Ganesh Chaturthi Celebrations Begins on Muted Note in Pune amid Covid-19 Restrictions

The annual Ganesh festival began in Pune on Friday as devotees welcomed the deity in their homes and at pandals but without much fanfare in view of the COVID-19 pandemic and restrictions on processions and gatherings. Key Ganesh mandals, including five ‘manache’ (revered ) mandals, performed ‘pranpratishtha’ (installation) of idols in pandals (marquees) in the city with COVID-19 protocols.

This is the second year in a row when the festival, the most popular and awaited religious event in Maharashtra, is being celebrated in a muted and simple manner in view of COVID-19 and looming threat of a third wave.Mahesh Suryavanshi, a trustee at Shreemant Dagdusheth Halwai Ganpati, said the ‘pranpratishtha’ of the city’s most endearing deity, was performed inside the main temple in a simple manner and by following all COVID-19 norms.

The civic administration has appealed to all Ganesh mandals to celebrate the festival in a simple manner and make arrangements for online ‘darshan’ for devotees to avoid gatherings.

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