It’s time for Gannu Bappa or the elephant headed God to visit homes again! Perhaps the favourite time for the year for all residing in Maharashtra, the Ganpati Festival promoted by Bal Gangadhar Tilak is one of the most spectacular festivals of India with local society bodies and groups organising and displaying beautiful Ganesh idols for 10 or 11 days after which the idol is immersed into the water. Ganpati idols are brought home too and kept for 1 and half days, 5 days, 7 days or all the 10 days.Also Read - Amitabh Bachchan Shares First Glimpse Of Lalbaugcha Raja 2021 And It Will Leave You Mesmerised

Ganesh Chaturthi is a much loved and respected festival in India and celebrated with much gusto by all. And when you talk of Ganesh celebrations and pandals, there’s just one name that comes to mind: Lalbaugcha Raja. The iconic Ganesh Mandal of Mumbai, Lalbaugcha Raja has been wooing millions of believers each year. Set up in the Lalbaug area of Mumbai close to Lower Parel and Currey Road stations, Lalbaugcha Raja is famous not just for being one of the largest and oldest Ganpatis in the city but also for being a Navsacha Ganpati. Also Read - No Lalbaugcha Raja Ganapati to be Installed on Ganeshotsav in Mumbai Due to Ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic

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Navsacha Ganpati is the one who fulfils all desires and wishes. People throng to Lalbaug each year just for a glimpse of the lord of lords. On an average, there are over 1.5 million people visiting the pandal daily. There are 2 types of queues to reach and see the idol: Navsachi Line and Mukha Darshan line. The Navsachi Line is where you get to go on stage, right up close to the idol, pray at his feet and make your wishes. The normal queue is for regular devotees who get a glimpse of the lord only from a distance. Needless to say, the Navsachi Line is a lot longer and it takes people anywhere between 20-25 hours to finally reach the idol. The regular Mukha Darshan queue is much shorter and people reach the idol quicker. While early in the mornings and late at night the queue isn’t longer than 45 minutes to an hour, in the afternoons and on weekends, it can take anywhere between 7-10 hours even for Mukha Darshan.

Lalbaugcha Raja Mandal was set up in 1934 in the locality which was once known as Peru Chawl. The chawl was shut in 1932 and the locals – who were fishermen and vendors, vowed to get a Ganpati and set him up in the place. They formed a committee and in 1934, the first ever Lalbaugcha Raja was set up in the garb of a fisherman! The Ganpati idol of Lalbaugcha Raja is created and designed by the Kambli family and they have been designing the idols since 1935! Let’s take a look at all the iconic Lalbaugcha Raja idols right since 1934 to 2015!

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1968 -B

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Lalbaugcha Raja Mandal was formed bang in the middle of the Indian freedom struggle and in the initial idols revolved around the theme of independence. The Mahatma Gandhi Ganesh idol and the idol dressed as Bose were a favourite among the masses. Lalbaugcha Raja continued to spread awareness and support for the freedom struggle through their idols. However, it was only post 1998 that the idols were standardised with basic decorations. Now, there’s no frills and a simple idol with a basic stage. Which Lalbaugcha Raja idol is your favourite? Let us know in comments!

Credit: All images sourced from Lalbaugcha Raja