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Jamshedpur: Ganesh Chaturthi celebrated amidst Covid restrictions

Jamshedpur, Sep 10: Amid chants of ‘Ganpati Bappa Morya’, devotees welcomed Lord Ganesha on the auspicious occasion of Ganesh Chaturthi on Friday marking the beginning of the Ganeshutsav. However, the usual extravaganza attached to the festival was missing in the wake of the Covid19 pandemic.

The Lord Ganesha was welcomed in homes, housing complexes, public mandals and villages with traditional fervour. Ganesha, the son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati, is worshipped as the God of new beginnings, remover of obstacles as well as wisdom and intelligence.

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.

Amid reverent thoughts and overwhelming festive gaiety, the much awaited long festival of Ganesh Chaturthi started in ritualistic manner embracing both Marathi and non-Marathi folk all through the Steel City. The shadow of pandemic COVID-19 was visible as several puja committees skipped the celebration and just performed simple rituals to mark the day. 

City’s oldest Ganesh Puja organised by Shree Bala Ganapati Vilas at Kadma skipped the celebration this year due to pandemic COVID-19. The organisation which has been celebrating Ganesh puja for the past 103rd years made simple arrangements for the utsav.

The Ganesh Utsav at Kadma has a rich past. In 1893, Bal Gangadhar Tilak started the festival that has now become more of a social festival. Prior to this, Ganesh Chaturthi was restricted to a family puja. However, in view of the rising cases of corona, the committee decided to reduce the event to a simple ritual.

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 atharvashirsha 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.

An official of Shree Bala Ganapati Vilas said that in view of the third wave of COVID-19, the  Ganesh Mahotsav celebration this year remained a low-key affair. Instead of 17 days, it was a one day affair with simple rituals performed. He went on to inform that they performed the rituals in a simple manner at the club house located close to the Ganesh Puja ground.

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