Eighty-two items, including gold modaks, biscuits, chains and idols offered to the Lalbaugcha Raja this year were auctioned on Friday, fetching the mandal Rs62 lakh. Though the money generated was more than that of last year, rise in gold prices ensured that fewer items were sold on day one.
“Last year, we had auctioned 100 items on the first day and had collected around Rs55 lakh. Higher gold prices and bigger gifts led to fewer items being auctioned,” said president Ashok Pawar.
This year, the mandal received 13kg of gold, including a 1.5kg gold replica of a football. The highest bid placed on Friday was Rs4 lakh for a 100gm gold biscuit.
Yatin Shah, a businessman from Charni Road, bought a gold modak at the auction for Rs36,000. “I have been attending the auction for the last six years. Last year, I had purchased items worth Rs70,000. With the rise in gold prices, I had to settle for a single item this year,” said Shah.
Buying items at the auction holds sentimental value for devotees who sometimes pay more than the market price for the precious metal to bring them home.
“I have been buying items at the auction for the last five years. I keep it at a small temple in my house,” said a Grant Road resident who did not wish to be named. “This year, I got a gold chain with a pendant for Rs78,000,” she said.