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Lalbaug Cha Raja is one of the city's top five Ganapati Mandals. The preparations, right from making the idol, which is 13 feet high, to the lighting arrangements began a month ago.

Unlike other Mandals, Lalbagh Cha Raja does not boast of massive decorations. Yet, each year some 15,000 devotees stand in long queues everyday for a glimpse of the Lord. The reason for its popularity is the belief that Lalbagh Cha Raja Ganapati fulfils every pilgrim's wish. The belief is so strong that thousands make bookings for the puja a year in advance.

Mandal Chairman Satish Khankar told with pride that on immersion day the Hindu Muslim Ekta Committee welcomes its devotees en route to Chowpatty and Muslims of the area perform puja. The Mandal has an 800-strong volunteer force to look after security.

Also see: Fair of the Faithful: A Holy Dip

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