Most Ganpati mandals in the city registered a rise in footfall and collections during the 11-day Ganeshotsav festival this year, receiving more gold and silver offerings from devotees despite an economic slowdown.
Collections at Ganesh Galli’s Lalbaug Sarvajanik Utsav Mandal, Parel, have doubled from last year. This year, the mandal received Rs 70 lakh in cash, along with 2.5kg of gold and 15kg of silver.
“More people visited the mandap this year. One of the main reasons was the theme of the mandap, which depicted Nepal’s Pashupathinath temple,” said secretary Swapnil Parab. There was a 10lakh rise in the footfall at the mandal this year.
At the neighbouring Lalbaugcha Raja Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Mandal, the counting process is still underway, but the trend shows a clear jump over last year’s collection mark of cash worth Rs8 crore. “So far, we have counted up to Rs 6.5 crore, and are sure to cross last year’s collections,” said president Ashok Pawar.
The Lalbaug mandal saw a footfall of 1.25 crore this year, almost 25 lakh more as compared to last year. Although a live darshan of the Lalbaugcha Raja was available on YouTube for the first time this year, it was not as popular an alternative with devotees. “I have been visiting Lalbaugcha Raja for several years. This time too I waited in queue for fulfillment of a wish for almost 30 hours,” said Shaina Sati, a Goregaon resident.
The GSB Seva Mandal at King’s Circle, saw a record 53,710 pujas this year, which escalated the total collection to Rs 6.67 crore, much above Rs 5.3 crore received last year. “We also received 2.3kg of gold and 20kg of silver this year, taking our total gold collection to 70kg and silver collection to 470kg,” said senior trustee Satish Nayak.
Organisers of the Azadnagar Sarvajanik Utsav Samitee, commonly known as Andhericha Raja, also expect a bigger collection this year when counting begins after the visarjan on Wednesday. “We received more gold modaks this year and even the cash collections at the mandal promise to be more,” said treasurer Subodh Chitnis.
Most mandal organisers earmark large amounts from the collections for social work through the year.