The Straits Times
www.straitstimes.com
Published on Sep 23, 2012
 

Indian festivals stream to mobile web worshippers for the 1st time

 
 

MUMBAI (AFP) - While devout Hindus wait for up to 90 hours to see their favourite deity at Ganesh Chaturthi, one of India's major festivals, others are opting to dodge the queues this year and say a virtual prayer instead.

The 11-day celebration of the birth of elephant-headed Lord Ganesha draws millions to worship at decorated idols of the god, but the statues are increasingly available to followers via live Internet streams.

"Every year people were requesting it, so this year we decided to go online," said Mr Uday Salian, committee spokesman at the Andhericha Raja, a popular Ganesha idol in Mumbai.

The colourful figure can be watched for free on their website during the twice daily "aarti" ritual, when offerings of light are made to the deity, meaning devotees can receive their blessings through the net. The move was largely meant for overseas followers, but religious domestic markets are also being tapped.