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Located in Parel area of South Mumbai, it is believed that the Ganapati idol at Lalbaug harnesses power to fulfill wishes and thus public flocks there.
The devotees queue in two lines that take them closer to the idol—the Navsachi line, wherein devotees get to touch the deity’s feet, and Mukhdarshan line, which allows worshippers to view the idol from a slight distance.
The Lalbaug mandal was founded because of a vow (navas) of traders of the Koli community living in the vicinity. They first installed an idol of Ganapati in 1934 as a gratitude after they were given plot to restart their market after the old one was closed down.
Ganapati’s idol yielding power to fulfill devotees’ wishes has been a popular belief since 1934 and over the years, increasing number of devotees have sought refuge in ‘Bappa’s’ feet.
The iconic pandal receives an overwhelming amount of donation from devotees every year. This year, within five days of Ganeshotsav, which began on September 19, the pandal received over Rs 2 crore in donations.
Lalbaugcha Raja received Rs 2,79,47,000 as donations in just five days since festivities began. According to the Lalbaugcha Raja Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Mandal, they received donations of over Rs 48 lakh (Rs 48,70,000) on the fifth day of the festival.
Devotees also offered nearly 192.250 grams of gold and 3876 grams of silver as a donation to Lord Ganesha.
The much-anticipated first look of the idol was unveiled on September 15. This year’s pandal was last design by late Nitin Desai and is based on the theme of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s 350th Coronation.