Lalbaugcha Raja Darshan: History, Meaning and Faith; Ganeshotsav festivities begin

Mumbai’s colorful and grand Ganesh Chaturthi celebration is commonly associated with ‘Lalbaugcha Raja’ or ‘King of Lalbaug’, also popularly called Navasacha Ganpati or wish-granting Ganesha.

Every year Ganeshotsav festivities begin in Mumbai with the unveiling of the first look of ‘Lalbaugcha Raja’, located at Putlabai Chawl. Due to COVID-19 related restrictions in Maharashtra, the pandal celebration has not been up to par for the past couple of years. But this time Mumbai is ready to celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi in the traditional way and again the main attraction would be ‘Lalbaugcha Raja’

Story of Ganpati who grants wishes

The history of Mumbai—Lalbaug in Parel dates back to the 1900s, when the entire region was dominated by over 100 textile factories. It was because of these mills that this area was known locally as Girangaon or the ‘village of mills’. At the height of industrialization in the 1930s, the textile industry went through enormous changes and textile factories had to bear the brunt of it, affecting the lives and livelihoods of people who lived in the surrounding area.

As all hopes faded, locals turned to their favorite god Ganesha to help them through the tough times. Fortunately, the community managed to survive after obtaining a piece of land, which is currently known as Lalbaug Market. According to locals, it was the blessings of their favorite elephant-headed Ganesha that helped them survive these difficult times.

To pay homage to Ganesha, the community of Lalbaug decided to set aside part of the land for the celebration of Ganpati. The dedicated part of the land is also called Sarvajanik Ganesh Mandal (community celebration of the festival), where every year an idol of Lord Ganesha is established. Every year, the locals dress their favorite god in different robes and call him the “Raja” or the king of the locality.

Over the years, the scale and size of these celebrations have reached a grand scale and the pandals also compete with each other to show off their enormity and magnificence. Millions of people flock to Lalbaug to pay homage to the wish-granting Ganesha and one can see long queues, where people sometimes wait for over 40 hours to catch a glimpse of their favorite deity.

The first look of ‘Lalbaugcha Raja’

When is Ganesh Chaturthi in India in 2022?

Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations will begin on August 31 and end on September 9. It is also called Vinayaka Chaturthi or Vinayaka Chavithi. This festival is highly anticipated and celebrated all over India. It is one of those grand and elebratore Hindu festivals that takes place over 10 days. Apart from grand celebrations in pandals in many states, devotees also bring idols of Ganesh to their homes to worship him.

How is Ganesh Chaturthi celebrated?

The celebration begins with bringing an idol of Lord Ganesha to homes or pandals and then worshiped for 10 days. On the 11th day, these idols are taken for a grand visarjan or immersion in a body of water with a colorful procession. Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated on a large scale in the states of Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Tamil Nadu.

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