Barring stray incidents of stabbing, the 11-day festivities of public celebrations of Ganesh festival concluded on a boisterous note on Friday morning extending the celebrations to the 12th day despite pleas for early conclusion of the festivities.
The immersion processions, which began on Thursday evening, gained momentum only in the early hours of Friday as revellers dancing to hit filmy numbers belted out by high decibel sound systems (which were used despite a ban) took their own time to move forward.
Although the police said that they had warned Ganesh Mandals against using high decibel sound systems, their warning seemed to have had little impact on most of the Ganesh Mandals as they carried out processions with high decibel sound systems mounted on tractors as they had been doing all these years with impunity.
Although Ganeshotsava festivities conclude on the 11th day, this time it extended to the 12th day also as it has been happening over a decade. Barring some Ganesh Mandals that make it a point to complete the immersion of idols before 10 p.m., the other Ganesh Mandals continued the revelry till Friday morning.
The police said that when the last of the idols was immersed it was 11.30 a.m. on Friday.
Restrictions on vehicular movement and barricaded roads did not prevent people from various localities of Hubballi-Dharwad and surrounding villages from congregating at Kittur Chennamma Circle and occupying places all along the route of the procession in the central business district.
Although the Ganesh idols mounted on embellished vehicles started appearing on the designated route rather late, people had taken up their positions on balconies, roadside complexes, pavements, steps of shops and terraces of residential buildings well in advance.
The lawn around the equestrian statue of Kittur Rani Chennamma and the small space around Sangolli Rayannas statue had become vantage points for people to watch the procession.
Decorated Ganesh idols from Ganesh Mandals erected in different localities slowly moved along the designated route of Durgadbail, Broadway, Myadar Oni, Dajibanpet and Kittur Chennamma Circle to the artificial well adjacent to the Mahatma Gandhi Park and the slightly large one located adjacent to the Government Primary School at Hosur.
As revellers danced to their hearts content throughout the night and even after day-break, they had an audience for their performances till the early hours. When Hubballi Cha Maharaja of Maratha Galli, the last of the idols, was immersed in the artificial tank at Hosur with the help of a crane, a large number of people gathered around it to get a glimpse of the huge idol.