As 10-day festivities of Ganesh Chaturthi begin today amid COVID-19 outbreak, a grand 'arti' of Lord Ganesha was performed in several parts of the country including at the Shri Siddhivinayak Temple here in Dwarka.
Similarly, priests also performed 'arti' at renowned Shri Siddhivinayak Temple in Mumbai, the Shri Ganesh Mandir Tekdi in Nagpur, Shreemant Dagdusheth Halwai Ganpati Mandir in Pune and the Ganesh Temple in Delhi's Connaught Place.
On the occasion, the temples and Ganpati idols are beautifully decorated. Devotees are visiting the temples to seek blessings of Lord Ganesha. However, the number of people arriving at the temples is less number as compared to previous years due to COVID-19 restrictions.
At the temples, priests were seen following COVID-19 protocols, covering their faces with mask and maintaining social distancing to combat the virus. 'Hawan' was also performed in several temples amid chanting of mantras.
Meanwhile, Dr Aditi Mittal, a resident of Surat, made a Ganpati idol with dry fruits on the occasion.
"I made this idol with dry fruits with the shells still on. It will be kept at a COVID-19 hospital. After the puja, the dry fruits will be distributed among patients at the hospital," she said.
After 10 days of festivities, finally, the devotees bid adieu to the elephant-god for the year by immersing it in water bodies.
However, the festival this year is being celebrated in a much more restricted way amidst the global pandemic situation. The social distancing norms will prevent people to celebrate the festival in the congregation.
According to new guidelines of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) issued on July 29, cultural and religious functions and other large congregations will continue to remain prohibited.