Piety, fervour marks start of Ganesha festival in Karnataka

Bengaluru: Thousands of people across Karnataka celebrated the beginning of the 10-day Ganesha festival on Monday with religious fervour and piety.

Rising before dawn and taking a early oil bath, hundreds of devout, including women and children propitiated the elephant-headed god idol in their homes, decorated it with flowers and offered fruits to invoke his blessings to fulfil their vows and remove obstacles in their endeavours.

As the festive spirit gripped the state, hundreds of devout flocked to temples, especially those dedicated to Ganesha and his parents Lord Shiva and goddess Parvathi.

In Bengaluru, the famous Dodda Ganesha temple at Basavangudi in the southern suburb, was the centre of activity, as the people from across the city made a beeline since morning to pray and worship him with offerings.

Huge idols of Vinayaka, another name of Ganesha, have also been installed under make-shift pandals (tents) in several localities across the city to celebrate the festival, with chanting of Vedic hymns and singing of devotional songs.

Though the festival will continue over the next nine days, the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) has made special arrangements for the immersion of the idols, especially those made of Plaster of Paris in separate water tanks near lakes and ponds across the city from Tuesday onwards.

“We are deploying special teams comprising our employees and volunteers from the residential welfare associations at the lakes to ensure the idols are immersed in the tanks and prevent polluting them with chemicals, wet and dry waste,” said BBMP joint commissioner for health and solid waste management Sarfaraz Khan.