Mumbai:- Lalbaugcha Raja Ganpati idol holds a special place for the devotees in Mumbai as they welcome the elephant God on Ganesh Chaturti which is celebrated across Maharashtra and the world. The 11-day Ganpati festival begins from August 29, 2014 this year and will end on Annant Chaturdashi with the immersion of the idols. Lalbaugcha Raja turns 80 this year.
The idol which is known as Lalbaugcha Raja especially due to the name of the place is also known as Sarvajanik Ganpati which means it is for the masses. Raja is also known as ”one who fulfills wishes” hence some call it Navsacha Ganpati.
Devotees wait in queues for hours together and sometimes overnight to get a glimpse of the Raja and do the mukh darshan. Lalbaugcha Raja is not a shrine but a community organised festival. Huge crowds come to visit Lord Ganesha and at times it takes over 20 hours to reach the idol. Everyone from a common Mumbaikar to Bollywood superstars pay their obeisance and seek blessings from the Raja. The organisers – Lalbaug Sarvajanik Ganeshostav Mandal have started a Mukh Darshan Ceremony (Lalbaugcha Raja’s first look) a few days prior to the main event.