When the Raja beckons | Lalbaugcha Raja Photo Feature

"हे देवा दिली हाक उद्धार कराया
आभाळाची छाया तुझी, समिंदराची माया"

The eleven day long divine atmosphere experienced during the period of Ganesh Utsav in Mumbai cannot be matched. People dancing with joy, thronging pandals and soaking in the festive fun is a common sight in the entire city. The eye catching streets glimmer with bright lights and the whiff of fragrant flowers bring a warm smile on every individual's face. Being a Ganesh bhakt and self confessed fan of visiting different pandals to catch a glimpse of my favourite god in different forms, I always carry my camera along. The pandal hopping session began with Lalbaugcha Raja aka Market cha Ganpati in Lalbaug (currently in it's 81st year), one of the oldest and most revered pandals in the city. Right from the masses to the celebrity folks, no one can get enough of this adorable idol with beautiful eyes and super cute cheeks.

Various citizens run, push and jump in the crowd, only to catch a glimpse of him. They carry flowers and coconuts, asking the king to fulfill their wishes. But the lord, unperturbed by the hullabaloo around him, is calm and composed. His smile, which makes him look adorable as ever, stays on. Never mind the hundreds of volunteers who scream "Pudhe chala" at the top of their voice, the benevolent Raja keeps an eye on all his bhaktas and listens to them patiently.
Glimpses of our special meeting with the Raja.

All those who are in Mumbai right now (or belong to the city), do try and visit the pandal to experience everything that I have stated in this post.
Ganpati bappa morya!

Photography: Priya Adivarekar

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Priya Adivarekar

Priya Adivarekar - Founder and Creative Director at Diary of a Dancebee. She is also a renowned Voice Actress and award winning artiste, with serious passion for dance. When not working round the clock, she can be seen reading, enjoying a movie-binge or listening to music.
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