Hindus across India and the rest of the world are celebrating the start of the 10 day-long festival of Ganesh Chaturthi, in honour of the god of wisdom and prosperity, Lord Ganesha, also known as Ganapati. The son of Lord Shiva and Parvati, Ganesha is depicted as having an elephant's head and a man's body, usually with four arms.

Ganesh Chaturthi 2017
Hindu devotees offer prayers at a 57-foot (16-metre) tall idol of Ganesh in Hyderabad Noah Seelam/AFP

Devotees place idols of the elephant-headed god in their homes or on elevated stages in public places and then – at the end of the ten-day period – immerse the statues in rivers, lakes or the sea. According to popular belief, Lord Ganesha blesses those who worship him on this day by removing obstacles from their lives and granting them new beginnings.