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Zeeshan Javed and Jhimli Mukherjee Pandey | TNN | Kolkata | Sep 13, 2018:: Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations have kicked off with elan this year with close to 1,200 community pujas taking place in Kolkata and its suburbs.
Festivities peaked up with several Ganesh pujas across the city, close to 1,200 Ganesh pujas, mark the city making it an alltime high.
The festival that marks the birth of Lord Ganesh has forayed into the festival calendar of Kolkata riding on the back of a fledgling business community and a scramble among politicians who lack the wherewithal to organise big-budget Durga Pujas to mobilise their supporters.
Barisha Unnayan has organised Ganesh Puja for the first time this year to set the “tone for Durga Puja”.
“Durga Puja is held with much fanfare here. This year we decided to organise a Ganesh Puja to set the tone for Durga Puja festivities,” said Rudraprasad Roy Chaudhuri of Barisha Unnayan. The budget of the puja being held in Chandi Math in Sakher Bazar is less than Rs one lakh.
Ganesh Chaturthi will be observed on Thursday. In Kolkata, it is normally a curtailed affair with the immersion happening within a couple of days.
Amra Kojon on Prince Anwar Shah Road has completed 10 years. “We started small a decade ago but with the blessings of Ganesh managed to complete 10 years. It is a big occasion for us,” said Pritam Dutta of Amra Kojon.
Maitree Sangha in Salt Lake’s BF and CF block has entered into its fifth year.
“This festival brings on the puja festive mood before the start of Durga Puja. We will have several cultural functions till Sunday,” said Bidhannagar Municipal Corporation mayor Sabyasachi Dutta, who is also the president of Bidhannagar Maitree Sangha club.
The festival, also called Vinayaka Chaturthi in Andhra Pradesh, is a major festival for the Telugu speaking community. The 82-year-old Telugu community in the city celebrates Vinayaka Chaturthi in a grand way in its premises off Rashbehari Avenue. The members believe that worshipping Ganesha augurs well, especially for kids and youths.
Several city homes have been decked up with 21 types of leaves and flowers and families have got their clothes for the puja.
The traditional prasad is prepared with seasonal items like jackfruit. “All prasad items are steamed or boiled and not fried or roasted,” explained Srinivas Vedula, Telugu association president.
The puja will end on Sunday. A large congregation of the community is expected to participate and a traditional lunch will be served that afternoon. “Noted vedic literature scholar, Chagarti Koteshwara Rao, will be felicitated,” said Suri Pattabhiram, a senior member of the community.
The deity at the Posta Ganesh Mandir is popular, especially among kids. “We saw a huge queue of devotees since the morning,” said Sachin Tripathi, founder-secretary of the Burrabazar Jai Matadi Seva Samiti and Welfare Society.
We have Most of the smaller pujas are being organized for the first time. “Ganesha is the God of wisdom and prosperity. We have organized the festival to pray that everyone gets the strength to overcome obstacles and succeed in their ventures,” said Gopal Mondal, organiser of a Ganesh Puja on BB Ganguly Street.
The visarjan (immersion) will happen at Babughat.