Hyderabad: The very famous Khairatabad Ganesh laddu prasad and theerth will not be served on a large scale following instructions from the government due to Covid crisis.

The Ganesh idol which is known worldwide for its humongous size, this year, however, was restricted to 9 feet, in the wake of the pandemic. This year, the government issued instructions to install idols not more than 5 feet.

Every year, lakhs of devotees throng Khairatabad to visit and offer prayers to the Ganesh idol. However, due to the pandemic, their number has reduced to thousands. The Sri Ganesh Utsav Committee also launched an online request on their website for puja and e-hundi for donations. Donations can be made through online payment gateways.

 

Speaking to NewsMeter, S. Sudarshan, founder and organiser of Sri Ganesh Utsav Committee said: “This year, the charm of the festival is missing due to the reduced size of the idol. Earlier, we used to see lakhs of people coming for darshan of Ganesh. This year, it reduced to mere thousands and there will be no large scale distribution of prasadam and theerth, as per the government guidelines. We have arranged a dedicated space for offering coconuts which is far from the earlier spot.

As usual, the idol will be immersed in Hussain Sagar but the government made it clear that it will not be able to provide us with any help in this regard. So, the Committee itself will have to organise it following the Covid protocols. We had requested people not to visit the pandal but offer their prayers online to reduce the rush. People are being sent inside only after checking the temperature and a sanitisation chamber has been also set up. All precautions being taken following government orders.”

This year, the Committee decided to name the god as “Dhanvanthari Narayana Maha Ganapathi.” In 2019, the Khairtabad Ganesh was standing tall at 61 feet while this year, the size was cut down by 52 feet.

According to the guidelines, not more than five people should be allowed inside the Ganesh pandal at any given point of time. Wearing a mask during puja is mandatory. Adequate measures for sanitisation and physical distancing should be arranged by the pandal organisers.

Earlier Dr. Bhagwanth Rao, general secretary, Bhagyanagar Ganesh Utsav Samithi, had said, “There are no restrictions on the Ganesh festival celebrations. However, because of Covid, we have to follow certain guidelines. Puja can be performed to idols in lanes and sub-lanes but not on the main roads. Installing Ganesh idol and performing puja is a fundamental right. There is no need for permission from any authority, central government, state government, or the police but the organisers should inform the cops of the respective police station.”

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