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Meet Andhericha Raja!

By HITESH HARISINGHANI
September 03, 2022 11:25 IST
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For those who love to visit Mumbai's famed Ganesha pandals during the annual 10-day Ganeshotsav festival, a stopover at Andhericha Raja at Azad Nagar, Andheri, north west Mumbai, is a must.

The idol was first installed here in 1966 and the pandal is now celebrating its 57th anniversary.

Known for its grand themes (external link), this year they have chosen to replicate Vadodara's Lakshmi Vilas Palace; at four times the size of Buckingham Palace, it is said to be the world's largest private home. 

"We are very excited to celebrate the festival in a grand scale after the pandemic. Devotees can go close to Ganpati Bappa and pray," says Vijay Sawant, secretary, Azad Nagar Sarvajanik Utsav Samiti, tells Rediff.com's Hitesh Harisinghani.

"People can come together for aartis as we don't have to maintain social distancing anymore.

"Coming together to celebrate this grand festival has created a lot of excitement among the devotees."

Talking about this year's theme, Sawant says, "We have tried to replicate a small part of the huge palace. Our aim was to showcase the grandeur in the best possible way to our devotees who come here for darshan."

What also makes Andhericha Raja unique is that its visarjan does not take place on Anant Chaturdashi (September 9) but on Sankashti Chaturdashi, which falls this year on September 13.

The visarjan procession leaves the pandal at around 6.30 pm and reaches the sea by 2 am the next morning.

 

Photographs, Video: Hitesh Harisinghani/Rediff.com

 

IMAGE: A father helps his little daughter to take the blessing of Andhericha Raja.

 

IMAGE: Devotees ask Bappa to fulfil their wishes.

 

IMAGE: Selfie time with Bappa.

 

IMAGE: Vadodara's Laxmi Vilas Palace comes to Mumbai.

 

IMAGE: Children are given the responsibility of distributing prasad to the devotees and they carry out their task diligently.

 

IMAGE: Bappa, his devotees and the city of Mumbai.

 

A virtual darshan of Andhericha Raja

 

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HITESH HARISINGHANI / Rediff.com