Ganpati Bappa Morya - Salutation to the King of Lalbaug!

The Lalbaugcha Raja Ganpati Mandal in Mumbai was founded in 1934 when fishermen and vendors prayed to Lord Ganesha vowing to build a permanent marketplace. They dressed up the first idol of the deity in 1934 in the conventional attire of fishermen. 

The Kambli family members, the original creators of the idol, have been sculpting Ganpati idols since 1920. They began making the idol for this mandal from 1935. The design and decoration of Lalbaugcha Raja idol is unique; Ganesha is sculpted with a slim face, seated on a throne like a human. Lalbaugcha Raja has inspired countless idol makers to imitate the design for other Mandals and home worship. The trend pushed the Kambli family to patent their design. The makers now have a patent to make idols in the traditional mould. Nobody had ever patented Ganapati idol design until then.

Ratnakar Kambli Jr, the third generation sculptor in the Kambli family, is nearly 80 years old now. Every year, Kambli Arts sculpts the idol in parts in its workshop and then assembles them at the display area in the Pandal to paint. Ratnakar draws the eyes and lends the final touch to the idol that is usually around 18-20 feet tall. 

This Mandal is located in South Mumbai's Lalbaug neighbourhood. In the 11 days of celebration, the who's who of Mumbai, from leading Mumbai industrialists, state leaders to the Ambani family and Bollywood celebrities, queue up in this Mandal to seek the deity’s blessings. On Anant Chaturdasi, he is led in a grand procession to Girgaum Chowpatty for Visarjan (immersion) in the Arabian Sea. 

 

 

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