Ganesh Chaturthi 2020: Maharashtra issues guidelines, directs mandals to provide online darshan

Updated: Jul 13, 2020, 08:45 IST | mid-day online correspondent | Mumbai

The Home Ministry urged mandals to conduct health camps, blood donation camps and create awareness on how to prevent the spread of Coronavirus

Andheri Cha Raja during last year's Ganesh Chaturthi festival
Andheri Cha Raja during last year's Ganesh Chaturthi festival

Ahead of the Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations in Mumbai and across Maharashtra, the state home department issued guidelines for the festival which will be celebrated in the last week of August. Taking into account the coronavirus pandemic, the department directed all Ganpati mandals to stream darshan via Facebook live, cable television, websites, and other modes of online mediums.

According to the notification, the height of idols installed by Ganpati Mandals should be restricted to only four feet while those installed at home cannot be taller than two feet. The mandals have also been urged to postpone the immersion of idols and people have been urged to use metal or marble Ganesh idols at home.

The guidelines come in the wake of the spike in the number of COVID-19 cases in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region, Pune, and other urban areas of Maharashtra. The Home Ministry has also urged mandals to conduct health camps, blood donation camps and create awareness on how to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

'Darshan' facility should be provided online through Facebook or other media or through cable networks, the notification said. As per the notification, these directions are to prevent crowding and ensure the health and safety of people. "We have asked people to keep the immersion process simple and not gather near rivers or the sea," an official said.

The guidelines also directed mandals to ensure that there is no crowding during daily 'aarti' and noise pollution norms are strictly followed. On the other hand, the guidelines state that Ganpati mandals should accept only voluntary donations, and the advertisements should focus on health awareness and social messages.

Talking about Ganesh Visarjan, the notification asked mandals to consider immersion of idols during the Maghi Ganesh Chaturthi which falls in February or during the next year's Ganesh Chaturthi festival. Besides, the Ganesh Pandals have been asked to provide sanitization and thermal screening facilities at all times.

Taking to Twitter, Home Minister Anil Deshmukh shared a list of guidelines and said that in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis, the state government has decided to celebrate this year's Ganeshotsav in a simple manner. Deshmukh urged mandals to support the government by following the guidelines issued.

Speaking to Mumbai Mirror, principal secretary (special) of the Home Department, Amitabh Gupta, said, "We have come up with guidelines. The local bodies can also add their guidelines to the existing list as per their requirements. This year people need to keep the festival simple."

This year, due to the global pandemic, the Lalbaugcha Raja and Chinchpoklicha Chintamani have cancelled the Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations, while the GSB Wadala Ganpati Mandal has postponed the celebrations to Maghi Chaturthi in February next year.

With inputs from Agencies

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    Lalbaughcha Raja, which is one of the most awaited Ganpati pandals in Mumbai, was founded in the year 1934. The Lalbaugcha Raja witnesses a stream of devotees during the 10-day-long Ganesh Chaturthi festival. Also known as the Navsacha Ganpati, the Lalbaug Cha Raja is visited by VIPs, industrialists and Bollywood celebrities

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    Every year, The Kamble family, who has a workshop called Kambli Arts in Lalbaug, have been organising the Lalbaughcha Raja for the past eight decades. In the pic, the first look of Lalbaug Cha Raja for this year's Ganesh Chaturthi festival

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    One of the oldest and one of the most renowned Ganpati pandals in Mumbai, the Ganesh Galli Cha Raja which is also known as Mumbaicha Raja was founded in 1928. This year, the Ganesh Galli Cha Raja will be celebrating its 92nd Ganesh Chaturthi festival

    In pic: The first look of Ganesh Galli Cha Raja for this year's Ganesh Chaturthi festival

  • 4/16

    The Mumbaicha Raja is widely popular for its unique themes which are often a replica of popular temples of India. Located a few lanes away from the Lalbaug Cha Raja, the Ganesh Galli Cha Raja is also one of the oldest Ganpati pandals in Lalbaug, Parel

  • 5/16

    Touted as one of Mumbai's richest Ganesh mandals, the Ganesh Idol of GSB Seva Mandal is adorned with more than 60 kilograms of gold and silver every year. Thereby earning the nickname of being the 'Golden Ganesha' of Mumbai. The GSVB Seva Mandal was founded in the year 1954 by the Gowd Saraswat Brahmin community from Karnataka. The GSB pandal is said to have an idol that is made out of clay and is eco-friendly in nature. In 2017, the mandal was insured for a whopping Rs 264.25 crore. The insurance covered the idol, ornaments, volunteers, workers among other things

  • 6/16

    Tejukaya cha Raja is another popular Ganesh pandal in Lalbaug, Parel. It is said that the pandal derives its name from 'Tejukaya' a popular personality from the British era who was known as 'Rao Bahadur Seth Shri Tejukaya J.P' and was a civil contractor by profession. The organisers of Tejukaya cha Raja won the Mumbaicha Raja award in 2012. Pic/Instagram raja Tejukayacha Lalbaug

  • 7/16

    This year, the Tejukaya Cha Mandal, which is almost 54 years, has broken the bank to go fully eco-friendly with 19 feet by 19 feet papier mache Ganesh idol. The Ganesh idol is made up of eco-friendly material, including papier mache and is said to be one of the city's tallest Ganpati idol this year. Pic/ Bipin Kokate

    In pic: Sculptor Rajan Zaad has created the eco-friendly idol for the Tejukaya Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Trust this year

  • 8/16

    The Chinchpoklicha Chintamani which is also known as the Chinchpokli Cha Raja was founded in 1920 by the Chinchpokli Sarvajanik Utsav Mandal. Every year, the highlight of the Chinchpokli Sarvajanik Utsav is its 'Aagman Sohala', which is the welcoming of the Lord Ganesha, organised 10 days prior to the festival of Ganesh Chaturthi

    In pic: The first look of Chinchpoklicha Chintamani for this year's Ganesh Chaturthi festival

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    Unlike other Ganpati pandals, during the visarjan of Chinchpokli Cha Raja, devotees sing bhajans and not play music or beat drums. This year, Chinchpoklicha Chintamani completes 100 years of being into existence In the pic, Chinchpoklichacha Chintamani is taken through a procession at Lalbaug, Parel as young and old tap their feet to the beats of Dhol Tasha music

  • 10/16

    Located at Parel's Nare Park, the Parel Cha Raja was established back in 1947. Every year, the Ganesh Utsav at Parelcha Raja is celebrated with a social cause. The Ganpati Mandal which organises Parel Cha Raja is committed to preserving and safeguarding the environment which is why they always opt for eco-friendly pandals and idols. Interestingly, the Ganesh idol at Parelcha Raja is always in a standing position, unlike most Ganesh idols where the deity is seen in a resting position. Pic/Instagram Parel Cha Raja

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    The Khetwadicha Raja which is also known as Khetwadica Ganraj was established way back in 1959. The Khetwadi Cha Raja is Khetwadi Cha Raja is also one of the oldest Ganesh pandals in Girgaon, Mumbai. The Khetwadi Cha Raja rose to fame when the Khetwadicha Raja Sarvajanik Shree Ganeshotsav Mandal built a 40-foot tall Ganesh idol in the year 2000

    In pic: The first look of Khetwadu Cha Raja for the 2019 Ganesh Chaturthi festival

  • 12/16

    The Khetwadi Cha Raja is situated in the Khetwadi area which has about 13 lanes and a Ganesh pandal is seen in almost every lane. However, the Ganesh pandal which is located in the 12th lane, also known as the Khetwadi Cha Raja, is said to be the most popular among all of them

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    The Dongricha Raja, which is one of the top 10 Ganpati Mandals in Mumbai will be celebrating its 81st year of Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations this year. Dongricha Raja is always known for taking social causes such as distributing Diwali sweets to underprivileged children and organising blood donation camps and health check-up drives. Last year, the theme of Dongri Cha Raja was a tribute to the Indian Army personnel, and the donations received were donated to the Indian armed forces

  • 14/16

    Widely popular as the Lalbaug Cha Raja of Mumbai suburbs, the Andheri Cha Raja is organised by Azad Nagar Sarvajanik Utsav Samiti and was established in 1966 by the workers of Tata Special Steel and Excel Industries Ltd.  What separates the Andhericha Raja from the rest is that it is immersed after 21 days instead of the usual 10th day for other Ganpati idols

  • 15/16

    Every year, the Ganesh idol of Andheri Cha Raja is seen in several different avatars. This year, the Ganesh idol will be adorned with a designer dhoti and shawl, which has been designed by a Hollywood designer. Every year, the Andheri Cha Raja is visited by Bollywood movie stars, politicians and other notable celebs in Mumbai

    In pic: The first look of Andheri Cha Raja for this year's Ganpati festival

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    Located near Bandra Reclamation, the Bandra West Cha Raja is also popularly known as MLA Ashish Shelar's Ganpati. The Bandra Wst Cha Raja is well known for creating a replica of popular temples from across India. In 2015, the mandal created a replica of Goa's Mangeshi Temple in the year 2015. This year, the mandal has chosen Uttarakhand's Badrinath Temple as its theme this year. Pic/Twitter Vandre Mandal

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