’Lalbaugcha Raja’ is one of most popular public Ganesh idols in Mumbai
and is organized by Lalbaugcha Raja Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Mandal. The
Mandal, formerly known as Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Mandal, Lalbaug was founded in 1934 at Lalbaug. The idol is kept for public
display for 11 days and thereafter it is immersed on the auspicious day of Anant
Chaturdashi. Lalbaugcha Raja Mumbai location is the focal point for all
devotees of the Lord Ganesha who come from all over Mumbai, India and even abroad to give their offerings and praises.
Ganesh Chaturthi in Bollywood
Ganesh Chaturthi has found a significant space in Bollywood
movies too. The 10-day festival, has many hit numbers dedicated to it.
The latest was from choreographer-director Remo D'Souza's directorial venture "Any Body Can Dance". The song 'Sadda Dil Vi Tu, Ga
Ga Ga Ganpati', hailing the Lord, was a hit among the masses not only for its lyrics and music but incredible dance steps as well.
Another powerful track in recent times was from Karan Johar's remake of
"Agneepath". The song 'Deva Shree Ganesha' featured Hrithik Roshan
performing the 'aarti' in a traditional avatar.
The original 'Agneepath' too featured 'Ganpati Apne Gaon Chale' with megastar Amitabh
Bachchan chanting praise of the Lord on his way to immerse the deity. Superstar Shah Rukh Khan has also danced to the devotional tunes of
'Maurya Re' in 'Don' remake.
Even Salman Khan's blockbuster film "Wanted" featured a song- 'Tera Hi
Jalwa' with Lord Ganesh in the background. The song also had actors
Govinda, Anil Kapoor and Prabhu Deva shaking a leg with Khan. Sanjay Dutt's film "Vaastav" had 'Ganesha Aarti'. Bollywood stars like
Salman, Hrithik, Akshay Kumar, Shilpa Shetty, Govinda and many others have been celebrating Ganeshotsav for years now.
Celebrities also shared their Ganesh Cahturthi greetings on Twitter,
wishing their fans and family members health and prosperity on the start of this occasion.
Sarvajanik Ganesh mandals
In 2005, there were 8,800 ‘Sarvajanik Ganesh mandals’. This year the number is reached
up to 11,400. The money involved is – Rs 4 crore in sponsorships for
a single major mandal, Rs 3 crore cited as the cost to conduct the 10-day spectacle, Rs 222-crore insurance for another
idol. Fifteen to twenty lakh visitors expected to a single idol, Lalbaugcha Raja, over ten days, with as many as five lakh visitors on a single day.
Every year, the various Ganeshotsav Mandals try to bring in some kind
of novelty in order to attract devotees. Nobody wants to be left out of the
puja, Bollywood, corporates and not even underworld dons. Politicians too, cannot afford to stay out – visits to pandals, playing chief guest, chief
patron, vote-seeker, promiser of bigger-better festivities and more.
Every year the Mandal receives donations worth billions in the form
money, gold, silver and other precious items. All the jewellery items are auctioned off and the proceeds are
used for various charitable causes.
On 11th day most of the Sarvajanik Ganesh
idols immersed in various water bodies such as sea, lakes or wells. In South Mumbai, Chowpatty is the destination for the immersion of most of
the idols. The processions accompanied with loud music and devotees dancing in front of the floats carrying the idols start by noon and
slowly make their way through the streets and roads of Mumbai.
Thousands of people line up the roads or even occupy strategic spots on top of
building terraces to view the magnificent procession. Many foreign tourists also make it a point to visit Mumbai during this occasion.
Thousands of devotees will be also watching the visarjan on TV with a
prayer on their lips saying, "Ganpati Bappa Moriya, "pudcha varshi lavkar ya".
being immersed in sea.