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City doused with festive spirit

Staff Reporter

Both Vinayaka Chaturthi and Id-Ul-Fitr were celebrated with gaiety

— Photo: K. Murali Kumar

SPECIAL SHOW:A Ganesha-Vishnu idol being immersed at Ulsoor Lake in Bangalore

BANGALORE: An estimated 55,000 Ganesha idols were immersed in three major water bodies, Ulsoor Lake, Sankey Tank and Yediyur Lake, — on Vinayaka Chaturthi on Saturday evening even as the authorities expected a deluge on Monday with Ulsoor Lake alone expected to get about 50,000 idols for immersion.

Though idols were immersed on Sunday too, there were fewer processions. On Monday, the city will witness more than 10,000 processions carrying Ganesha idols for immersion across the city and the police have made elaborate security arrangements.

Meanwhile, Bangalore was resplendent with the festive spirit on Saturday with two major festivals, Vinayaka Chaturthi and Id-ul-Fitr falling on the same day. Homes across the city wore a festive look with rangolis and decorations strung out at the entrances and several roads hosting make-shift Ganesha pandals that played bhajans and light music through the day.

“While the big ‘pandals' keep the idols for five or eight days, families prefer to immerse them on the same evening. However, the number of ‘mandalis' that hold large-scale cultural programmes in the localities seem to have reduced,” says Vasumathi Krishna, a resident of Kengeri.

Apart from the ongoing music festival at the APS College Grounds, there are very few cultural programmes being held in South Bangalore, which once used to be a hub of cultural festivals.

Muslims thronged numerous mosques in the city to pray and celebrate Id-ul-Fitr, the festival that marks the end of the month of Ramadan, by greeting each other, giving alms to the poor and participating in festivities that included large feasts, wearing new clothes and meeting up with family and friends.

With a wet festival day, owing to incessant rain lashing the city on Friday night and for a few hours on Saturday, people found it difficult to offer their morning Namaz at the slushy Idgah Maidans in the city. Most of them had to pray inside the mosques, instead of congregating in open air as is customary. However, the skies cleared up towards noon.

Syed Jamal, a resident of Bangalore, said that the festivities were more joyous this year as the “double celebration”, owing to Vinayaka Chaturthi falling on the same day, resulted in an exchange of delicacies between Hindu and Muslim friends and families.

“Our prayers are followed by a huge family lunch where the prime meal is a scrumptious biryani and seviyyan. Apart from a family lunch, friends and neighbours too are made a part of their celebrations by distributing the delicacies prepared,” he said.

Restrictions

The city police have imposed certain restrictions on processions, use of fireworks and loudspeakers after 10 p.m., Police Commissioner Shankar M. Bidari said in an order.

The police will take action against any violations and will seize loudspeakers that are operational past the deadline. Processions can only be taken through roads where prior permission has been granted, he said.

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