Delhi’s famous Lal Bagh Ka Raja Trust Ganapathi Puja

Indranil Mutsuddi

Prologue

It was another beautiful morning…the sun shine was bathing the morning sky with its golden exuberance. It was the beginning of a new day..The day that began with prayers…the day we decided to be with prayers….prayers for Lord Ganesha…Well to go ahead with the story…it was just the time when I picked a poetry book immortalized by the creation of Rabindranath Tagore..It filled my mind with joy and ecstasy…with the thought of the Almighty …

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“…..This is my prayer to thee, my Lord…Strike,

Strike at the root of penury in my heart…

Give me the strength lightly to bear my joys and sorrows,

Give me the strength to make my love fruitful in service… “

……Kabi Guru Rabindranath Tagore

Seeking the blessings of Lord Ganesha early in the morning

The day was for celebration and offering prayers with devotion to Lord Ganesha which we had at our home like every year. Chanting hyms of prayers and bowing down to the eternal “MANGAL MURTHY” for the goodness of our souls, fostering growth, prosperity and learning …we seeked HIS divine blessings by offering our PUJAS…with flowers, ladoos, incense sticks and lots of fan fare.

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Ganesha Puja in our Residence

Rohini Sector 11, Delhi houses a humble yet wonderful temple..the Balaji Mandir, which was already thronged by many devotees when we stepped in early in the morning at around 7 am. We witnessed Lord Ganesha’s aarti which was a delight to watch…

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Ganapathi Vandana at Balaji Temple, Rohini

A Delightful Ganesh Chaturthi Evening at Lal Bagh Ka Raja Trust Ganapathi Festival

Ganapathi Festival is celebrated in grand magnitude in the state of Maharashtra particularly at Mumbai and Pune – which infact takes the shape of a National Carnival like what the Bengalis celebrate during the Durga Pujas. The state of Karnataka and its capital Bengaluru also celebrates this festival with pomp and grandeur as the Gauri-Ganesha and the Ganapathi Habba.

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The Huge Gate erected across the Ring Road at Janmastami Park, Punjabi Bagh, New Delhi

But how many of us are aware that the National Capital Delhi too celebrates this festival with lots of fan fare and excitement? Thanks to the Lal Bagh Ka Raja Trust – Mumbai is brought alive in the heart of Delhi. The trust is pioneered by Sri Jagmohan Ji one of the leading businessman of Delhi. Although the Puja used to be celebrated at the Netaji Subhas Place Grounds. This year the Puja was shifted to the Janmastami Park, Punjabi Bagh, New Delhi.

Our initial disappointment

We had planned the Lal Bagh Ka Raja Trust Ganapathi Darshan long back. The evening was the ideal time. Yet after getting down at Netaji Subhas Place Metro station from Rithala it was a total disappointment for us to find the Puja ground being now cordoned by Delhi Metro. Understanding the situation one young Delhi Police officer who was patrolling the fly over entrance to the ring road came to our assistance and most politely suggested us to take a cab or an auto to the Janmastami Park, Punjabi Bagh, New Delhi, where the Puja was shifted.

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The Lal Bagh Ka Raja Trust Ganapathi Puja ….Its a grand celebration at New Delhi

When we stepped down at the main entrance of the Puja Mandap, we could not just help to thank this helpful soul for his kind proactive assistance. The ring road was having the look of Diwali night – with beautifully lighted decorations. Huge gates were erected across the ring road with giant cut-outs of Lord Ganesha. It reminded us the pomp and grandeur of a Durga Puja Mandap in Kolkata. Well this was glamour at its best…

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Entrance of the Ganpathi Puja Mandap at Janmastami Park, Punjabi Bagh

The Delayed Inauguration

The inside of the Mandap was a scene of amazing feat. The Idol of Lord Ganesha was housed on a huge plinth. It was covered by a large green curtain awaiting the inaugural ceremony. The Puja Mandap was immediately surrounded by a large auditorium like arrangement having seating arrangements for the devotees, VIPs and guests. There was another large stage erected exactly beside the huge plinth for hosting a variety of cultural programs, bhajans and prayers.

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The entire Puja Mandap and the stage for Cultural Programs 

The inauguration ceremony of the Puja, was scheduled at 5.30PM. It got delayed to almost 7pm in the evening. Inspite of that it was a mammoth-like celebration.

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The Inaugural Ceremony

The Idol of Lord Ganesha  was unveiled by the VIPs and the organizers with roll of drums and conch…The crowd gathered below the centre stage burst into joyous chants..hailing the greatness of Lord Ganesha and the Puja began with full devotion and fan fare.

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Beating of Drum Rolls during the Inaugural Ceremony

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The Inauguration of the Puja

The first Darshan of the Lord was a visual treat for all the devotees including us. We were awestruck by the sheer beauty and grandeur of the Lord’s Idol.

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The Mangal Murthi Darshan

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Vinayak Darshan at Lal Bagh Ka Raja Trust Ganapathi Puja 2015

Feeling the true spirit of India…

The Puja started with prayers and readings from vedic slokas. Hundreds of devotees along with the organizers offered their Pujas, seeking the blessings of His Almighty. The uniqueness of the celebration was that today,  in the Lord’s mandap there was no demarcation between the rich and the poor. Pure devotion had broken all the boundaries of worldly differences in wealth, caste and creed and the religions of people…There were Hindus, there were Sikhs, there were Jains, there were Muslims….all had gathered by sheer devotion and love for the Lord….

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Epilogue

We felt perhaps this was the greatness of Lord Ganesha…to imbibe the culture of togetherness, brotherhood, faith and love among the people of India. He had inspired many sages, patriots and millions of souls since ages and would continue to inspire us to become a formidable unified nation for ages to come in the near future…..

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Jai Ganesha…..Hail to Lord Ganesha

Metro Route to Janmastami Park, Punjabi Bagh, New Delhi

From Rajiv Chowk Metro to Kashmiri Gate Metro (Yellow Line)

From Kashmiri Gate Metro to Netaji Subhas Place Metro (Red Line)

From Netaji Subhas Place Metro to Janmastami Park by Auto Rickshaw or by Cab

OR

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From Rajiv Chowk Metro to Kirti Nagar Metro (Blue Line)

From Kirti Nagar Metro to Punjabi Bagh Metro (Green Line)

From Punjabi Bagh Metro to  Janmastami Park by Auto Rickshaw


Lal Bagh Ka Raja Ganpathi Festival 2016

This year the organisers had decided to shift the Puja from Punjabi Bagh Janmashtami Grounds back to Netaji Subhash Place Grounds Pitanpura. The aura of the festival was as grand as what we had seen during the previous year. Presenting our readers some of the wonderful shots we had captured on this year’s Ganapathi Puja.

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Lal Bagh Ka Raja Ganpathi Festival 2016, Pitampura

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Blessings of the Mangalmurthi

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Ganapathi Bappa

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Lord Ganesha

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Ganapathi Darshan 2016

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Lal Bagh Ka Raja Ganapthi Puja Pandal 2016

Photography: Indranil Mutsuddi

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