AURANGABAD: Over 1,000 Ganesh mandals across the city on Monday installed Ganesh idols with traditional fervor.
Ram Budhwant, a member of the Ganesh Mahasangh in Aurangabad, said that Ganpati idol ‘sthapana’ was held at the auspicious hour. Dignitaries of the city joined a ‘pran pratisthapana’ programme held around 11am.
“Last year, around 1,300 mandals were registered. The number is likely to increase by almost 100 mandals this year,” said Aurangabad commissioner of police, Sanjay Kumar.
Kumar said that even small mandals have appealed to their local police stations to be included in a security plan, wherein the police conduct patrols around mandals.
Markets witnessed substantial crowds right from the early morning, with many buying idols and ‘puja’ and ritual knick-knacks before the installation of idols at home. Shops in Gulmandi in the old city area remained crowded, with decorative items flying off the shelves. “The shopping spree for the beloved god has only begun and will continue with the Mahalakshmi puja and other rituals over the next 10 days,” said Sadhana Joshi, a city resident.
Many citizens preferred to reuse decorative material. “The family has planned to reuse festive items from previous years to reduce the impact on the environment, since these are primarily made from plastic or other synthetic materials. We have also chosen an eco-friendly idol,” said Archana Bhalerao, a resident of the Shreya Nagar area.
Residences were decorated with traditional bands and colours to welcome the god, with installations being wrapped up by evening. The ‘puja’ is planned for 7 pm.