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Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Prayers from outside, muted celebrations: Pune welcomes Ganpati in the time of Covid

The state government had repeatedly appealed to local residents to avoid crowding outside mandals, and celebrate the festival at home by following all norms to prevent Covid-19 infection from spreading.

By: Express News Service | Pune | Updated: August 23, 2020 9:40:12 am
pune covid-19, pune ganesh utsav, pune ganesh chaturthi celebrations, pune coronavirus, pune city news, indian express newsAt the Dagdusheth Halwai Ganpati Temple. (Pavan Khengre)

Ganeshotsav, the biggest religious event in Pune, started on a restrained note on Saturday, amid social distancing, repeated sanitisation and other preventive measures to keep Covid-19 at bay.

Ganesh mandals in Pune city, including the five famous ‘Manache Ganpati’, installed the idols in the presence of limited number of workers.

Huge crowds, which throng pandals to watch the installation of the Ganesh idol, were conspicuously missing. Though the crowds were smaller and noise levels muted, devotees responded to the festival with their usual fervour.

Unlike other years, there were no dhol tasha groups at the mandals, but the rituals were performed with traditional enthusiasm.

The famous Dagdusheth Ganpati Halwai Temple in the mid-city area was decorated with flowers. Several devotees visited the temple area and offered their prayers from outside. Police personnel were deployed at the spot to prevent crowding and traffic jams.

Even on the outskirts of the city, Ganesh mandals avoided loud celebrations while bringing the idols.

Thousands of families marked the occasion by decorating their homes and installing Ganesh idols.

The state government had repeatedly appealed to local residents to avoid crowding outside mandals, and celebrate the festival at home by following all norms to prevent Covid-19 infection from spreading.

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