Lord Ganesha arrived to a rousing welcome in Mumbai heralding the commencement of the ten-day-long festivity, invoking the elephant-headed god.
Chants of Ganpati Bappa Morya Mangal Moorti Morya rented the air as idols of Ganesha known as the Vignaharta (remover of obstacles) inched its way into the homes and hearts of Mumbaikars.
Giant idols were brought to artistically decorated mandaps in the city late last night and devotees welcomed the arrival of the elephant God with the sthapana of idols in sacred corners of their homes, to usher in prosperity and wisdom.
After prayers, the Lord's favourite modak was offered as prasad.
The Sarvajanik (public) celebration of the Ganpati festival initiated by Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak during the freedom struggle has gained immense popularity over the years not only in Maharashtra but all across the country.
During the festival, cultural and musical programmes are organised and various issues of social relevance are brought to fore using this platform.
The most famous Sarvajanik Ganesh Mandal Lalbaughcha Raja (King of Lalbaug) is celebrating its platinum jubilee this year.
Besides, the Ganesha of GSB Seva Mandal at King Circle in Central Mumbai known to be the richest in the metropolis has been decked up with 44 kgs of gold jewellery and 140 kgs of silver ornaments worth over Rs 8 crore.
The Mandal has been celebrating Ganeshotsav for the last 54 years. A 500-feet-long and five feet wide 'sky walk' has been created to enable devotees to walk up to the podium of the Lord Ganesha.
Also, bigwigs like Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh, Union Power Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde, former Lok Sabha Speaker Manohar Joshi, melody queen Lata Mangeshkar and actors Jitendra and Salman Khan install the idols of Ganesha at their homes during the celebrations.
Besides, PWD minister Chhagan Bhujbal is celebrating the diamond jubilee of his Anjeerwadi Ganeshotsav Mandal at Mazgaon in Central Mumbai this year.
The Ganesh festival is traditionally celebrated by Raj Kapoor's family at RK Studios in Chembur.
Meanwhile, security has been beefed up in Mumbai with the city police making elaborate arrangements in collaboration with the sarvajanik pandal organisers to ensure that the festival passes off peacefully.