After bidding adieu to Mumbaicha Raja, Lalbaug prepares for the arrival of Goddess Durga on September 28. Like the king, Lalbaugchi Mata is known to fulfill devotees' desires
The Lalbaugchi Mata would arrive on September 28, and with just a week left for her arrival, preparations at Ganesh Galli are in full swing for the welcome of the wish-fulfilling deity.
Jai mata di: Anuprita Pritam Rane (left) drapes the eight-foot-idol more
than 50 sarees from morning to night, and takes 10 minutes for one
In its 85th year, the Lalbaugcha Sarvajanik Utsav Mandal of Ganesh Galli, believes it will draw in more Durga devotees than it has in the past few years. Taking a cue from the increased number of people thronging the Mumbai-cha Raja during Ganeshotsav, the mandal is anticipating a proportional increase for the Navratri festival.
As such, mandal workers said that the number of sarees the devout offer is expected to be more this year, and they would sell them at 15 per cent less than market value. It is a custom to offer a saree to the deity after a devotee's wish has been granted.
The Lalbaugchi Mata can be seen draped in a saree during Navratri last
year. PIC/DATTA KUMBHAR
Vijay Khatu, renowned sculptor who crafted the mandal's Ganpati idol, is also sculpting the Durga idol.
The secretary of the mandal, Swapnil Parab, said, "Our mandal is the oldest in Lalbaug, about 84 years old, and attracts a big crowd. During Navratri, we receive 800-900 sarees. Some believe this to be the wish-granting goddess and come to offer her sarees after their wishes are granted. We take proper care of the offerings as most of the sarees are draped to the goddess and later are sold with 15 per cent less on the market value of those sarees."
The mandal makes sure that at least 50 sarees are draped on the idol, and the job of ensuring that the offerings of as many devotees are accepted as possible, has been given to Anuprita Pritam Rane.
The 57-year-old, one of the oldest mandal members, will be draping the eight-foot-idol from 9 am to 9 pm, as she has been doing for the past 37 years. She drapes more than 50 sarees from morn to night, and takes 10 minutes for one. Anuprita said, "The offerings have increased tremendously and the quality of the sarees is good. One saree is not less than Rs 1,000. The number of offerings crossed 700 in the past few years. This year, after seeing the crowd during Ganeshotsav, there are chances that it would touch 900."