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Lord replica to start festival
- Ganesh Puja heralds rush to get back to native state, railway bookings cross 100 waitlist

Patna residents need not visit Mumbai to worship Lalbagh ka Raja this year.

Maharashtra Mandal, a city-based club that comprises the Maharashtrian community, would install the replica of the Lalbagh ka Raja idol this year during Ganesh Chaturthi on August 29.

While the original Lalbagh ka Raja idol in Mumbai’s Lalbagh is 15ft tall, its replica in Patna would be 5ft tall.

The celebration at Maharashtra Mandal would be different because of the special guests, who would join the celebration. Shivdeep Lande, the aide-de-camp to the governor of Bihar, Sushil M. Khopre, the inspector-general of police, Aadesh Titarmare, IAS officer, would be part of the celebration.

“A large number of devotees turn up every year at Lalbagh during Ganesh Chaturthi to catch a glimpse of the Lord. It is believed that one’s wishes are fulfilled if he/she pays a visit to the Ganesha idol in Lalbagh, who is popularly known as Lalbagh ka Raja. Mumbai-based idol makers have made the deity for us. We wanted our club’s Ganesha idol this time to be a perfect replica of Lalbagh ka Raja idol,” said Sanjay Bhosle, the secretary of Maharashtra Mandal.

He added that the idol makers in Patna hardly do justice to the Ganesha idols while making his trunk or his face.

“We don’t find it very aesthetic when the idols are made in Patna. The Mumbai-based idol makers are genius in creating idols of Lord Ganesha. It is also because they know that this festival is very significant for us,” said Bhosle.

Vasant Suryavanshi, the president of Maharashtra Mandal said they would celebrate the festival for seven days starting August 29. He added that a priest from Maharashtra would conduct the rituals for the puja.

“The priest would come from Sangli in Maharashtra. We have also taken extra care of the prasad. We would offer Lord Ganesha modak, which is his favourite. The members of the Maharashtra Mandal bring modaks and laddoos from their houses to offer Lord Ganesha. We have called a musical band — Nasik Dhol. Its members would play traditional music on the visarjan day. The visarjan programme would be similar to the one organised in Maharashtra,” added Suryavanshi.

People of the Maharashtrian community would celebrate the festival at their home before participating at the programme organised by the Maharashtra Mandal. The women from the community said they had already done their shopping for the festival. “We make it a point to wear traditional Maharashtrian Nauvari sari and Maharashtrian nath (nose ring). However, men stick to the kurta pyjama on the occasion,” said Meena Vasant Suryavanshi, a resident of Kadamkuan and a member of Maharashtra Mandal.