Lalbaugcha Raja the famous deity of Mumbai will finally be bidding good bye to Mumbaikars today. The Ganesha holds a special place in the minds of people in the city. The 11 day festival which started on August 29 will end today on Annant Chaturdashi on September 9. The Visarjan has started under tight security.

A special group under the leadership of Commander Tarun Pratap will be there at Lalbaug from tonight until tomorrow morning. Quick Reaction Team is also fully equipped with weapons and blank bullets. Around 7 to 15 officers which also includes sharp shooters will be around the premises till the idol is immersed.

Although the idol used to be immersed in water during Visarjan, after consulting experts, the mandal has brought a tarafa (iron raft) which will help the idol to be submerged in deep water. The tarafa is prepared by M/s. A.V. Engineering. In 2010-2011 the tarafas were imported from Australia.

Border Security Force has been asked to stay for the Visarjan’s security requirement until the idol is immersed. Personnel who were to leave for election duty to Gujarat has been asked to stay back after receiving strict instructions from the Union Home Ministry. 200 jawans have been stationed near Lalbaug as a part of the security systems.

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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.

The Lalbaug Sarvajanik Ganeshostav Mandal which organises the festival and takes care of the arrangement was founded in 1934. There is interesting story behind how the celebrations began. In 1934 a market place at Peru Chawl was shut down in 1932 because of which vendors and fishermen who used to sit in the open prayed to Lord Ganesh for a permanent place to set up their market. Soon after they received a plot for construction of a market. Since then the local resident came together and started celebrating Ganesh Chaturthi.

The Lalbaug Sarvajanik Ganeshostav Mandal was formed at the peak of freedom struggle. The festival was introduced by the Indian freedom fighter and social worker Lokmanya Tilak to encourage social gathering during the British era, as they opposed any social meetings.

Watch Lalbaugcha Raja Ganpati Visarjan 2014 Live Streaming: Journey of Ganesh idol from Dadar to Girgaon Chowpatty Live Video