Lakhs of devotees from all religions thronged thousands of places of worship which were thrown open on Thursday after nearly six months in Maharashtra, as the threats of a Covid-19 third wave appeared to have receded, officials said.
Temples rang bells in Mumbai and other parts of the state, adhering to full Covid protocols as directed by the government. Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, along with his wife Rashmi and son Aditya who is Tourism Minister, went to pray at the famed Mumbadevi Temple in south Mumbai, of the deity from whom the city gets is name.
Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, along with Nationalist Congress Party state President and Minister Jayant Patil, prayed at the Shree Siddhivinayak Ganpati Temple in Prabhadevi.
Other ministers joined celebs and commoners in different places of worship which have been cleaned spic and span, with fragrance of sandalwood, incense and agarbattis emanating from there, creating the right ambience for devotees.
Other places of worship like ISKCON temples at Chowpatty and Juhu also attracted huge crowd of devotees for the first prayers after a long bout of closure.
Similar crowds were witnessed at the Shri Saibaba Temple in Shirdi and the Shaneshwar Temple in Shanishingnapur, both in Ahmednagar, the Ashthavinayak Temple, the Mahalaxmi Temple, the Trimbakeshwar Temple and Saptashringi Temple in Nashik, Jivdani Temple in Palghar, Jejuri Temple in Pune, Godiji Parshwanath Jain Temple in Mumbai and more.
The opening up of worship places gave a fillip to the local economy with thousands of vendors selling pooja items, prasad, flowers, garlands, religious books, scriptures, holy water bottles, photos, candles, lamps, flags, festoons, holy memorabilia, and other devotion-related materials also sprang into action to cater to the devotees.
(With IANS inputs)