The Lalbaugcha Raja mandal auctioned ornaments worth Rs 10.72 crore over three days, while the Siddhivinayak trust raked in Rs 20 lakh in just one day

In the wake of Ganpati's departure from the city, devotees have been flocking to the Lalbaugcha Raja mandal and the Siddhivinayak temple trust auction to bid for the ornaments collected from devotees.

Bidding for God's grace: At the last day of the auction of the valuables
offered to the Lalbaugcha Raja, the shimmer of precious metals was
blinding. A silver Ganesh statue, a silver sword and a gold biscuit were
among the few items that went under the hammer

On the last day of the three-day auction at Lalbaugcha Raja mandal, ornaments worth Rs 2.64 crore were sold, including 14 kg gold and 300 kg silver. Adding to this the cash worth Rs 8.08 crore that was collected in the donation boxes this year, the total booty is Rs 10.72 crore. This year's booty is greater than the sum of Rs 9 crore raked in last year.

Dakshataben Dave bought a gold chain for Rs 29,785 from Siddhivinayak
temple  Pics/Bipin Kokate, datta kumbhar

The Siddhivinayak Temple trust managed to rake in Rs 20 lakh in its single day of auction, which is more than double the Rs 9 lakh that it accrued in its last auction, in May. The Siddhivinayak temple trust organises auctions three-four times annually.

The mandal at Lalbaug displayed 300 items, of which 264 were sold. The Siddhivinayak temple trust auctioned 58 items out of 180. The main attraction at Siddhivinayak was the 95-gram necklace, which was purchased by temple trustee Dhananjay Bardade for a whopping Rs 2.87 lakh.

Ashok Pawar, president of the mandal, said, "We were expecting a huge turnout and were happy to see the large number of people who came to take the Raja's prasad after his immersion. With the Lord's blessing, we are successfully able to conduct an auction ever year." Satish Mali, deputy executive officer of Siddhivinayak temple trust said, "We offered 1.67 kg of gold for auction, of which about 615 grams were sold," adding, "whenever we feel that there is an abundance of ornaments, we auction them off."