HYDERABAD: Amidst chants of ‘Ganapati Bappa Moriya’, the grand event of centralised Ganesh idol immersion went off peacefully with fanfare and amid tight security in the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad on Sunday.
As the momentum of procession started picking from evening, the idol immersion is expected to go on till Monday. The entire city wore a festive look as thousands of idols of various shapes, sizes and colours were taken to the Hussainsagar and a dozen other water bodies for immersion after nine-day rituals.Thousands of big and small idols in various forms were taken out in a centralised procession in decorated trucks from Balapur in the old city to Hussainsagar lake for immersion at NTR Marg and Tank Bund.
The centralised procession began after the auction of the traditional ‘laddu’ at Balapur for a record `10.32 lakh. The Balapur Ganesh as well as other idol processions from the old city picked up pace only in the afternoon. The roads looked deserted till almost 3 pm.
The main centralised procession, which began behind schedule from Balapur, was joined by processions from other areas as it wended its way past Chandrayangutta, Falaknuma, Shalibanda, Charminar, Patherghatti, MJ Market, Abids and Basheerbagh. It covered a distance of about 15 to 20 km to reach the Tank Bund.The Balapur idol, which was at the tail of the main procession, crossed the sensitive Charminar around 7 pm.
By noon, close to 600 idols of all sizes were immersed in the Hussainsagar. GHMC and police officials told Express that about 30,000 idols would be immersed in a dozen identified water bodies in Hyderabad and on its outskirts.
However, a majority of idols will be immersed in Hussainsagar. Apart from Tank Bund and NTR Marg, immersion took place in the lakes and tanks situated at Shamirpet, Saroornagar, IDL (Moosapet), Hasmathpet and Pragathinagar, in Sunnam Cheruvu, Gangaram Cheruvu, Durgam Cheruvu, Palle Cheruvu and Pattikunta.
Hundreds of youth, wearing saffron caps and scarves, marched alongside the trucks carrying the idols and chanted ‘Ganapati Bappa Moriya, Ab Ke Baras Jaldi Aa’. Saffron flags and bandanas, sprinkling of gulal and pulsating drum beats added to the excitement. Children and women lined up the pathways while many others perched themselves on rooftops and still others occupied whichever vantage points they they could access to view the procession of idols and savour the spectacle.
From a cradle to a long truck, devotees used every possible mode of transport to carry the idols they had worshipped in the past 10 days and send the Lord off to His abode. The city’s tallest idol and cynosure of all eyes, the Khairatabad Ganesh, started its sojourn late in the night for immersion in the early hours of Monday.