Gaiety and religious fervor marked the Ganesha festivities here Saturday as the procession comprising hundreds of idols went on in a peaceful manner amid unprecedented security.
A sea of humanity thronged the roads around Hussain Sagar lake in the heart of the city as devotees bid adieu to Ganesh after the 11-day festival. The immersion of idols is likely to continue well past midnight.
Barring an incident in which five children were injured due to electrocution, no untoward incident was reported in the city.
Home Minister P. Sabita Indra Reddy and Director General of Police Dinesh Reddy made an aerial survey to monitor the mammoth procession while top police officials monitored the proceedings on CCTVs.
An over 58-feet high idol of Khairatabad also began its journey towards the lake.
The immersion was also on at Saroornagar and 21 other lakes in and around the city and in other districts.
Over 30,000 policemen and personnel from the central paramilitary forces, the majority of them in the old city, have been deployed to maintain law and order.
Authorities have deployed about 30 huge cranes at the Hussain Sagar lake for immersing the idols. Over 7,000 idols of over five feet in size will be immersed.
The main procession started from Balapur on the outskirts after the traditional auction of ‘laddu’. A devotee bought the 21-kg ‘laddu’ for Rs.7.5 lakh. The procession will cover a distance of about 20 km and pass through the old city before culminating at Hussain Sagar.
Hundreds of trucks carrying huge idols from various parts of the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad and adjoining villages en route join the main procession, which brings the entire city to a grinding halt.
Over a million people join the procession, said to be the second-biggest in the country after Mumbai. The government has declared a general holiday in the twin cities and the adjoining Ranga Reddy district.