After two years of subdued celebrations of the much loved Ganeshotsav, Andhericha Raja returns to its homeground at Veera Desai amidst a grand welcome celebration with devotees of all walks of life flocking to the pandal.
Several B-Town celebrities were seen on the first day of the Ganeshotsav starting with Sania Malhotra who visited the pandal in the early part of the day followed by noted singer Mika Singh and his team and model actor Giorgia Andriani. Political figures and residents from far and distant stood patiently for a glimpse of their favourite ‘Elephant God’.
This year the Ganeshotsav at Andhericha Raja is themed around Laxmi Vilas Palace at Vadodara, Gujarat. Laxmi Vilas Palace is a grand palace which is four times the size of the BuCkingham Palace and known for its fine architecture designed by the Gaikwad family, a prominent Maratha family, who ruled Baroda.
The whole pandal insured for 7.6 Crores and safety arrangements is monitored by the Police Department, Fire Department Traffic Police and even ATS of Mumbai. Precautions have been taken for every kind of eventuality. Strategically placed cameras is used to monitor the ongoing activities at the pandal and around it.
The committee has made elaborate arrangements for the smooth transition of the over 3 lakh visitors for Darshan and blessings. As mentioned by the Chairperson of the committee, there are appropriate clothing made available for those who not aware of the protocol for darshan, as darshan is entry is restricted for those in shorts and sleeveless clothing. In which case, they can borrow clothing from the pandal members if desired, so that no one returns without the darshan of Lord Ganesha. There are ramps to accomodate wheelchairs. A seperate assistance for Senior Citizens and Mothers with newborns for darshan.
It is also believed that when any person regardless of his caste or creed prays to Andhericha Raja, and makes any kind of offering, their wishes are fulfilled provided he/she has the belief and gratitude in heart and compassion for all living beings. Live Darshan of the Andhericha Raja is available on social media :
The Committee has been proactively working on helping various human causes like donating to the PM relief fund, hosting blood donation camp, free eye testing, among others.
About Andhericha Raja : Founded in 1966, it is one of the oldest and most popular pandals in suburban Mumbai, it is also known as Navsala Pavnara Andhericha Raja. This year it is set in the theme of Laxmi Vilas Palace of Gujarat which was built by Maharaja Sayaji Rao III in the 19th century. The palace is four times bigger than the Buckingham Palace and still serves as the residence of the Gaikwad Family, the Maratha family who ruled Baroda.
Andhericha Raja Ganesh utsav was started by Azad Nagar Sarvajanik Utsav Samitee was established way back in the year 1966, by the blue collared workers of golden Tobacco company, Tata Special Steel and Excel Industries Ltd, who moved from the Lalbaug. Parel bastion and settled in Andheri west, Azad Nagar M.H.B Colony, closer to their factories in which they worked. M.K. Menon, Tukaram Salaskar, Vasudev Kasalkar, etc. were the founder members of this Ganeshotsav.