With Ganeshotsav just around the corner, the first look of the famed Lalbaugcha Raja was unveiled on August 31. This year, the idol, sculpted traditionally by Santosh Kamble is accompanied by a beautiful installation by artist Nitin Desai, who dedicated his artwork to India's latest space mission Chandrayaan 2.
The idol sits in the centre of the installation, with a background that change from the Milky Way, earth, solar system to the moon among other elements from space. A huge spaceship hangs above the Elephant-headed God, doubling up as incandescence while two astronauts can be seen surrounding the deity.
One of the most famous Sarvajanik Ganapati, Lalbaugcha Raja is kept for public display for 11 days following which the deity is immersed in the Arabian Sea at Girgaum Chowpatty on the auspicious day of Anant Chaturdashi. This year, Lalbaugcha Raja enters 85 years of celebrations.
Here are a few interesting facts about the famed Lalbaugcha Raja:
-- It is believed that Lalbaugcha Raja is a Navsacha Ganpati (which means one who fulfills all wishes) and over a million people visit the marquee during the 10-days of the festival.
-- The mandal, formerly known as 'Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Mandal, Lalbaug' was founded in 1934 at Lalbaug Market.
-- According to history, the mandal was funded because of a vow for construction of the present Lalbaug market at its existing place.
-- Following the shutdown of the Peru Chawl marketplace in 1932, the fishermen and vendors, who sold their goods, vowed to Ganesha for a permanent place for their market.
-- The fisherman and traders established the Ganesh idol on September 12, 1934.
-- Notably, the Lalbaugcha Raja Ganesh idol has been organised by the Kambli family for over 80 years.
-- Notably, there are two queues for taking blessings of the Lalbaugcha Raja -- the Navsachi line and the Mukh Darshanachi line. The first one is for people who want to get their wishes fulfilled, where they get to go on the stage, tough the feet of the deity and get his blessings. The second allows devotees to get a glimpse of the idol from a little distance.
-- Interestingly, Mumbai’s Lalbaugcha Raja hosts the longest immersion procession in the country. The immersion process commences at 10 am in the morning and ends the next morning. The second longest immersion procession is that of Andhericha Raja.
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