For the official idols this is definitely the scenario. For private and smaller idols there are more possible immersion dates within those 10 days.
The city has arranged for about 17 spots along the river to be ready for the immersions. Next to that it tries to make people choose to do only a symbolic immersion in a water tank and to collect the idols and the flowers and decorations, rather then having that all polluting the rivers.
From the ones that DO choose for the river, often one person of the family or group takes the idol and goes in the river to immerse it. Several people have drowned here last week, doing this, since the river runs fast or they got a heart attack.
I was lucky to have been part of the immersion of the idol from the Westin Hotel, so at the end of this post there is a complete reportage of my experience.
But first some other pictures around the immersions:
|It is unbelievable how much work, time and costs are involved in the preparations for a successful Ganesh Chaturthi!!!|
As said, eco-friendliness is stimulated, hence the symbolic immersions in special tanks:
The majority of the people though went for immersion in the river:
|Family preparing last rituals before immersion of idol. They are covered in gulal (red color powder), since it is custom to play with that and throw it on others.|
|People cueing to have idol immersed. At this spot this was done by a professional who was attached to a line.|
|Last offerings and rituals.|
|The immersion guy at this ‘ghat’.|
|Looking down from the bridge on the ongoing immersions in the river below.|
By chance I ran into the immersion of the hotel’s Bappa. I decided on the spot to go along.
Here we see the hotel car with the idol on his throne, ready for it’s procession to the immersion spot.
The hotel has hired a quite big dhol tasha group (about 20 men and boys). They seemed good, but then again…what do I know?
The deal is this: there are different instruments and the music seems to have certain cycles and patterns with every now and then solo’s for a specific instrument or player.
After about half an hour on the driveway, the procession takes of. Meaning: we walk for 5 minutes, then the band stands still and plays for half an hour, we walk 5 minutes, etc. You can imagine that it took us several hours to make the 2 kilometers from the hotel to the riverside!!!
|We take of.|
In front of the car walks a group of hotel employees…plus me;-). And in front of them marches the band.
5 Minutes walking, so time for half an hour playing-on-the-spot:
At one point the music reaches a climax and the men from the hotel go crazy and start to dance:
A boy from a slum that we pass, decides to join the fun for a while and dances ecstaticaly along with the men. They find it utterly funny!
At a certain moment the men find the courage to ask me if I will dance along with them at the next musical peak. I say yes, but when the moment is there, they seem a bit uncomfortable with it;-).
Finally we reach our destination, the immersion ghat. The band plays its last session, the men do their last crazy dance and after that they take Bappa down and walk him to the riverside.
|It is SO hot, hot, hot, that the man on top of the car has been replaced by another one.|
|He enjoys the music too!|
|Last minutes of the band.|
|Last crazy chicken dance of the men;-)|
|Bappa is carried to the riverfront.|
|Bappa and decorations are immersed.|
|There ya go, Bappa!|
From our balcony at the hotel, we can see the very ‘ghat’ where we immersed the Westin Hotel Bappa. For several days there is an ongoing stream of people from early hours till late, bringing their idol and immersing it. If you look careful, you can see a person going in the river on most of the pics.
Right in front of our balcony, we look upon a small slum that has their own immersion, after which the two young men went for a swim. I would so NOT swim in this river!!!!
Well, you were able to follow the immersion process step by step…without getting wet feet…hahaha. I hope you enjoyed it and that you come back tomorrow for some more festive and colorful pictures!