Category Archives: Mumbaicha Raja – Ganesh Galli (1977 to 2013)
This year, the Lalbaug Sarvajanik Utsav Mandal has recreated the famous shrine in Nepal to give devotees a truly spiritual experience
If you have always cherished the dream of visiting the famous Pashupatinath mandir in Nepal, you have a reason to smile this year — the shrine is being recreated at the famous Ganesh Galli Ganpati.
In the past, the mandal has successfully recreated various holy pilgrimage spots situated all around India. Pashupatinath mandir is a shrine dedicated to Lord Shiva, and is regarded as one of the most holy sites for Hindus, situated in Kathmandu on the bank of the River Baghmati.
The temple dates back to 400 AD. “Our main aim behind recreating Pashupatinath mandir in Mumbai is because there are many Hindus who wish to visit the holy site in Nepal but don’t get a chance to do so. So we thought that we should come up with the concept of Pashupatinath mandir so that people feel that they have actually visited the mandir in Nepal,” said Sanjay Sawant, vice-president of the Ganesh Galli Mandal.
This year, the idol at the Ganesh Galli mandal is similar to the one that was installed in 1989, a creation of the well-known sculptor Dinanath Velinge, who first started sculpting massive Ganesh idols.
The same idol was remade by Velinge’s apprentice and now famous sculptor Vijay Khatu. The contract for designing the replica of Pashupatinath Temple was given to Biharilal Giri, owner of Maharaja Arts. Giri started work two months away from the festival and around 40-50 artisans and worked round the clock to turn the vision into a reality.
The organisers of the mandal are known for various charitable activities like blood donation. “It is a very proud moment for me, as I am going to make the same idol which was made by my guru Dinanath Vilenge in 1989 at Ganesh Galli and I am very thankful to the mandal for giving me this chance,” said Khatu.
By: Chetna Yerunkar
This year, the idol will be sculpted by renowned artist Vijay Khatu, in a tribute to his teacher, Dinanath Veling, who rendered iconic status to the mandal in ’77
It seems the five-kg gold necklace with a Rs 1.25-crore price tag that is to adorn the idol at Ganesh Galli mandal, will have to relinquish its status as centerpiece. Instead, the focus will be on the idol itself.
Grand Designs: This is the first time that sculptor Vijay Khatu will be crafting an idol for the Ganesh Galli mandal.
For the first time, world-renowned sculptor Vijay Khatu is crafting the idol, to recreate the magical era of 1977, when his guru Dinanath Veling made a spectacular icon for the mandal, which set the standard for idols across the city.
For Khatu, it is a way of paying homage to his teacher, replicating his work where the idol was sitting on a lotus flower. Veling was the sculptor who had made Ganesh Galli famous with his imaginative imagery.
Khatu started chiseling away at the idol about a month ago in the makeshift tent where the deity is worshipped for 11 days. Standing 24-and-a-half feet tall, it will be housed in a pandal themed on the Mallikarjun temple of Kurnool in Andhra Pradesh, one of the 12 jyotirlinga temples of Lord Shiva, who, according to Hindu mythology, is Ganesha’s father.
The secretary of the mandal, Swapnil Parab, said, “It was Dinanath Veling and his artwork that brought fame to our mandal. So we asked his student, Vijay Khatu, to recreate his magic in order to remind the city that it was he who started the trend of making tall idols. Luckily for us, Khatu agreed. This is the first year that he is making an idol for us.”
Said Khatu, “It is an honour that an 84-year-old mandal thinks I am capable enough of attempting something that Veling Sir had done years ago. He is the one who taught me all the sculpturing techniques and it is because of his blessings that I am here and everyone knows me. It is the proudest moment of my life as an artist.”
He continued, “I started work a month ago and just thought about how Sir would work and started doing the same. The idol is one of the most treasured that I have made so far, being the replica of the artwork of someone I looked up to in my early days.”