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Gold prices no bar for Mumbai's Ganesh mandals

While gold prices continue to break all records, some of the more devout followers of Lord Ganesh are sparing no expense to ensure that their mandals are all decked up in gold and silver ahead of the festivities this year.

Ganpati celebrations
MIDAS touch: Weeks before Ganpati celebrations this year, mandals are going all out to ensure that their idols are covered in gold and silver. File pic

One of the richest Ganesh mandals in the city, GSB Seva Mandal at King’s Circle, which plans to keep their pandal for only five days, will be spending almost a crore on just the idol’s hands. Out of the four hands, two will be made with 2.5 kg of gold. The mandal itself will be the richest in the city, with the idol containing 70 kg of gold. While this year’s idol will have 2 kg of gold more than last year’s 68 kg, the mandal has increased its insurance cover from Rs 222 crore to Rs 224 crore this year.

Satish Nayak, trustee of the mandal, said, “We were planning to have the hands made from gold for a long time, but this year we thought is was right time to do so. The total amount spent on making the hands from 2.5 kg gold is Rs 80 lakh.”

Two other famous mandals in the city, Chinchpoklicha Chintamani and Fortcha Raja will also have their idol’s head and feet made of gold and silver. As the former has opted to go for more of silver and less of gold, their idol will have feet made of 8 kg silver and 200 g of gold, costing the mandal a sum of Rs 7 lakh. Meanwhile, Fortcha Raja mandal’s idol at Chatrapati Shivaji Terminus will be seated on a throne made from 3.5 kg of silver, with about 300 g of gold sheet, setting a total cost of Rs 8 lakh.

Ravi Surve, president of Fortcha Raja Ganesh mandal, said, “It was my dream to see my lord seated on a nice throne which suits his aura and hence I told the jeweler to make it. As gold is very expensive, I thought of making it in silver with a gold sheet.”

Praneel Panchal of Chichpoklicha Chintamani Ganesh mandal said, “The two feet of silver with gold plating will be our special offering to the lord this Ganpati, as our mandal has wanted to do for a long while.” 

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