The Lalbaugcha Raja, King of Lalbaug, is undoubtedly the most famous Ganesh statue in Mumbai. The mandal was founded in 1934, and has grown to be the most visited one in the city. The Kambli family, of Kambli Arts, has been making the idol since 1935. Its legendary design is now patent protected.
If you want to see the lengths people are prepared to go to for devotion, the Lalbaugcha Raja is the idol to visit. It draws an average of 1.5 million people a day -- astonishing! People simply believe that this Ganesh idol can fulfill their wishes, and there's a lot of media attention on it.
There are two main lines to see the idol: a general line, and line for those wanting to make a vow or get a wish fulfilled (navas). The navas line takes devotees right to the idol's feet, whereas the general line offers viewing (darshan) from a distance of around 10 meters away. Until recently, it was common for the navas line to stretch snake-like for over five kilometers. However the organizer has started providing huge air conditioned tents in the adjacent ground to accommodate everyone.
- Location: Lalbaug market, GD Ambedkar Road, Lalbaug (central Mumbai).
- Nearest Railway Station: Walking distance from Lower Parel, Curry Road, and Chinchpolki stations.
- Waiting Time: Can be 20 hours or more in the navas line. General line takes around five hours.
- When to Visit: It's open around the clock. However, the busiest time is in the evening until midnight.
The procession for the immersion (visarjan) starts out at 10 a.m. from the Lalbaug market on the final day of the festival, and takes the following route: Lalbaug, Bharat Mata Theatre, Lalbaug, Sane Guruji Marg, Byculla Railway Station, Clare Road, Nagpada, Dunkan Road, Don Taki, Sant Sena Maharaj Marg (Kumbharwada), Suthar Gully, Madhav Baug, C.P. Tank, V.P. Road, Opera House, Girgaon Chowpatti.
More information is available from the Lalbaugcha Raja website.