Bappa Morya Re Series | Part I - Lalbaugcha Raja

With less than 24 hours to go for one of the year's biggest festivals, the countdown to Ganesh Utsav has officially begun. In fact, it kickstarted almost a fortnight ago, with multiple 'aagman' events  and first look photo sessions. But, the city was waiting with bated breath to catch a glimpse of the king, none other than the renowned - Lalbaugcha Raja (also locally known as the Marketcha Raja). The first look was revealed earlier this week and needless to say, the charming idol left everyone mesmerised.

In it's 84th year, the folks at Lalbaugcha Raja Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Mandal have created a stunning gold Raj Mahal as the backdrop. It has been designed by art director Nitin Desai, whose impeccable work this year looks royal and attractive. Devotees who were eager to get a sneak peek at the idol's throne (ganesh prabhaval) this year were in for a pleasant surprise, as the King was seen seated on a gorgeous turtle throne. The overall look of the idol (inclusive of throne), created by Santosh Kambli, has been designed on the lines of Lord Vishnu's second avatar - Kurma, who according to the puranas, appeared at the time of crisis in the cosmic equilibrium.  

This year, the mandal was also in the news for getting an insurance cover of Rs 51 crore, which includes not just the idol and ornaments, but also their volunteers, mandap and third-party liabilities among others. For DTH and live coverage on mobile, the mandal has joined hands with Shemaroo, continuing their 6-7 year association.

For our those of you who aren't aware Lalbaug cha Raja has been well known as the 'Navsacha raja'.  Especially among those who make a vow and come back the following year to fulfil their 'Navas'. These devotees join the 'Navsachi Rang' (queue for devotees with a vow). Every year, lakhs of devotees stand for more than 20 hours (the number goes up to almost 30 hours during the last 2-3 days) and are the only ones (apart from VVIP dignitaries) who get the golden opportunity to rest their head on the Raja's paduka and take his blessings. I have personally had the fortune of being a part of this 'Navas' queue several years back and honestly, was super impressed with the arrangements. For those who can't stand for long hours, there is a 'Mukh Darshan' queue in and around the old Digvijay Mills compound. According to the mandal, they are expected to see a footfall of over 1 - 2 million devotees during the 11 day festival this year. And just like most of you, we can't wait to witness the grandeur of Lalbaugcha Raja. Stay tuned for more updates!

Mandal: Lalbaugcha Raja
Year: 84th
Area: Lalbaug (Mumbai)
How to get there: Nearest Station - Chinchpokli / Currey Road (Central), Lower Parel (Western) 
By Road - Stay on Babasaheb Ambedkar Road and take the exit before Lalbaug flyover (do not take the flyover). Drive straight towards Lalbaug market.

Are you planning to visit Lalbaugcha Raja this year? Or have you taken a darshan before? Share your experience below or Join the conversation on

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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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