Mumbai, Sept 12: With Ganesh Chaturthi just round the corner, every mandal in Mumbai has begun the ‘Aagman’ of Lord Ganesha. Sculptures as tall as 18-20 feet are taken to their mandals from the workshops.
Parel in Mumbai is the heart of Ganesh Utsav with over 40 Sarvajanik Mandals. Mumbaicha Raja being the oldest Sarvajanik Ganesh Utsav Mandal in Parel began in the year 1928 and marks its 96th year this year.
While speaking to SPICE Enquirer, Siddhesh Korgaonkar, Vice-President Mumbaicha Raja Sarvajanik Utsav Mandal shared the Mandal’s approach to Ganesh Utsav.
The preparations began on Guru Poornima, in the Hindu month of ‘Aashad’, with the Padyapujan done on July 03rd by the President of the Mandal Mr. Kiran Tawde. Post this the Mandal then begins with the preparation of Ganesh Utsav. From deciding the colour of the sculpture to theme and decor, all of this begins 1-2 months prior to the festival.
Mumbaicha Raja is the only murti in the whole of Mumbai city which is handmade. Unlike other huge murtis which are made from moulds and then brought to their mandals, Mumbaicha Raja which is around 22 feet tall and weighs 1.5 to 2 tonnes is built by the artisan at the mandal karyalaya in Ganesh Galli, Parel. The innermost part of the sculpture is made up of bamboo mesh and hay, which then is layered 5 times with plaster (POP).
The sculpture is handcrafted by their skilled and professional sculptor Mr. Satish Walivadekar, who precisely carves and adds details to the sculpture.
As next year marks the 350th year of Chattrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s Coronation ceremony, the mandal has chosen Raigad as the theme where Maharaj’s coronation took place. The decor would replicate the ‘Darbaar’ or hall where the coronation was held and a massive throne where Maharaj sat.
The Mumbaicha Raja Sarvajanik Utsav Mandal has been awarded “The Best Secure Mandal ” for the last 12 years by The Fire and Safety Association of Maharashtra, a government body that audits fire and safety measures and checks their reliability.
The Mandal this year has come up with its own podcast channel called ‘Aika Mandali’ which has a total of 6 episodes streaming on YouTube. The episodes will feature Mandal associates who will speak about the history as well as the present scenario of Ganesh Utsav.
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