India's financial capital Mumbai painted itself in festive colours as celebrations dedicated to elephant headed Lord Ganesh began on Monday.
People travelled in the trains with idols of Lord Ganesh to celebrate the event with pomp and show in western and southern India.
"He (Lord Ganesh) is the one who helps us to overcome all our hurdles. He helps us to root out the problems faced by us. He is considered as the greatest god among all gods. In order to ensure that god helps us fight against all odds, we worship him in our homes for five days or one and half days or seven or 13 days," said Shiwaji Javdekar, a devotee.
During Ganesh Chaturthi, thousands of people visit the community pandals to celebrate the event.
On the 10th day, idols would be taken out in grand processions and immersed in water bodies.
In an endeavour to protect the environment, artists make eco-friendly idols. Traditionally, the idols were made from mud and clay and vegetable-based dyes were used to paint them.
"The decoration is mainly done with thermocol and cloth. In order to avoid pollution caused by thermocol more of cloth should be used for decoration. This is the reason we why we have used more of cloth and less of thermocol for the festival dedicated to Lord Ganesh," said Javdekar.
On the occasion,several Bollywood celebrities such as Bipasha Basu, Madhur Bhandarkar and Pooja Bhatt used social to convet their greetings.
Madhur Bhandarkar said: "May Lord Ganesha bestow success, happiness and prosperity on you and your family. Happy Ganesh Chaturthi."
Pooja Bhatt said: "Ganesh Chaturthi reminds me of my grandmother Shireen Nanabhai Bhatt. She was a Muslim who inculcated in me a genuine love for Lord Ganesh."
Manoj Bajpayee said: " Ganpati Bappa Morya! May Shri Ganesha bless you all with peace and prosperity."
Divya Dutta said: "(I)can hear Ganpati Bappa Morya everywhere! Welcme Bappa."
Bipasha Basu said: "Happy Ganesh Chaturthi. Ganpati Bappa Morya."
Sophie Choudry said: "May you be blessed with happiness, prosperity and good fortune! Ganpati Bappa Morya."
Amrita Rao said: "Eco friendly Ganesh idols and No bollywood item songs playing during processions. Bappa Morya to all...Hoping to celebrate the festival in its true sanctity."
Celina Jaitly said: "On Ganesh Chaturthi, bappa bless our nation and remove the obstacles which stay in way of its growth and bless us all with health wealth and happiness."
Legend has it that Hindu Goddess Parvati created Ganesha from a perfumed putty-like substance, used to remove dirt from her body in an ancient self-cleansing ritual, the equivalent of a modern bath.
Suspecting her fidelity, Parvati"s husband Lord Shiva, one of the three most powerful Gods in the Hindu pantheon, flew into rage and beheaded the young lad. This left Parvati in distress and rage.
When Lord Shiva realised that the boy was created by Parvati, he brought him back to life by slaying an elephant and giving him the animal's head. Thus, was Ganesh created.
--ANI (Posted on 09-09-2013)