It is Ganesh Chaturthi time in Mumbai. And so, it is time for ‘Mumbaikars’ to visit Lord Ganpati mandals erected all over the city. Now, there are many throughout the city that are considered to be the best, one such mandal being the Lalbaughcha Raja.

Lalbaghcha Raja
Lalbaghcha Raja, the Ganpati Idol (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

1. What Is Lalbaughcha Raja?

‘The King of Lalbaugh’ is the literal translation of this renowned public (Sarvajanik) Ganpati mandal. It is situated in the famous Lalbaugh, an area earlier dominated by mill workers. Furthermore, a magnificent Ganesh idol is kept on display for 11 days over here before it is immersed. The immersion is carried out on the auspicious ‘Anant Chaturdashi’ day. It is also believed that the idol at this mandal is ‘Navsacha Ganpat’, which when translated means ‘the one who fulfills all wishes’. Statistically speaking, about 1.5 million people visit this mandal every year during the Ganesh Chaturthi festival.

2. When Was Lalbaughcha Raja First Formed?

‘1934’ is the year in which this mandal was established in the Lalbaugh area in South Mumbai. It was earlier known as ‘Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Mandal’, and currently referred to as ‘Lalbaugcha Raja Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Mandal’. Apparently, a number of prominent individuals and locals got together and constructed the Lalbaugh market. It was to celebrate the completion of this market that, this mandal with a Lord Ganesh idol was first set up on 12th September 1934.

3. Who Makes The Lalbaughcha Raja Idol?

‘The Kambli Family’ has been responsible for arranging the Ganesh Idol at this mandal for eight decades now. It is the father of Ratnakar Kambli (current head of family), a sculptor of  who began creating the Ganesh idol for this mandal way back in 1935. It was in 1952, after his death that his son Venkatesh took over. Eventually, it was Ratnakar who took over. Apparently, parts of the idol which measures about 20 feet in height are created at a workshop by the family.

4. The ‘Arrangement’  For Devotees At Lalbaughcha Raja:

‘Mukh Darshan’ i.e. unveiling of the idol is an extremely popular event that is organized by ‘Lalbaug Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Mandal’ every year. It is covered by national as well as news channels. There are two types of services provided at this mandal. They are as follows:

a. Navsachi Line: This form of service are mainly for those who want to get their wish fulfilled. And so in this line the devotee is allowed to teach the feet of the idol.

b. Mukh Darshanachi Line:This form of service only allows the devotee to have a glimpse of the idol from a distance. So, popular is this line that it can take 5 to 8 hours and event 12-14 hours to get a look in.

5. What Connects Lalbaugcha Raja To ‘Bollywood’:

Now, such is the popularity of this mandal that every year a number of Bollywood actors/actresses visit it to seek blessings. For example, in 2017 celebrities such as Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Sanjay Dutt, Ajay Devgn, Emraan Hashmi, Priyanka Chopra etc paid a visit to this renowned mandal. Furthermore, Bollywood stars visiting this mandal annually has over the years become a ‘norm’.

6. How to reach Lalbaugcha Raja?

The nearest station to this mandal on the western line is Lower Parel, while on the central/harbour line the closest station is Parel or Currey Road. To find out where this Ganpati mandal is located please click the Google Map link.

With just a few days left for the Ganesh Chaturthi festival to begin, here is hoping that the celebrations this year at Lalbaughcha Raja, comprises of a lot more splendor than the last.

Image Credits: Wikimedia Commons  and Wikimedia Commons





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