Category Archives: Sarvajanik Ganesh Installations
Bhopalites will be able to have a ‘darshan’ of the famous and much-revered ‘Lalbaug Raja Ganesh’ of Mumbai in at least two places in the city during the ‘Ganesh Utsav’, which begins on August 29.
Talking to ‘Free Press’, Secretary of the ‘New Market Vyapari Sangh, Ganesh Utsav Samiti’ Nanak Singh Dua said “We have decided to install a replica of the idol of Lalbaug Raja Ganesh’ this time. The Pandal will be based on the theme of the popular Kankeswar temple of Kolkata. The decoration of the Pandal will also be a major attraction for the visitors”.
He added that “The eco-friendly idol is being prepared using the soil of Bhopal by artists from Kolkata. The idol will be 9-foot high and would weigh 600 kgs. Thirty-fiveworkers from Kolkata are making the Pandal. We have bought four truck-loads of Assam bamboo for the Pandal. Besides, cotton cloth and jute items are being used”.
“We have been organising Ganesh puja for the last 18 years. Last year, we made a tableau based on the theme of the Uttarakhand tragedy. The Pandal and idol will together cost us Rs 7.5 lakh. The cost of the idol alone is Rs one lakh. Last year, our total expenditure was Rs six lakh”, said Dua.
But New Market is not the only place where the famous Ganesh idol of Mumbai would be replicated.
“For the first time, we are installing an idol of Lord Ganesh based on the pattern of Lalbaug Raja Ganesh’ of Mumbai but its name would be ‘Kolar Ke Huzur’ because this area comes under the Huzur constituency The idol is being made in Bhopal by artists from Kolkata”, said Abhishek Saini, President of ‘Kolar Haat Vayapari SanghGanesh Utsav Samiti’.
“Besides the idol, decoration and lighting will also be a major attraction. The height of the Pandal will be 30 feet.
Dinesh Agrawal ‘Dada Bhai; former, President of ‘Bhopal Hindu Maha Utsav Samiti’ said, “Dol Gyaras Utsav Samiti has been installing the idol of Lord Ganesh for the past many years at Peepal Chowk in the old city. It is the first place in Bhopal where the idol of Lord Ganesh was installed. Therefore, it is also known as ‘Bhopal Ke Pratham Shri Ganesh Raja’. The idol and Pandal are the same every year.”
“Chhapan Bhog is offered to lord Ganesh. Ladoos (sweets) are used for Havan”, he added.
GSB Seva Mandal, the richest mandal in the city, has got an insurance of Rs 259 crore. Considering that the King’s Circle mandal keeps its idol for five days, that works out to Rs 51.7 crore a day, which is probably needed since the amount of gold on the idol itself is worth Rs 22 crore.
The insurance, done by a nationalised insurance company, is the highest for any mandal in the city, outdoing even the Lalbaugcha Raja, which is the city’s most popular and is insured for Rs 51 crore. GSB’s insurance covers the idol, gold, mandap and devotees from threats such as fire, terrorist attacks and even riots.
The insurance cover begins from the first day of the festival and does not end till the trustees lock up the idol’s gold ornaments safely into a bank’s lockers on the last day. The idol is decked in gold jewellery from the first day, right up to the immersion. Just before the immersion, the gold is taken off the idol and kept safely until the next year.
“We floated a tender and only nationalised insurers were allowed to participate. We do not bring in private players and don’t disclose the premium amount, but it is in lakhs. The insurance of the mandal is to the tune of Rs 258.9 crore,” said senior trustee Satish Nayak of the GSB mandal.
Going by the Rs 12 lakh premium that the Lalbaugcha Raja mandal paid for an insurance of Rs 51 crore, it can be assumed that the GSB mandal must have paid a premium of at least Rs 50 lakh.
A senior manager of an insurance company said, “The premium for the insurance of a mandal cannot be calculated like a normal policy. Normally, for a policy of Rs 2 crore, the premium goes up to Rs 2.5 lakh, but mandals function differently.
They are insured for fire, terrorist activities, a specific number of devotees and other such things. The premium for Rs 259 crore will easily be more than half a crore, but even this would be guess work.”
Hundreds of devotees performed ‘puja’ in Ganesh temples and to idols installed at specially decorated ‘pandals’ or makeshift platforms erected by various neighbourhood and traders’ associations.
Andhra Pradesh and Telangana Governor E.S.L. Narasimhan and his wife performed ‘puja’ to the huge idol installed at Khairatabad near Raj Bhavan, the official residence of the governor.
A large number of devotees including VIPs made a beeline for worship at over 50-feet-long idol, the tallest in the city, at Khairatabad.
The governor said he prayed for the happiness and prosperity of people of both the Telugu states.
This is the first Ganesh Chaturthi after bifurcation of the state. Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu offered puja at Telugu Desam Party (TDP) headquarters in Hyderabad. He wished for the well-being and development of people of both the states. TDP leaders from both the regions greeted Naidu.
According to Bhagyanagar Ganesh Utsav Samithi, over 50,000 idols have been installed in and around Hyderabad for the 11-day long festival this year. This is in addition to small idols installed in apartments and individual houses.
The idols of different sizes, shapes, colours and in myriad forms have been installed on streets in major markets and residential localities across twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad.
Hundreds of trucks and smaller vehicles were seen carrying the idols from Dhoolpet area to their destinations. The devotees were doing the last minute shopping for marigold flowers, leaves and other materials for puja.
The sweet shops and the supermarkets were also teeming with people, buying sweets and groceries for the festival.
Police have made massive security arrangements for the festival, especially in the communally sensitive old city. Over 15,000 policemen and paramilitary personnel have been deployed in the state capital.
The festival will conclude with a mammoth procession Sep 8 when thousand of idols will be immersed in Hussain Sagar Lake in the heart of the city.
The festival also began in other parts of Telangana with people installing idols at homes and on streets.
The festival is celebrated on a massive scale in Hyderabad and other parts of Telangana but is a low-key affair in neighbouring Andhra Pradesh.
You know Delhi has officially adopted the tradition when what is arguably the biggest, grandest, Ganpati Puja in the city, is organized by a group which has just one bona fide Maharashtrian in it. The Raja Lalbagacha Ganpati Mahotsav?Delhi’s version of it?is being held on a grand scale. It covers 10,000 square feet of Netaji Subhash Place Ground; has an idol that’s 14 feet tall and set on a six-foot high stage; and, according to its organizers, was visited by over 10,000 worshippers on the first day. Festivities will continue till September 8.
“We wanted to welcome Ganpati in the north as well,” explains Rajesh Gupta, secretary of the trust and mela mantri. “And most of those visiting are Delhiites.” There are few Maharashtrians where the mahotsav is being organized, concedes Gupta?himself a Delhiite?but adds that the team has informed Marathi groups in other parts of the city?east and south in particular?and people are visiting.
There’s ?modak’?a sweet dumpling served as Prasad ?for everyone. There are cultural programmes every evening and Gupta promises the best of Delhi’s performers. Actors from the television series, Bharat Ka Veer Putra?Maharana Pratap, will visit. It’s hard to organize a do of this scale on the first attempt; most of the trust members are seasoned organizers of such religious festivals. Gupta himself is involved in organizing Ramlilas.
This is not the only non-Maharashtrian group to organize a Ganpati festival in the city. “Over the last few years, there has been an increase in the participation of non-Maharashtrians. Many small traders’ associations organize their own festivals,” observes Yashpal Mhaskar who is associated with a number of Ganpati festivals across the city and also runs a website that keeps track of the number of mandals?and Marathis?in Delhi.
There are ones organized by members of the community at Anandvan Society (Pashchim Vihar), Datta Vinayak Mandir (Janakpuri), Vitthal Mandir (RK Puram), Anand Vihar (organized by Purvanchanl Maharashtra Mandal), Naya Bazar and Karol Bagh. “There are about 50-60 Ganpati utsavs organized across the city,” says Mhaskar. There is a state-sponsored Ganpati Utsav that’s organized at Maharashtra Sadan on Copernicus Marg every year.
Life-size idols of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, carrying baby Ganesh on his shoulders or in his lap, were some of most interesting-looking idols that people brought home this year.
Some of the city pandals were also seen cashing in on Modi’s charisma with similar idols, with organisers and individuals “congratulating” Modi for his “thumping victory from Vadodara” by making him this year’s theme.
Tea-vendor Kiran Mahida brought home a Ganesh idol that depicts Bal Ganesh playfully jumping on Modi’s shoulders. The life-size Modi idol is complete with a made-to-order cotton Kurta and saffron jacket, which was Modi’s attire on April 9 when he filed his Lok Sabha nominations from Vadodara, for which Mahida was a proposer. “I will put up this idol in my house against a backdrop of pictures of Modiji hugging me — which adorn my walls till today,” Kiran said.
The Vishva Kunj Society Ganesh pandal has gone a step further. The pandal has an idol of Modi, carrying an idol of Lord Ganesha on a plank, with the animated layout of the Vadodara Municipal Corporation’s (VMC) Vishwamitri Riverfront Project. The group has recreated the river course, intersecting the city, to depict how the renovated Vishwamitri would appear once the VMC goes ahead with its plan
The organizers plan on showing a VMC presentation on a projection screen to the visitors to convey that the soon-to-be cleaned and restored Vishwamitri is Modi’s gift to Vadodara.
Kalpesh Naik, who is the Vishva Kunj Society president and an office-bearer of the BJP in the city ward, said, “We believe that Modiji’s plan to develop Vadodara must be showcased this year, so that people can see the gift he has given to this city. We had planned this theme much before the model code of conduct (MCC) came into effect. The dates for Ganesh Chaturthi were decided in advance all over the country. I do not think we are flouting any norms of the MCC since we have no political agenda. Our society is the most affected because Vishwamitri overflows during the monsoon, flooding our homes. We are setting up this pandal in our personal capacity and not on behalf of the party”
For Bal Yuva Mandal in Goshamahal that installs unique idols every year, this year it’s a Ganesha made of dry fruits. In all, about 4 kg of cashew nuts, 4 kg of almonds, 4 kg of pistachio nuts, 3 kg of walnut, 5 kg of raisins, 3 kg of cardamom, half a kilogramme of cloves and other commodities have been used for making the idol
For most visitors to Goshamahal this Vinayaka Chaturthi season, not to speak of those living in the vicinity, a halt at Bal Yuva Mandal’s pandal in Hindi Nagar is part of their schedule. The divine charm that’s attracting devotees by the hordes is the unique Ganesha idol, made of 38 kg of dry fruits and other commodities.
In all, about 4 kg of cashew nuts, 4 kg of almonds, 4 kg of pistachio nuts, 3 kg of walnut, 5 kg of raisins, 3 kg of cardamom, half a kilogramme of cloves and other commodities have been used for making the idol. It took about 40 days for the eight-member group of youngsters aged between 18 and 22 years to make the idol, which stands over six feet in height. The best thing about the idol is, it is made of clay and the group has fixed the dry fruits and spices using adhesive.
“We placed an order for the idol two months before the festival with an idol maker in Dhoolpet. It was painted white and we fixed the dry fruits and spices on the idol’s surface,” explains Akash Agarwal, founder of Bal Yuva Mandal.
It’s been just four years since the association was formed and it has already made a mark in the locality by installing unique idols. “Earlier we had installed Ganesha idols made of pearls and coins. This year we got over 50,000 ‘likes’ for the dry fruit Ganesha on Facebook,” claims Mr. Agarwal.
This year, the association is organising an art exhibition of hand paintings of 11 different Ganesha idols. Mandal members are planning to immerse the idol along with the dry fruits in Hussainsagar on September 18, he adds.
A Ganesha mandal in Mahidharpura’s Daliya Sheri – a diamond hub – has adorned the giant nine-foot Lord Ganesha idol with over 35,000 small and big CZ diamonds worth lakhs of rupees studded in gold and silver ornaments.
The gold and silver plated crown is studded with 5,000 diamonds, 6,500 diamonds in the legs and hand, three gold and silver necklace with 12,500 diamonds, gold earrings with over 2,000 diamonds and four gold and silver bracelets with 2500 diamonds.
There is a small two-foot Ganpati idol made of gold and silver and based on the leaf theme, which has been placed in the middle of the pandal. One of the devotees has gifted the idol to the mandal. Each leaf is adorned with over 700 CZ diamonds and the portion that forms the Lord’s stomach has more than 2,000 CZ diamonds.
Gaurav Jariwala of Mahidharpura Daliyasheri Pragati Mandal told TOI, “We have been adorning the Ganesha idol since 1976. Every year, new ornaments are designed for the Vighnaharta. This time around, we have designed four gold and silver bracelets comprising more than 2,000 diamonds.”
For the pandal organizers, security of the costliest Ganesha idol studded with gold, silver and diamond ornaments is a big challenge. The entire pandal is under the CCTV surveillance for 24 hours. For the whole day and night around 25 trained security guards and over 150 mandal members will keep a close eye on the Ganesha idol. Anil Patel, president of Mahidharpura Daliyasheri Pragati Mandal, said, “We are not getting any support from police department on the security front. However, we have our own security system in place. Since 1976 not a single incident of robbery has been reported.”
According to Patel, special arrangements are made on the Dumas beach for the immersion of the costliest idol. The original ornaments are replaced with floral ornaments during the immersion day and a heavily guarded vehicle is used for transporting the valuable ornaments to the bank locker.
Gaurav Jariwala said, “During the last five days ahead of the immersion day, the pandal has more than 12,000 visitors in a day. This time around we have decorated the pandal on the theme based on Swaminarayan Temple.”