Bengaluru

This Ganesh Chaturthi, book a priest online

Celebrating Ganesh Chaturthi traditionally needs elaborate planning and investment of time — right from getting an idol to the pooja materials, and a priest to conduct the rituals.

But the IT capital has solution for this too: people can book every pooja essential and even a priest at the click of a button, with entrepreneurs coming up with ideas to make the celebrations easy and hassle-free.

‘Puja N Pujari’, a start-up, is offering a special Ganesha Habba hamper. It will have an eco-friendly Ganesha idol and every essential pooja material — from flowers and a prayer book to incense sticks. A priest can also be booked according to one’s language preference and budget plan.

Founded by Mahesh Kottapalli and Kalpaja Dalavoi Adhikesavulu, the start-up caters to people in Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad, and Texas in the U.S.A.

Other platforms are also seeing increased traffic. For instance, Smart Puja, which makes all arrangements for poojas and ceremonies in the city, has seen a huge spike in bookings this Ganesh Chaturthi. Nishchay Chaturvedi, co-founder of Smart Puja, said, “A lot more people are going online for services. Last year, we had received 55 bookings for priests for Ganesh Chaturthi. This year, we have received bookings for 130,” said Mr. Chaturvedi, 38, who started the web service two years ago.

The platform offers services of priests in 16 languages. “We have a proper on-boarding process for the priests. Background check and verifications are conducted before making them a part of the platform, and most of them are experienced,” said Mr. Chaturvedi.

Another platform, House Joy, which offers various household services, also has the option of booking a priest. Customers can use the company’s mobile app to make the booking. The portal has also seen increased bookings for Ganesh Chaturthi.

“Housejoy launched pandit services early this year in Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad, Delhi and Mumbai. Although services from this category are offered all through the year, we have seen an uptake in bookings during the festive season. We have been receiving more than 500 queries per month across all cities, with Bengaluru performing the best. Over a span of six months, we have served and fulfilled over 1,000 bookings in Bengaluru alone. We have got a good number of scheduled bookings for the upcoming festival of Ganesh Chaturthi,” said Saran Chatterjee, CEO, House Joy.

Catching up with the trend, some purohits have got together and formed an online portal called Pandits In Bengaluru. “We have been receiving many calls for Ganesh Chaturthi,” said Amit Pandey, son of one of the priests. The platform offers priests in multiple languages — Kannada, Tamil, Telugu, Hindi, Bengali and Oriya.

Cultural extravaganza

The 56th edition of the Bengaluru Ganesha Utsav organised by Shree Vidyaranya Yuvaka Sangha will be held from September 13 to 24 at Basavanagudi. Apart from rituals being conducted on all days, the festival will showcase talent and promote traditional art forms.

Every year, the Sangha gets a unique mantapa created to house the idol. This year, a mantapa resembling a palanquin carried by six men is being made. The mantapa will be adorned with gilded columns, stained glass ceilings, decorative steel grills and chandeliers. The mantapa has been designed by Gouranga Kuila, an award-winning painter, sculptor and installation artist.

The festival will feature big names such as playback singers S.P. Balasubramanyam, Vijay Prakash and Shreya Ghosal. Also, Bharathnatyam dance by Hasmitha Ganesh and 'Nruthya Malle' by Kumari Anargya Prashanth will be held.

No rent for installing Ganesha idol

The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike will not be collecting any rent for setting up Ganesh Chaturthi pandals. In a press release, the BBMP said the nodal officers at its single-window centre have been directed to give permission to anyone wanting to set up a pandal for Ganesh Chaturthi.

Meanwhile, KSPCB has arranged for mobile immersion tanks across the city to cater to regions which do not have lakes.

Peace meet

To ensure law and order, a peace committee meeting was held on Tuesday at Town Hall by officials of S.P. Park police station. The meeting was attended by DCP (Central) D. Devaraj and members of Ganesha festival organising committees.

Guidelines

The police have issued guidelines for organising committees.

DOs & DON’Ts

Take prior permission from the jurisdictional police and BBMP

Ensure smooth flow of traffic

Installations of idols on busy roads will not be permitted

Permission will not be granted to install pandals at sensitive and controversial venues

Two representatives from the committee should be present round the clock

CCTV cameras and fire safety measures are a must

No cooking in and around the pandals

NOC from Bescom, Fire and Emergency Services, traffic police is a must

Round the clock electricity

Proper entry and exit points

Mikes and music system only between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m.

The sound should not exceed permissible limit

No forcible collection of donation

No fireworks near prayers halls and sensitive areas

Immersion program should end by 10 p.m.

Committee would be liable in case of any eventuality

Submit contact details of committee members to jurisdictional police


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Printable version | Sep 19, 2021 8:37:35 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/this-year-book-a-priest-online/article24929666.ece

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