Jamshedpur : Amid reverent thoughts and overwhelming festive gaiety, the much awaited ten-day long festival of Ganesh Chaturthi started in ritualistic manner embracing both Marathi and non-Marathi folk all through the Steel City. Day one marked the sthapana of the mahabali.
Shree Bala Ganapati Vilas, the organisation which is organising Ganesh puja has made elaborate arrangements for the utsav. An imaginary Lotus-shaped pandal has been made. Organised by Sree Bala Ganapati Vilas, the 17-day mahotsav turns 100-year-old this year.
The fair comprising 150 stalls on the sprawling ground was inaugurated by Arjun Munda.
The organisers today informed that, their prime concern is a safe Puja, which was started way back in 1919 and will be celebrating its centenary next year.
“We have also roped in private security agencies, to ward off criminals and other anti-social elements ” said an official of Shree Bala Ganapati Vilas.
Elaborating further on the security he said that as many as 12 CCTV cameras would be installed in various strategic locations. Moreover, adequate arrangements would be made to tackle any fire mishaps, he said adding that police assistance booths and first-aid centres would be there on the fair ground.
The fence that has been put around the ground by Jusco last year has four gates. The senior functionary of the organising body said that the gates will open around 4.30 pm for the visitors and all the four gates will be closed around mid-night.
The ceremony began by placing the idol, usually made of terracotta, in a sacred arena, symbolic of a throne. The worshipper then sips holy water and performs pranayama, bows and prostrates before Ganesh and all the other gods. This followed singing of ganpati aarti and the atharvashirdha with accompaniment of cymbals, bells and rhythmic clapping. The last rite for the day is offering of ‘modak’ or prasad to the deity with flowers after which the prasad is distributed to the devotees.
The Ganesh puja of Jamshedpur is one of the oldest and most revered pujas in the State. Every year large numbers of devotees visit the place and seek blessings from lord Ganesha. Priests from Andhra Pradesh would perform the religious ceremonies. Talking about the fair the president said that number of entertainment and food stalls would be put in for the visitors. A team of volunteers have been trained, which will be deployed at the strategic locations to help and guide the devotees.
The district police nonetheless, have made tight security arrangements for the smooth running of the fair with security personnel being deployed in adequate number and policemen in plain clothes keeping an eye on the revelers.