Hyderabad: The 10-day Ganesh Chaturthi festivities concluded on a colourful note on Ananta Chaturdasi day with devotees in large numbers, along with idols, making their way to water bodies across Hyderabad and suburbs and bidding adieu to the remover of all obstacles.
The idol immersion reached a crescendo on Thursday evening at Hussain Sagar, which was soaked in the colours of vermillion and reverberated with ‘teenmaar’ beats as devotees gathered to witness the once-in-a-year spectacle.
Amidst heavy security, the immersion ceremony of the famed 61-foot Khairtabad Ganesh idol, weighing 43.5 tonnes, was completed before 2 pm on Thursday as devotees lined up along the immersion route from Khairtabad to Hussain Sagar.
The cynosure of all eyes was the central procession of Ganesh idols that snaked its way from Charminar and MJ Market, culminating at Hussain Sagar. Led by the Balapur Ganesh, the procession attracted thousands of devotees to NTR Marg, Necklace Road and Hussain Sagar. It was joined by scores of Ganesh idols of different sizes and concepts which were brought to the water body on trolleys, pushcarts, two-wheelers, cars and open-top
jeeps by devotees.
The police and municipal officials were hoping that the entire exercise of idol immersion at Hussain Sagar would be completed latest by early hours of Friday.
Thousands join Khairtabad Ganesh Shoba Yatra
The majestic 61-foot Khairtabad Ganesh idol, the main attraction of Ganesh festivities in the city, got a grand adieu at Hussain Sagar on Thursday.
Thousands of devotees gathered at Khairtabad since morning and joined the Shoba Yatra for immersion. The devotees lined up for a few kilometres all along the procession route till the immersion point.
The Shoba Yatra began at 7.30 am and slowly passed through Lakdi-ka-pul and nearby areas and culminated at Hussain Sagar at around 2 pm.
Artists from different parts of State danced and sang in front of the idol to different beats all along the route. With this, all stretches en route the procession wore a festive look.
Hussain Sagar comes alive
The environs of Hussain Sagar on Thursday reverberated with the chants of ‘Ganapati Bappa Moriya’ and ‘Jai Bolo Ganesh Maharaj Ki Jai’. By evening, the entire vicinity, including NTR Marg, Tank Bund, Khairtabad and Necklace Road teemed with devotees.
There was no dearth of prasadam for the devotees and general public, as youth associations and Ganesh committee members competed in offering a variety of prasadams, including pulihora, badam milk, curd rice, halwa, puri and buttermilk.
Balapur laddu bids for Rs 17.60 lakh
The auction of popular Balapur Ganesh laddu on Thursday ended at a staggering Rs 17.60 lakh, exactly Rs 1 lakh more than what the laddu had fetched last year. The successful bid was made by Kolan Ram Reddy, a local farmer, and this is the ninth time that Reddy returns home with the laddu.
Balapur Ganesh Utsava Samithi on Thursday morning commenced the auction at a base price of Rs 1,116 and within minutes, the bids crossed thousands and ran into lakhs.
Speaking to ‘Telangana Today’, Ram Reddy said the laddu prasadam would be distributed to people in Balapur area and sprinkled in the farmland. “We were ready to bid till Rs 20 lakh but could get the laddu at Rs 17.60 lakh,” he said.
The auction was attended by Education Minister P Sabitha Indra Reddy and for the first time, it witnessed the participation of a bidder, GVK Reddy, from Nellore of Andhra Pradesh, as well. The samithi said the auction amount would be used for various developmental activities in Balapur area.
As Balapur Ganesh idol began its journey for immersion at Hussain Sagar, an overwhelming welcome awaited it all along the route. The entire area reverberated with devotional songs and bhajans as the procession went its way through the lanes and bylanes of Balapur area making a halt at Boddu Rayi for the laddu auction.
RV Residence laddu fetches Rs 18.51 lakh
The residents of RV Residence, a gated community in Keerthi Richmond Villas in Sun City here, are claimed to have raised a whopping Rs 18.51 lakh for charity by auctioning a 5-kg laddu of Lord Ganesha by bidding among themselves. This is a record when compared with the auction amount of Balapur Ganesh laddu, they said. For the third consecutive year, residents have embarked on this noble cause and outperformed last year’s auction by more than Rs 5 lakh.
We need to unite for Bharatmata: Mohan Bhagwat
Unity is strength and we need to unite for Bharatmata, said Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat.
Addressing the Ganesh idol proce
ssion at MJ Market on Thursday afternoon, he said, “Our country needs to be alert and there is a need for unity in our society,” he said in his 14-minute speech and added, “We need to be shaktiman (powerful) and this is not to scare anyone”.
Apart from ‘Shakti’, ‘Budhi’ was also necessary and both should be utilised properly, he said.
Before arriving at MJ Market junction, Bhagwat visited Sri Bhagyalaxmi Temple at Charminar and offered prayers. The city police made security arrangements during his visit to the temple and MJ Market junction as he is under the Z-Plus category security.
Festive atmosphere grips old city
A festive atmosphere prevailed across the old city on Thursday for the centralised Ganesh idol immersion procession.
Dressed in traditional attire, devotees danced to the drum beats energetically as they bid their farewell to Lord Ganesha. A sort of competition was visible among the youngsters who tried to distinguish themselves from organisers of other pandals in various aspects, including the decoration of the idols, drummers and kurtas they wore.
The star attraction was the idol which was decorated with Chandrayan 2 theme. Senior police officials were seen constantly monitoring the movement of Balapur Ganesh till it entered the Central Zone police jurisdiction.
Another attraction was the Pardhiwada Shamsheergunj Ganesh, which was installed for the 50th year consecutively. Naresh, one of the organisers said, “In the beginning, we took the idol on a pushcart decorated with fruits and then a tractor before switching over to the truck. Since the first year, we use fruits, donated by the community, for decoration”
Ramagundam Commissioner V Satyanarayana, who previously worked as DCP South Zone, was roped in for the Ganesh bandobast arrangements on Thursday. Senior police officials, including Hyderabad Commissioner Anjani Kumar, visited the old city and reviewed the arrangements.
A police constable sustained injuries when a crane ran over him while shifting a Ganesh idol from a pandal onto a truck at Kishanbagh in Bahadurpura on Thursday morning.
The policeman, R Ravinder, working with Bahadurpura police station, was on duty at Kishanbagh when the incident occurred.“The pulley of the vehicle fell from the hook and the driver, in panic, accelerated the crane. Ravinder, who was in front of the crane, was run over,” said the Bahadurpura police. He was rushed to a private hospital at Nampally. A case was registered.
Immersion smooth in Rachakonda jurisdiction
The immersion of idols went off peacefully in Rachakonda jurisdiction, Police Commissioner Mahesh M Bhagwat, who personally monitored the procession from Command Control Centre in Ghatkesar, said.
A total of 12,000 idols were installed in the commissionerate. Of them, about 50 per cent were immersed on Thursday at water bodies, including Saroornagar, Safilguda, Rampally, Kapra and Jalpally.
Bhagwat said a force of 5,000 personnel was deployed for the immersion, and static and mobile cranes were stationed at all the immersion tanks and lakes. The Balapur Ganesh idol, which entered the Hyderabad Commissionerate limits around 12.30 pm, was immersed peacefully late in the evening.