With the coronavirus pandemic likely to overshadow Ganesh festival, the organizers of Hyderabad‘s popular and tallest Khairatabad Ganesh idol have decided to bring down its size this year to just one foot from 66 feet planned earlier. Also Read - COVID-19: Maharashtra Records 105 Deaths, 2190 Cases in Last 24 Hours, Total Tally at 56948
Khairatabad Ganesh Utsav Committee announced on Tuesday that this year, it will install one-foot idol in view of the pandemic situation. Also Read - On Call, PM Modi Discusses Economic Impact of Coronavirus With Sri Lankan PM Mahinda Rajapaksa
This will be the first time in the 66-year history of the idol that such a small idol will be installed. The one-foot idol was installed for the first time in 1954 and since then, the height has been increasing by one foot every year. Also Read - We Will Not Learn! French NGO Collects Masks-Gloves And Other Medical Waste in Mediterranean Sea-Bed Amid COVID-19
Installed at Kharitabad in the heart of the city, it is considered the tallest Ganesh idol in the Telugu states that attracted devotees from various places. Last year, a 65-ft idol was installed.
Utsav Committee chairman S. Sudershan said the ‘Karra Puja’ or puja to commence idol preparation scheduled for May 18 has been cancelled.
He said the decision to install the one-foot idol this year would be reviewed if any vaccine is developed and the world overcame the pandemic before August 22, when the Ganesh festival is scheduled.
This year, the Utsav Committee was planning to install a 66-ft idol with ‘Vishwarupa’ idol with 18 faces to seek blessings of the ‘Lord of Beginnings’ in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
The committee took the decision after a review of the current situation. As all temples are closed for nearly two months and no religious congregation is being allowed, the organizers felt that if the situation continued, all their efforts to prepare the huge idol would go in vain.
Every year, the committee spends Rs 1 crore on making the idol. The preparation work begins 90 days before the festival. About 150 workers including painters, carpenters and artisans work on the idol.
The Khairatabad Ganesh used to be a major attraction of annual celebrations in the city. State Governor, ministers and other VIPs perform puja at this idol every year to mark the beginning of the festival.
For 10 days, thousands of devotees from various parts of the city and other places used to offer worship. The authorities every year make elaborate arrangements to shift the idol with the help of giant cranes to Hussainsagar lake for immersion.