Devotees across India on Thursday welcomed their most beloved and venerated deity -- Lord Ganesh -- into their homes and community pandals, kickstarting the ten-day Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations with zeal and devotion.
The festival commenced with devotees installing colorfully-crafted idols of Ganesh, known as the Lord of Good Fortune and Destroyer of Obstacles in their homes and beautifully decorated pandals across the country with full customs and rituals.
In Mumbai, thousands of devotees thronged to the famous Siddhivinayak Temple at Prabhadevi to participate in the aarti and seek Ganesha's blessings amid chants of 'Ganpati bappa morya'.
Ganesh mandals like Lalbaugcha Raja, GSB Seva Mandal in Kings circle, Wadala GSB Mandal and Ganesh Galli Ganpati are some of the other famous venues in Mumbai, where people queue up in huge numbers for worship.
Authorities made stringent security arrangements to prevent any untoward incident during the festivities.
Around 35,000-plus security personnel including those from quick response teams, rapid action force, and state reserve police Force have been deployed. They will also be assisted by volunteers from national cadet corps, scout and guide, and NGOs.
In Mumbai, Bollywood personalities like Salman Khan, Jeetendra, Nana Patekar, Akshay Kumar, Hrithik Roshan and a host of Marathi film and theatre actors are prominent among the celebrities who celebrate Ganesh chaturthi at their homes.
Among the politicians, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, Rural Development Minister Pankaja Munde, former union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde, Mumbai Congress chief Sanjay Nirupam, former Chief Minister Manohar Joshi, NCP leader Chhagan Bhujbal host the Lord in their homes.
The Bombay high court, earlier this week had said that it would issue contempt notices to all those political parties, trusts and organisations which set up pandals during 'Dahi Handi' and Ganesh Chaturthi festivals without securing permission and flouted noise pollution rules.