The incessant rains that lashed the city yesterday cast a damper on festivities in the city, pouring cold water, quite literally, on months of painstaking preparations by Ganpati mandals. While the usual crowds could be found in and around the clutch of iconic mandals in the city, other mandals were given a wide berth by devotees, as heavy rains lashed the city all day.
Heavy waterlogging in Parel meant that devotees had to wade through water to reach popular mandals. Pic/Rane Ashish
The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) recorded 49.3 mm rainfall in Colaba and 37.2 mm rainfall in Santacruz. The IMD predicted heavy rains on Monday as well. Lalbaug, home to the city’s most popular mandals, witnessed the usual rush of devotees.
However, with the continuous downpour, most preferred to stay home, giving their annual mandal circuit a miss, while those who ventured out had to brave the incessant downpour to get a glimpse of their revered idols. Delays on the railway networks, traffic congestion and waterlogging also added to their plight. Lalbaug, the most popular destination among devotees during the 10-day festival, witnessed flooding last morning.
Cutting down on fun
A mandal at Parel had to stop the fun fair that it conducts every year, fearing a short circuit. Other mandals were seen grappling with the problem of sopping wet mandal decorations, while hawkers who usually make brisk business during the festival were seen sitting idle with their fare, in the absence of customers.
Dilip Rane, Chinchpokli Sarvajanik Utsav Mandal
Compared to last year, the crowds are much thinner today. Since it is Sunday, we expected lots of devotees for darshan today. Till yesterday, we had huge queues for darshan, but today, the scenario is different.
Pandurang Sakpal, Akhil Chandanwadi Sarvajanik Ganeshhotsav Mandal
We had the usual flow of visitors till 3 am, but as it started raining heavily, the number of devotees gradually decreased. Usually there are long queues for darshan, but today anyone could simply walk in.
Nilesh Shirdhankar, Khetwadi 8th Lane Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Mandal
Huge crowds flock to our mandals on Saturdays and Sundays, but this has been a very quiet weekend. We have devotees from far-off places coming for darshan, but the numbers have gone down, may be due to transport problems and the heavy rains.
Shekhar Desai, Parel Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Mandal
We usually have lakhs of visitors coming to our mandal, but the turnout was dismal today. Even on Saturday night, people were pouring in for darshan, but the numbers dwindled as the rains increased yesterday. The rain also brought our fun fair to a standstill, as we wanted to avoid the risk of a short circuit.