The Ganesha idol is known as 'Bharat-Pakistan Bordercha Raja' or 'Bharat-Pakistan Border ka Raja' (King of India-Pakistan Border) in the town and surrounding areas.
A few days ago, members of the Prachin Shiv Durga Bhairav Mandir Trust from Poonch brought home a six-foot Ganesha idol, and its smaller replica from a workshop in Mumbai, for the second year in a row. Bappa travelled to Poonch on the Bandra-Jammu Tawi Swaraj Express.
Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations in Poonch began about seven years ago. Reports suggest that in 2010, a medical student who had come home from Maharashtra decided to bring a Ganesh idol to his hometown, which is surrounded by the LoC on all sides. He loved the way the festival was celebrated in Mumbai and how it brought the society together. Since then it has been an annual ritual to celebrate the festival. Defence personnel also come for Bappa's darshan.
The festival is celebrated with fervour across the country. During the 11-day festival, devotees perform puja at Ganesh temples and beautifully decorated 'pandals' or makeshift platforms erected by various mandals and associations. Ganesha idols of different sizes, shapes, colours and in myriad forms are installed in these pandals, streets in major markets and residential colonies.
This year, the Ganeshotsav celebrations begin from August 25. On the visarjan day on September 5, amid chants thousands of trucks will carry idols to be immersed in different water bodies.