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. President of Shree Bala Ganapati Vilas, K J Rao, informed that this year the two week long puja will witness better arrangements for the mela enthusiasts.
Tata Workers� Union President R Ravi Prasad along with other dignitaries participated in ritual ceremony on the first day.
Rao said the priest performed a ritual by which the idol is said to be imbued with life. Next followed the traditional puja. Worshippers bathe and the priest wears a silken lower garment, usually red, with a shawl around his shoulders. The puja began at the time designated according to calculations based on the ritual calendar.
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, informed Rao.
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 revellers.
Notably, the Ganesh Chaturthi celebration at the Kadma grounds witnesses a daily footfall of over 50,000 visitors. People throng the puja pandal from the city and its adjoining areas not only to worship the God but to have fun at the fair .