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Ganapati comes to Delhi

Ganesh festival is celebrated by scores of smaller organisations of Maharashtrians spread across Delhi. A report by Nivedita Khandekar.

delhi Updated: Sep 03, 2008 23:42 IST
Nivedita Khandekar

Lip smacking modak, fresh green durva and blood-red gurhal offered to the benevolent Lord Ganesh in an atmosphere reverberating with ‘Ganapati Bappa Morya’.

No, this is not any Ganesh pandal from Maharashtra, but Delhi’s very own organisation. One of the scores of community Ganesh festivals, organised by Shri Ganesh Seva Mandal of east Delhi’s Laxmi Nagar stands out.

“We ensure that modak (a coconut delicacy), durva (tender grass shoots) and the gurhal flower (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis), all things favourite of the Lord, are available.

This is the only place (apart from the Marathi community organised festivals), where you can get a modak,” says Mandal’s president Mahendra Laddha. Even the idol is brought from Maharashtra for the celebrations held at Lovely Public School in Bank Enclave.

A fairly known celebration is held at Dilli Haat organised by Sarvajanik Utsav Samiti, into the 11th year now. Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit did the inaugural pooja at the main venue (near INA market) on Wednesday even as the celebrations are being held at the newly opened Dilli Haat at Peetampura.

“Apart from the various cultural programmes that are open for all, the main attractions at the Dilli Haat are Maharashtrian goodies available,” spokesperson for the organisers said.

Apart from this centrally organised festival, Ganesh festival is celebrated by scores of smaller organisations of Maharashtrians spread across Delhi, one such being the Anandvan Sanskritik Samiti into 24th year of celebrations at Paschim Vihar.

“There is a 4-kms long procession to welcome the Lord. People from other communities from the 18 cooperative societies around also regularly participate here,” says Samiti’s Ashok Narayan Pandit.

Several other communities too celebrate Ganesh festival with much enthusiasm like the Gowd Saraswat Samaj at New Rajinder Nagar that has been regularly organising Ganesh celebrations for last 26 years. Telugu community also organises celebrations at six places, Andhra Pradesh Bhavan near Ashoka Road being one of the most frequented venues for last 10 years.