THAILAND: THIS year Ganesh Chaturthi was celebrated in Thailand at two places—Shiva temple in Raminthara (Bangkok) and Ganesh Temple at Nakhon Nayok, about 200 km from Bangkok. About 38ft tall Ganesh idol was ceremoniously worshipped by Shri Phararaj Koson, chancellor of Buddhist University Bangkok at Nakhon and Shri Mae Khu Von Seng, head of Raminthara Temple. The places wore festive look with colourful saffron flags, banners and flower decorations. The Nakhon festival was a 10-day traditional event while Bangkok saw a 2-day celebration.
Thousands of devotees visited both the Temples during the festival. A ceremonial procession was taken out in the streets of Thailand on the eve of Ganesh Visarjan. Devotees with saffron and local attire and flags chanted bhajans, kirtans and shouted slogans of Ganapati Bappa Moraya along the route. Many Thai bands also participated in the processions.
Over the years, the festival, started by Vishwa Hindu Parishad Association, Thailand, is attracting not only the Hindus but also the local Thai population in a big way. This year, a group of 28 Thai devotees came to Mumbai along with a Ganesh idol for Anant Chaturdashi visarjan at Chowpatty under the guidance of Dr Khun Khom Krit (Haridas), additional dean of Shilpacon University and Pandit Brahmananda Dubey.
Many Hindu organisations, like Dev Mandir Hindu Samaj, Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh, Thailand, Navyuvak Mangal Dal and Hindu Dharm Sabha worked for the success of the festival.