| Devotees offer prayers to Ganesh during the puja organised by Maharashtra Mandal in Patna on Monday. Picture by Ashok Sinha |
The spirit of Ganesh Chaturthi enveloped parts of Patna on Monday, giving it a feel of Mumbai.
A 5.25ft idol of Ganesh, a replica of Mumbai’s famous Lalbaugcha Raja idol, brought from the Maximum City, completed the picture.
Maharashtra Mandal, established at Serpentine Road in 1951, organised the festival in true Maharashtrian spirit.
Its members designed the pandal, spread over 2,400 sqft, inside which the Elephant God sat pretty.
Sanjay Bhosle, the secretary of the organisation, said: “We’ve been organising the festival for the past six decades. Members of 50 families from our community made the necessary arrangements. Unlike Mumbai, which celebrates it for 11 days, we do so for seven days.”
To add colour to the festival, the Mandal organised haldi-kumkum for women. Clay Ganesh models produced by artisans from rural areas were on sale across the city. Sheetal Devi, an artisan on Bailey Road, said: “We start making idols 10 days before the festival, depending on the demand. This year, we received over 150 orders.”
Ganesh idols draped in shining clothes and ornaments attracted the attention of the passers-by. Sanjay Gupta, the owner of Archies at Boring Road, said: “Not only Maharashtrians, the residents of the city also celebrate the festival. The demand for idols is so high, we have already run out of stock.”
The residents of the city also geared up to celebrate the festival with fervour. Kirti Sinha, a resident of Boring Road, said: “I have been celebrating the festival with my close friends and family from the past five years.
“The priest performs the Ganpati pran pratishtha. In the evening, we perform aarti and sing kirtans before distributing ladoos and other sweets.”
Ganesh puja celebrations have been organised at several places in the city including Daroga Prasad Rai Path, East Boring Canal Road, Chajjubagh, Gai Ghat, Patna City, Khajekala and Danapur.