While gold prices continue to remain on the higher side, some of the more devout followers of Lord Ganesh are sparing no expense to ensure that their mandals are all decked up in gold and silver.
One of the richest Ganesh mandals in Mumbai, the Goud Saraswat Brahmin (GSB) Seva Mandal in King’s Circle, has spent a whooping 70 kilos of gold and 450 kilos of silver on this year’s Ganesha idol.
The idol’s 22-inch crown, both hands, the two feet, his trunk, both ears, and several other articles have been made of pure gold.
Out of the four hands, two will be made with 2.5 kg of gold.
“The mandal has an overall area of 80,000 sq feet which is the biggest in the world. The idol is adorned with 70 kg of gold. Apart from this we have purchased an insurance cover of Rs 300 crore,” said R G Bhatt, trustee of the mandal.
He said the mandal celebrates the festival starting with Ganatalom, followed by narration of stories on Ganesha, Mudaganapati (serving 108 dishes to lord), appa naivedya (prasad appam), modak naivedya (modaks) and cultural programmes at night which also include devotees chanting shlokas.
There are 48 CCTVs with high density put up which will be connected to the local police stations and around 500 security guards and volunteers who will be on security round the clock.
Not surprisingly, the GSB Seva Mandal has also purchased insurance cover worth Rs 300 crore for the eleven-foot idol. The current insurance amount is Rs 2 crore more than last year’s, largely due to the increase in silver offerings. The mandal has added a 15kg silver mandap.
During the Ganeshotsav festival, Mumbai’s air is filled with the aroma of thousands of tonnes of Lord Ganesha’s favourite sweet “modak” and “karanji” which are offered as the ‘prasad’ to devotees, after the daily three-time aartis.
Around 40,000 more homes in Mumbai will host Ganpati this year, taking the tally of household Ganeshas to 2.25 lakh in the city, according to data from the Brihanmumbai Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Samanvay Samiti (BSGSS). The city will also play host to 250 big Ganesh pandals, the data said.
There are four immersion days — September 6, 9, 10 and 15 — and idols will be immersed at beaches such as Girgaum chowpatty, Juhu, Versova, Aksa and Dadar. This time, the city has 26 artificial ponds for mostly household idol immersions.