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Reetika Subramanian, Hindustan Times

The Lalbaug Sarvajanik Utsav Mandal, popularly known as the Ganesh Galli Mandal, has for the past nine years recreated various Indian monuments at its Parel pandal. This Ganeshotsav, the mandal, in its 83rd year, will erect a replica to Srisailam Mallikarjun temple located in the Kurnool district of Andhra Pradesh.

“Not everyone can afford to visit the monuments in the country’s interiors. Thus, in commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the mandal in 2002, we decided to use the Ganeshotsav as a platform to bring the monuments to the devotees, staying true to its original form,” said Swapnil Parab, the mandal secretary’s, adding that this has been the USP of the city’s tallest Ganpati idol.

Right from Madurai’s Meenakshi temple to Rajasthan’s Hawa Mahal, Delhi’s Akshardham temple to the Chamundeshwari Temple of Mysore, the organisers have recreated several marvels in plaster of paris. Parab said the mandal would replicate the intricate patterns of the original pillars of the Kurnool temple. “The Mallikarjuna Temple located in Srisailam is one of the 12 Jyotirlinga temples dedicated to Shiva. The temple has great significance in the Hindu puranas and has been referred to in the Mahabharata,” said Parab. At the centre of the 10,000 sq ft Ganesh Galli maidan, the stage has already been erected, the roof has been raised, truckloads of plaster of paris have been emptied, and the karigars (local sculptors) are busy adding finishing touches to the 22-feet tall Ganpati idol.

The mandal has appointed a new murtikar (idol maker), Vijay Khatu, who has been in the business for the last 43 years, to mould the idol.

“It is an honour to be working on a murti that is worshipped by more than 70,000 devotees everyday during the festival,” said Khatu.

Source: http://www.hindustantimes.com/Ganpati-mandal-that-replicates-monuments-/Article1-737233.aspx

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