Category Archives: Lalbaugcha Raja (1934-2012)
Collection of photographs of Lalbaugcha Raja right from its first installation on 1934
First few images of our favorite Lalbaugcha Raja, sourced from various sources.
Lalbaugcha Raja Ganesh: Lalbaugcha Raja Ganpati, situated near Lower Parel, is the most famous Ganesh idol in Mumbai. In 2010, the set looks like a king’s durbar or court. Millions of devotes will have the darshan of Lalbaugcha Raja ever year. This year, the organizers set air cooling enclosures for the devotees who will wait for several hours to get the darshan of Lalbaugcha Raja Ganpati.
Ganesh Galli Ganpati: Ganesh Galli Ganpati, located near Parel, is the most popular Ganpati pandal to decorate the mandal with new theme every year. For 2010, organizers decorated Ganesh Galli Pandal as Mysore Chamundeshwari Temple.
Khetwadicha Raja: Khetwadicha Raja Ganpati, located in Khetwadi Grant Road, is studded with gold and diamond work, with tusks of pure gold. In 2010, theme of Khetwadicha Raja is heaven.
GSB Seva Ganesha: This Ganesh idol is also known as Mumbai’s Gold Ganesha. Adorned with 61 kilograms of gold and more than 300 kilograms of silver, GSB Seva’s Ganesh idol will remain for first five days of Ganesh festival. The height of the idol is 20 feet.
Chandanwadi Ganpati: Chandanwadi Ganesh idol, located at Kalbadevi, is the tallest Ganpati idol in Mumbai. In 2010, this 23-foot Ganesh idol is accompanied by an eagle.
As the entire Maharashtra has been set to celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi or Vinayaka Chaturthi Festival from Saturday, the famous Lalbaugcha Raja Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Mandal has made special arrangements for the devotees.
This year devotees will offer prayers to City’s famous Lord Ganesha’s idol in air condition facilities.
Lalbaugcha Raja is Mumbai’s famous Ganesha idol and large number of crowd turns out for darshan (Worship) during the 10-day long Ganesh Mahotsav. It is expected that around six lakh people will visit the Lalbaugcha Raja idol each day.
According to the sources, a devotee will have to wait 10 hrs to reach the idol. The queue is expected to eight-km long from the pandal.
The Lalbaugcha Raja Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Mandal is famous for its innovative idea every year.
The Madal has prepared a massive float for Lalbaugcha Raja’s immersion ceremony. The massive float will help the immersion of Lalbaugcha Raja in deep sea.
On the other hand, thick security arrangements have been made in the wake of possible terror threat. The Mumbai Police has deployed around 1500 policemen while the Lalbaugcha Raja Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Mandal has its own 5000 guards.
Source: Sahara Samay
There is no boarding pass, but the idol will soon fly to America, one of many that are being ordered by homesick Maharashtrians who miss the Ganpati Bappa Morya fervour that is a proud ritual for this time of year in Mumbai.
Over the years, the demand from NRIs in Singapore, US and Britain for Lalbaugh Cha Raja has been steadily expanding. The idols themselves have not. They are never taller than two feet and are made of plaster of Paris – ensuring that they travel light. The prices vary from Rs. 3000 to Rs. 7000.
The city’s most popular Ganesh idol, Lalbaugcha Raja, will get a massive security cover this year. Security requirement at this Parel mandal has doubled this year as its popularity has increased. The Mumbai police are going to deploy a massive contingent of more than 1,500 personnel round-the-clock for the security of the devotees.
Police sources said the total number of personnel deployed at Lalbaugcha Raja (including the mandal’s private security) will be between 4,500 and 5,000.
The police expect at least six lakh devotees to visit the pandal on any day. The deployment is likely to increase by a couple of hundreds on Saturday, the first day.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (Operations) R.M. Vhatkar told Hindustan Times that security at the Lalbaugcha Raja has been given maximum priority keeping in mind the crowd and the security risk it faces.
He said while the police will ensure maximum deployment, mandals have been asked to rope in volunteers and private security personnel.
This year, the police estimate the queue of devotees to be 8-km long in both directions leading to the pandal. One will have to wait for at least 10 hours to reach the idol.
For the convenience of devotees, the police have asked the mandal to break the linear queues with zebra barricades at two points.
The organisers will put up sheds at these and serve refreshments to devotes. Vhatkar said the city’s security needs have also increased this festive season because of a nation-wide alert. More than 17,000 policemen will be deployed all over the city throughout the 10-day celebrations.
Organisers have been instructed to keep vehicle parking spots at a safe distance from the venue. The sniffer dog attached to the bomb squad will conduct periodic checks at all the parking spots, while Quick Response Team commandos and strike mobile vans will be deployed at all sensitive spots.
All mandals have also been asked to put up close circuit television systems at their venues and monitor the crowd from control rooms.
Source: Hindustan Times
Rupesh Pawar releases a very special line of clothing every year and Gods hanker to wear his creations. A tailor from Lalbaug, Pawar’s divine clientele comprises the city’s most famous Ganeshas, including Lalbaugcha Raja.
He is among a select group of tailors who are called upon to create dresses for Ganesha idols of the famous pandals. He creates attires for nearly 50 big idols that range in size from 8 to 20 feet, and for about 30 small ones at homes.
But, his most important client is the famous Lalbaugcha Raja, which is over 75 years old. Though many famous designers have expressed a desire to clothe the city’s most famous Ganesha, the trust that hosts the pandal does not care for fancy clothes. They trust Pawar’s skills so much that for 18 years, he has been entrusted with the job of creating special sets of clothes for the idol during the 11-day festival.
While keeping the dresses simple, Pawar has introduced new features over time. This year, he has bought special rim from Surat to embellish the dhoti worn by the deity. “We had to bring the dhoti border from Surat because we do not get this kind of elaborate handmade designs in Mumbai,” said Pawar.
To ensure that the clothes are ready in time for the festival, Pawar begins work in August. He stitches the garments at his residence in Lalbaug and is helped by a team of four to five people. On the first day of the festival, the idol is dressed in pitambar or yellow dhoti, along with a stole and a kambar patta or waist belt. The dhoti alone needs 39 metres of cloth, the stole and waist belt are about six metres long, the equivalent of a saree’s length.
The idol wears a similar set of clothes every day. The dress is changed twice every day — once at 3am and again at 3pm. Twenty-three sets of clothes are required for 11 days of the festival. Apart from the clothing, the idol is also adorned with about seven to eight kilograms of gold.
A special room near the pandal is set aside to store the colourful attire. The room is out of bounds for everyone except senior mandal officials and Pawar who supervises each costume change of Lalbaugcha Raja.
Usually, Pawar charges between Rs2,000 and Rs2,500 to dress up idols less than eight feet tall. Clothes for taller idols cost between Rs3,500 and Rs4,500. However, he make clothes for Lalbaugcha Raja free of cost. “It is a big honour to dress up the king of Mumbai’s Ganeshas,” he said.
This year, between nine to 20 lakh people are expected to visit Lalbaugcha Raja and there is intense competition among devotees to donate garments.
Devotees queueing up for ‘Lalbaugcha Raja’ this year will no longer have to brave the intense heat or heavy downpour to catch a glimpse of Mumbai’s most famous deity, as the Ganesh Mandal which hosts the pandal has decided to set up air-conditioned waiting enclosures to turn the ‘darshan’ into a pleasant experience. “In a first in seven decades, we are setting up a waiting enclosure measuring 60,000 sq ft to prevent devotees from heat and rains during the festival.
It is on a ground that we have taken on rent from Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA) and Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC),” Lalbaugcha Raja Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Mandal (LRSGM), President, Satish Khankar told PTI. The ground can accommodate at least 15,000 people at a time and will have five giant air conditioning units for the comfort of devotees, he said. Lakhs of people turn up from far off places including foreigners and stand for hours in queues running into several kilometres only to get a ‘darshan’ of the idol at LRSGM, which is celebrating its 76th Ganeshotsav.
“As devotees have to wait in queues for 16-20 hours, we will provide tea, snacks and bottled water to them free of cost,” Khankar said. The Ganesh mandal will also provide for doctors and nurses to offer medical aid to worshippers. “The enclosure will have a 24-hour intensive care unit managed by doctors and medical attendants we kept ambulances.There will be toilets as well,” he said.
For the first time in its 75-year history, the Lalbaugcha Raja Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Mandal (LRSGM) has committed its resources to a specific project: setting up of a dialysis centre for economically backward renal failure patients.
The mandal, which donates only to individuals, has earmarked Rs2 crore for the facility from the donations it expects to receive during Ganesh festival this year.
“We requested the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to lease us a 3,000 sq metre plot in Lower Parel. The project has been approved and the centre will be opened to the public by Dusshera in October,” said Sudhir Salvi, secretary of the mandal.
The centre will have 16 dialysis machines and will also be equipped with a pathological laboratory, where people can get tests done at nominal costs.
Nephrologists agree that the city critically needs a dialysis centre.
“A substantial percentage of the population suffers from renal failure is unable to afford dialysis. There is a long waiting list for treatment at clinics, as kidney patients are required to undergo dialysis thrice a week. However, most undergo dialysis just once in 15 days,” said Dr Jatin Kothari, nephrologist, Hinduja Hospital. Private hospitals charge between Rs1,000 to Rs1,500 for dialysis treatment.
The mandal has also roped in the expertise of Dr Sanjay Oak, dean, KEM Hospital, for the project.
“We spend around Rs2 crore annually on medical aid for the poor. Recently, we opened a library at Lalbaug. We also run daily yoga classes for 300 women, apart from an advanced computer training centre and a 24-hour study centre,” said Satish Khankar, president, LRSGM. “We have a separate outlay for education, and give scholarships to deserving students. We have also paid fees for poor students.”
LRSGM is among the city’s richest mandals, with donations pouring in not only from Mumbai, but from across the world. Last year, the mandal’s Ganeshotsav turnover was around Rs17 crore