Ganeshotsav Celebrations at Mumbai's Siddhivinayak Temple go virtual amid COVID-19 restrictions

MUMBAI: Celebrations of Ganesh Chaturthi have completely gone virtual this year at the popular Siddhivinayak Temple in Maharashtra’s Mumbai city in view of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Priests performed morning aarti which was broadcast live on their official website and Facebook page. Devotees were urged to take an online glimpse of the festivities at the temple. Throughout the day, temple authorities would be keeping devotees updated on the festivities being carried out at the temple with the live session.

The grand celebrations were subdued across the city as Mumbai police imposed section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) from September 10-19 in order to curb the transmission of the virus. No processions of Ganpati will be allowed and more than five persons can’t gather at a place, the Mumbai Police Commissioner’s office had said.

“We are following all government orders and suggested Covid appropriate behaviour in our temple premises. Devotees are not allowed inside temple premises. only priests and necessary staff is inside the temple. But we have arranged online Darshan of Sri Siddhivinayak through our social media pages,” Adesh Bandekar, Chairman of Sri Siddhivinayak Temple Trust.

Before the pandemic, the festival used to be celebrated with much fanfare and pomp in Mumbai and other parts of Maharashtra with lakhs of devotees converging into mandals to seek blessing from Lord Ganesh.

However, in the live broadcast today, only some priests and temple authorities could be seen performing the aarti and could also be heard chanting religious hymns as they prayed to the lord seeking his blessings.

Last year as well, the celebrations of the festival were subdued due to the rampant surge in COVID-19 cases in the state. Ganesh Chaturthi, a ten-day festival that starts on the fourth day of Hindu calendar month Bhadrapada, commenced today. The Hindu festival of Ganesh Chaturthi also known as Vinayak Chaturthi is dedicated to the Lord of new beginnings, Ganesha. (ANI)