BURHANPUR: For the first time in the last 103 years, idol of Lord Ganesh cannot be installed at the Tilak Hall here in Madhya Pradesh on the first day of the festival due to the COVID-19 situation.
Freedom fighter Bal Gangadhar Tilak had started this practice in 1917 during his visit to Burhanpur bordering Maharashtra.
"It is after more than a century that the city has missed on its date with Ganeshiji at Tilak Hall," Maharastrian Brahmin Samaj president Arun Shende told PTI on the occasion of Ganesh Chaturthi, the first day of the 10-day festival.
He said 7 to 8 foot tall idol of Lord Ganesh has been installed every year on Ganesh Chaturthi day at the Tilak Hall, and thousands of people take darshan during the festival.
Shende said Tilak had come to Burhanpur in 1917 and the local Marathi-speaking community donated him Rs 3,000 for the Independence struggle.
However, Tilak instead donated that money for the construction of a community hall and consecrated an idol of Lord Ganesh in an open space, he said.
"A hall built at the place where Tilak had installed the idol was named after him and people started organising the festival," he added.
On Saturday, local residents brought idols of Lord Ganesh at their homes to mark the beginning of the festival amid fervour.