The Ganesh Chaturti festival is celebrated with much pomp and grandeur in the western part of India, but Delhi with its mixed culture is catching up.
Mumbai, home to Bollywood actors and other celebrities has various Ganesh pandals across the city with the most popular being the Lalbaugcha Raja. Situated in Lalbaug market area, the pandal, founded in 1934, is said to attract millions.
Now, modelled on the popular Mumabi pandal is the 'Raja Lalbaugcha Ganpati' pandal in Pitampura here. Organisers a claim that they have for the first time brought the Ganesh idol from Mumbai and even fetched the priests from there.
"It's the God's call. He directed us and we decided to get the Lalbaug Ganpati to the city. We are hopeful that we'll get to see as many worshipers as in Mumbai," says Rajesh Gupta, secretary and 'mela mantri' of the city's Raja Lalbaugcha Ganpati trust.
The Ganesh Chaturti festival, signifying the birth of Lord Ganesha, is set to begin from August 29 and continue at the Netaji Subhash Place Ground in Pitampura here till September 8, when the idol will be immersed.
"The Ganesh idol will be as large as the one in Mumbai. In fact, the idol and the priests, all have been bought from Mumbai," says Gupta.
Organisers say the stalls at the pandals that would remain open round the clock and serve 'modak', a sweet dumpling.
While visitors at Mumbai's Raja Lalbaugcha pandal often stand in two lines, to pay their obeisance, including one where they can directly touch the idol's feet, those in Delhi would have a solitary line.
"It might be present there but we are not doing it here. Here, no one will get to go onto the stage but everyone is free to worship from near the stage," says Gupta.
A 'Raja Lalbaug Ganpati Rath Yatra' has also been scheduled on August 27.
"There will be different bands and the procession will be taken out with lot of celebration. However, this Ganpati will be different from the one in the pandal," says Gupta.
The city's Tamil community have also been organising Ganesh Chaturti since 2005 at the Sankatahara Ganapathy Temple in Vasudhara Enclave.
"Sankatahara is the 32nd form of Lord Ganesha. So every year we take out a procession on an elephant with Ganesha's idol on it, before Vinayaka Chaturti.
"This time we began the celebrations with the Ganesha