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Ganesh Chaturthi celebrated in Kashmir; idol immersed in Jhelum

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STATE TIMES NEWS

Srinagar: Ganesh Chaturthi was celebrated in Kashmir on Tuesday with religious fervour and the idol of the deity was immersed in the Jhelum river here for the first time after the outbreak of militancy in the valley.
The biggest celebration and puja were organised at the Ganpatyar temple in the Habba Kadal area of the city.
Special prayers including a ‘hawan’ were held at the temple to mark the birth of Lord Ganesh, Kashmiri pandit leader Sanjay Tickoo told PTI.
“Today Vinayaka Chaturthi was celebrated in Kashmir the way it is observed in Maharashtra and other places of the country. On this day in this Siddhivinayak Mandir, we do a yagya which lasts for about 12-14 hours,” Tickoo said.
Later in the evening, an eco-friendly idol of Lord Ganesha was immersed in the river Jhelum at Ganpatyar, which the local community said, was being done for the first time after the eruption of militancy in the valley in 1989.
A procession was taken out for the idol immersion.
“We are celebrating Ganesh Chaturthi with religious fervour. This year, we took out the jhanki (procession) after a very long time. This immersion is happening for the first time after turmoil,” Nikhil Tickoo, a Kashmiri Pandit, said.
“We feel very happy that the new generations have got connected with our culture as they had not known about this before. A message is also sent across the country that such festivities happen in Kashmir as well,” he added.
Kalpana Pandita, a woman of the same community, said the visarjan’ (immersion) was being done after about 30 years.
“We only held puja these years, but not the immersion. We are very happy that we could immerse the idol in the river,” she said.

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