Ahead of Ganesh Chaturthi, a Ganesha idol will be set up at a height of 9 feet in Khairatabad here on 'Dhanwantari' theme in the wake of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, said Sudarshan Mudiraj, founder and chairman of Khairatabad Ganesh Association.
As per Hindu mythology, 'Dhanwantari' is a God of Medicine and an avatar of Lord Vishnu.Speaking to ANI, Mudiraj said that idol is being prepared on 'Dhanwantari' theme especially this year as the country is gripped with the novel coronavirus.
"In 1954, we began placing an idol from one foot, and with each passing year, we increase the height of the Ganesha idol. Last year, we had set up the idol at a height of 65 feet, and we were planning to go up to 66 feet this year. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are going to set up the idol at a height of nine feet only," said Mudiraj.
Along with the Ganesha idol, idols of Goddesses Lakshmi and Saraswati would also be installed. This year, the idols are being prepared with the coronavirus pandemic in mind, according to Mudiraj.
"This deity will hold an Ayurveda scripture in one hand and green leaves on the other hand. Idols of Goddesses Lakshmi and Saraswati will be kept on both sides of Lord Ganesha. This model is being made especially as the world is facing a health crisis. We shall follow all the safety precautions, and we are expecting at least 2,000 devotees to visit," he added.
An idol of Goddess Saraswati would be installed as the education has come to halt and children are unable to go to school due to the pandemic, and an idol of Goddess Lakshmi will be installed as a lot of businesses have adversely been affected and many are facing a financial crisis during this period.
The 10-day festivities of Ganesha Chaturthi, the birth anniversary of Lord Ganesha, will begin on August 22. The festivities end with the final immersion of Ganesha idols, called the Visarjan.
The festival is celebrated with much grandeur in Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Gujarat among other states.