This is an idol of Lord Ganesha on an elephant (not real!).
Unlike last year could shoot only for 45 minutes as had to go for a movie! Shot in Leica & Nikon D300 (17-55 mm).
Started by freedom fighter Bal Gangadhar Tilak as an occasion to bring the masses together irrespective of class, against the British rulers, Ganeshotsav is the celebration of the Hindu elephant deity Lord Ganesha's visit to the homes of devotees.
Ganesh Chaturthi is the first day of the 10- or 11-day festival where idols of the deity in various shapes, sizes and colours (often with news-based themes) are brought to the homes or colonies of devotees. On the final day (Anant Chaturdashi), the idols are carried by hand, balancing them on the head, pulled in hand carts or trucks, to be immersed in the nearest sea, river or lake.
The process of taking the idols for immersion is marked with much fanfare -- loud music, resonating beats and dancing devotees bid adieu to Lord Ganesha only to welcome him again the next year with equal excitement.
Last year (2007) pictures http://hershy.smugmug.com/gallery/3548966_uwjvK