Lalbaugcha Raja Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Mandal was set up 77 years ago to fulfill the promise of Koli fisherman and local Lalbaug vendors, to set up a permanent place for Lord Ganesha in their market.
The local landlord Rajabai Tayyabali was persuaded to give a plot for construction of a market. As fulfillment of their wish, the fisherman and the traders established the Ganesh Idol on 12 September 1934.
As the main backers were the Koli fishermen, the idol was dressed in the customary fashion of fisherman. Over the years, the legends associated with this Lord Ganesha Idol grew, and the popularity soared. The Mandal was formed in the era when the freedom struggle was at its peak.
The first recorded history of Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations in the public domain was during the Maharaj Shivaji era in the mid 1600’s, especially in Pune.
The Peshwas, the de facto hereditary administrators of the Empire from 1749 till its end in 1818, encouraged the celebrations in their administrative seat Pune as Ganesha was their family deity (Kuladevata). With the fall of the Peshwas, Ganesh Chaturthi lost state patronage and became a private family celebration.
Lokmanya Tilak, the well-known Indian freedom fighter harnessed the idea of public Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations to generate nationalistic fervor amongst the Indian public. As Lord Ganesha has a wide appeal as ‘the god for everybody’, the annual festival was a good platform, to spread the joy of Independence.
Hence, in 1893, for the first time annual domestic festival morphed into a large, well-organized public event. Tilak was the first to install large public images of Ganesh in pavilions, and also established the practice of submerging in rivers, sea, or other pools of water all public images of the deity on the tenth day after Ganesh Chaturthi.
During the pre-independence the public event served as a meeting ground for people of all castes and communities in times when, in order to exercise control over the population, the British discouraged social and political gatherings.
Over the years, the idea spread to nearby cities with Mumbai witnessing a large number of locality based Ganesh pandals.
There are many legends surrounding LB. Devotees queue up 24-36 hours to have the first darshan of Lalbaugcha Raja.
The Lalbaugcha Raja Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Mandal has diversified into a range of social activities, for which donations are main source of income.
The peak donations are received during the Ganesh festival. As there was a need for continuous flow of donations, the Lalbaugcha Raja Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Mandal, decided to tap the IMPS mode for the same.
Bank of Maharashtra took up the lead to motivate the Lalbaugcha Raja Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Mandal to offer mobile based donation option to Ganesha devotees.
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