For the first time in nearly 86 years, Mumbai’s iconic Lalbaugcha Raja Ganesh Mandal will not install the gigantic Ganesha idol amid COVID-19 pandemic. The development came days after the Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray appealed to the people to celebrate Ganeshotsav 2020 with less pomp due to COVID-19 pandemic. Instead of the Ganesh Chaturthi celebration mandal has announced a 10-day awareness campaign for cured patients to donate plasma and a blood donation drive. Ganeshotsav starts on the fourth day of Hindu calendar month Bhadrapada. The 10-day festival is all set to begin on 22 August 2020. Lalbaugcha Raja is the most famous Sarvajanik Ganapati pandal that attracts millions of people every year.
Ganeshotsav is the most popular festival in Maharashtra. On the day of Ganesha’s immersion procession a large number of people flock to the streets chanting Ganapati Bappa Moriya. Numberless devotees sing and dance in the crowd accompanying the magnificent idol of Lord Ganesha. If we look at the stats then people of Maharashtra worship more than 2,00,000 Ganpati statues during Ganesh Chaturthi festival. The pandals set up by the several mandals in Mumbai and other places in the state attract thousands of devotees during the 10-day festival.
Installation of 3-4 Feet Ganesha Idol
This time, Lalbaugcha Raja Ganesha Mandal known for its sheer magnificence and the magnitude of its celebrations would not be installing the gigantic idol at the mandal. The idol will be replaced by a smaller one of around 3-4 feet for the traditional puja and other ceremonies at the 127-year old Ganesha festival. This year Lalbaugcha Raja Ganesha Mandal will be celebrating Ganeshotsav as ‘Arogyautsav’ with 10-days of blood and plasma donation camp. They will also honour the families of 20 soldiers who were martyred during clashes with Chinese soldiers in Ladakh.
Ganeshotsav 2020 Guidelines
All the mandals have been instructed to install idols of less than four feet. Many of the mandals in the state have decided to celebrate Ganeshotsav 2020 in a subdued manner. Manageable sized idols will be installed with no huge procession. According to the new guidelines released by the state all the worshippers are advised to immerse the idols at home and avoid visiting crowded places. By doing this you will protect yourself and your loved ones from the risk of getting infected with COVID-19. Additionally, devotees are also urged to make the Ganesha idols with eco-friendly materials.
Elaborate immersion ceremonies at waterbodies won’t take place due to the ongoing global health crisis. All the mandals would be focussing on social activities related to the pandemic. They are even planning to stream their aarti, puja and darshan online so devotees can avoid crowds and celebrate the Ganesh Chaturthi at their homes. If you want to know in detail how each state in India celebrates the Ganesh Chaturthi then do read the blog Ganesh Chaturthi.
India’s coronavirus count crossed the grim milestone of 11 lakh cases taking the total number of cases to 1,156,082. About 18,000 people have recovered from the virus in the last 24 hours taking the total number of recoveries to 7,24,877. The recovery rate has improved to 62.70 percent. Maharashtra remains the worst-affected state with over 3 lakh cases so far with Mumbai reporting over one lakh cases. If you want to know more about the coronavirus outbreak in India check latest COVID-19 updates.
This year’s Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations will not be the same as the last 86 years of Ganesha Mahotsav but there’s always a next time! Tell us in the comments below how you are planning to celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi amid COVID-19 pandemic. For an easy-peasy experience book your train and flight tickets online through Trainman app. Download Trainman App and check PNR Status of the ticket booked, Seat Availability, Train Inquiry and many such spellbound features.