Ganesh Chaturthi, one of the most revered festivals, came to an end on Thursday after the ten-day-long extravaganza. On the occasion, one of the popular Lord Ganesh Idols in India, ‘Lalbagh cha Raja’ was seen in procession towards the immersion at Girgaum Chowpatty where the Idol was immersed past 9 Am on Friday.
It is also believed that this idol of Lord Ganesha is ‘Navsacha Ganpati’ which means the one who fulfills all wishes and hence over 15 lakh people visit this Ganesh Pandal daily during the 10-day Ganesha festival, drawing huge crowd participation in the immersion as well, on the auspicious day of Anant Chaturdashi.
The process of immersion involves a pompous public procession with music and group chants being a part of the ritual and devotees bidding adieu to the deity with a hope for his speedy return the next year. While taking the idol for immersion, chants like Ganapati Bappa Morya, Pudchya Varshi Laukar Ya can be heard, which means "Goodbye oh Lord Ganesha, please return soon the next year". Immersions of several big idols, including the popular Lalbaugcha Raja continued till Friday morning.
On the security front, massive preparations were made by the Mumbai police, traffic police and BMC along with the help of private organizations to ensure peaceful Ganapati visarjan. Over 50,000 senior officers and staff were present on the ground to manage the massive crowd and to ensure peaceful procession. Fire-brigade had also deployed over 300 lifeguards to ensure the immersions progressed without any untoward incident.
A statement issued by the BMC on Friday said by 9 am, 7,627 sarvajanik Ganesha idols were immersed while the figure for small household idols stood at 30,403, taking the total number of immersions over the last 24 hours to over 38,000. There were over 129 spots for visarjan across the city with prominent immersion places being the Girgaum Chowpatty in South Mumbai, Shivaji Park and Powai Lake in the central part of the city, Juhu, Versova, Aksa and Marve coasts in the western and northern parts of the city. Medical centers and watchtowers were also set up with special centers for missing people or children and surveillance were done through drone cameras.