoration and have gone all out in making sure they put up a great show!
Bollywood stars were seen heading to Galaxy, Bandra the residence of Salman to get a quick darshan of Lord Ganesha who sits at his house for a day and a half. Last year the venue was shifted to his sister Alvira’s building due to on going renovation work in his house.
It is customary to take the darshan of his Ganpati and get some yummy Prasad that the family distributes. Ladoos and pedas from the best mithaiwala in town are sourced and all devotees go back home with a box in hand! Apart from that there are also other yummy delicacies and food stuff like chaat that is provided to keep the guests entertained during their stay.
We shall give you a first hand report of all the stars who visited Salman’s Ganpati and those who skipped it !
A few days ago the ‘Srinagar’ ceremony of Ganesha idol at Moti Doongari temple was done and a Jhanki of Modaks with Ladoos of various sizes was arranged. At homes, many devotees have prepared Daal,Baati andChurma – typical Rajasthani dishes – as an offering for Lord Ganesha today.Moti Doongri Ganesha temple of Jaipur is one of famous Ganesha temples in India and many devotees from various places come for Darshan of Lord Ganesha and to celebrate Ganesha chaturthi festival in the city. Moreover, the jhanki of modaks is also a great attraction for the devotees who come from other cities.
Ganesha Chaturthi is one of the most grandly celebrated festivals in Jaipur. Lord Ganesha who is believed to be bestower of wisdom and auspiciousness or riddhi and siddhi, is revered and worshipped with great devotion and gaiety.
There is also a practice that every Hindu house gets small idol of Lord Ganesha installed on the main gate which is also worshipped for bestowal of wisdom and prosperity, and removal of obstacles.
Life-size idols of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, carrying baby Ganesh on his shoulders or in his lap, were some of most interesting-looking idols that people brought home this year.
Some of the city pandals were also seen cashing in on Modi’s charisma with similar idols, with organisers and individuals “congratulating” Modi for his “thumping victory from Vadodara” by making him this year’s theme.
Tea-vendor Kiran Mahida brought home a Ganesh idol that depicts Bal Ganesh playfully jumping on Modi’s shoulders. The life-size Modi idol is complete with a made-to-order cotton Kurta and saffron jacket, which was Modi’s attire on April 9 when he filed his Lok Sabha nominations from Vadodara, for which Mahida was a proposer. “I will put up this idol in my house against a backdrop of pictures of Modiji hugging me — which adorn my walls till today,” Kiran said.
The Vishva Kunj Society Ganesh pandal has gone a step further. The pandal has an idol of Modi, carrying an idol of Lord Ganesha on a plank, with the animated layout of the Vadodara Municipal Corporation’s (VMC) Vishwamitri Riverfront Project. The group has recreated the river course, intersecting the city, to depict how the renovated Vishwamitri would appear once the VMC goes ahead with its plan
The organizers plan on showing a VMC presentation on a projection screen to the visitors to convey that the soon-to-be cleaned and restored Vishwamitri is Modi’s gift to Vadodara.
Kalpesh Naik, who is the Vishva Kunj Society president and an office-bearer of the BJP in the city ward, said, “We believe that Modiji’s plan to develop Vadodara must be showcased this year, so that people can see the gift he has given to this city. We had planned this theme much before the model code of conduct (MCC) came into effect. The dates for Ganesh Chaturthi were decided in advance all over the country. I do not think we are flouting any norms of the MCC since we have no political agenda. Our society is the most affected because Vishwamitri overflows during the monsoon, flooding our homes. We are setting up this pandal in our personal capacity and not on behalf of the party”
Since she is connected with the automobile industry, Vinubhai used to visit several countries for work. If the task that was undertaken met with success, she used to buy a ganpati idol to commemorate the occasion.
Vinubhai’s hobby can be traced back to the year 1996, when she was 56 years old.
This endeavour has seen support from Vinubhai’s family members, too. Her relatives also gift Vinubhai with ganpati idols. She has received 150 such idols so far.
At 75, Vinubhai has decided that she wants her collection to touch 5000.