While a number of Ganpati mandals are still scrambling for clearances to set up pandals for the upcoming Ganeshotsav, some high-profile mandals are giving finishing touches to their elaborate arrangements.
Organisers at these mandals say they began their preparations months ago.
The Sahyadri Krida Mandal in Chembur has designed a lavish pandal around the theme of warrior king Shivaji. Rahul Walanj, president of the mandal, said, “The pandal will resemble Shivaji Maharaj’s palace. Even the idol of Lord Ganesha has been designed to look like Shivaji.” Walanj said nearly 200 workers have worked for two months to create the set.
Another popular mandal, Azad Nagar Sarvajanik Utsav Samiti, which is popularly known as ‘Andhericha Raja’, is celebrating its golden jubilee this year.
“Our set will be one of the most lavish and grand in the city. The pandal resembles the famous Ambaji Mata temple of Ahmedabad,” said Uday Salian, spokesperson. Salian said the set, designed at Andheri Sports Complex, will be five-storey high.
“Even our idol is special this time as its costume has been designed by a professional fashion designer. It features a gold-studded dhoti,” he said.
Salian shared that devotees recently offered a diamond-studded gold crown for the deity, weighing 3.1kg and estimated to be Rs1.25 crore.
Amongst all the glitzy celebrations, some mandals choose to keep the celebrations traditional.
Arji Bhatt of GSB Seva mandal in King’s Circle, one of the richest mandals in the city, said they did not create a lavish temple-like abode for the deity, but will focus on carrying out the various pujas according to rituals.
“We celebrate in a religious and cultural way. Based on our observations last year, we have made some changes in the puja timings as well as entry and exit points to manage the crowd,” said Bhatt.