HYDERABAD: The immersion of Ganesh idols in water bodies, marking the conclusion of the ten-day long Ganesh festival, began this morning across Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.
The ritual is a massive event in Hyderabad where an estimated 20,000 idols in different sizes would be immersed in water bodies in the city and its outskirts. The idols are taken for immersion in processions.
The administration in Hyderabad, which has declared a holiday in the city today, has made elaborate arrangements for the immersion of idols, called 'Nimajjanam' locally, by installing a number of cranes near the water bodies and other paraphernalia like big-sized lights, LED screens to show live telecast and loud speakers.
The major venue for immersion is the Hussain Sagar Lake in the heart of the city, where thousands of idols would be immersed. Arrangements to remove the debris after immersion have also been made at the lake.
Hyderabad Police Commissioner M Mahender Reddy had said they would like to see that the immersion process is completed by tomorrow morning. It has been observed over the years that immersion continues till afternoon the next day.
Police have made elaborate security arrangements by deploying thousands of security personnel to ensure that the event passes off peacefully. The police have stepped up vigil against the backdrop of reports of threats to the country from international terror outfits.
Reddy has appealed to the people not to believe in any rumours and take help of police wherever necessary.
Elaborate traffic regulations have been put in place and advisories issued to the people to ensure that the processions move smoothly. The city police is also likely to monitor the procession in a chopper.
The South Central Railway has announced special measures for today for running the local Multi Modal Transport System trains. The state-run Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation would also run special services.
The major attraction of the festivities in Hyderabad is the 60-ft tall Ganesh idol at Khairatabad locality which requires a special vehicle to be carried for immersion.
Auction of 'laddus' offered to the God were conducted before they moved in processions for immersion. The 'laddu' at the Balapur pandal on the city outskirts, famous for its auction, went under the hammer today for a whopping about Rs 9.50 lakhs. It is believed that the 'laddu prasadam' brings good tidings.