Once again it is that time of the year when the city, state and entire nation gears up to welcome Lord Ganesha (internationally popular as the Elephant God). An unspoken promise of unity, peace and togetherness envelopes the people who come together irrespective of their caste or creed to celebrate this festival.

This year too Ganeshotsav celebration hosted by the Azad Nagar Sarvajanik Utsav Samiti, popularly known for the Andhericha Raja gears to welcome Bappa (Lord Ganesha) with much aplomb. Every year the pandal has been designed and decorated after some interesting theme and this year was no exception.

After much deliberation, and considering the events around the country, it was finally concluded to host the Lord in a setting replicating the grandeur of the coronation hall of Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaja’s Rajya-Abhishek at Raigad Fort, that is recreated in an area of 4000 Sq ft.

The theme marks a tribute to Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s coronation completing 350 years. This also allows the younger generation to get a glimpse into the history of the Maratha. The set is designed by Art Director Dharmesh Shah and Ashok Rane.

One of Mumbai’s most iconic pandals it beckons even the rather elusive B-town celebrities from both television and film industry, a must-visit for people far and near.

The Samiti has made elaborate arrangements for the smooth transition of the over 4 lakh visitors which throng the pandal for darshan and blessings. Strategically placed cameras all around will be used to monitor the ongoing activities at the pandal and around it.

This year, the pandal is insured for a whopping 8.31 Crores which includes the ornaments, devotees and volunteers for natural calamities and accidental cases. It has more than adequate safety precautions and arrangements monitored by the Police Department, Fire Department Traffic Police and even ATS of Mumbai. Winning awards and accolades for the same, they continue to maintain the strictest of precaution to ensure the devotees are in a safe and secure environment.

Like every year, the Samiti, have made it a mandate that devotees follow a dress code. Devotees will have to adhere to a ‘No shorts Or Mini dress Or any type of inappropriate clothing‘. However, not wanting to disappoint, they can borrow clothing from the pandal stand where track pants, lungis, and shawls are offered so that no one leaves without the darshan.

This year the Samiti has tied up with the coveted Nanavati Max Super Speciality Hospital in the western suburbs to offer healthcare services to the community and the devotees at the pandal. Special arrangements of a First Aid Support is being set at the pandal with a provision of an ambulance service incase of any emergency. There are special healthcare packages for senior citizens and community members which is also being offered. Besides this, there will be an exclusive CPR training session for members of the Samiti.

This year, the Samiti has also tied-up with Rang De Neela to create awareness on lifestyle diseases such as diabetes, obesity, hypertension, etc. Such diseases have become SANKAT for the present generation. They plan on playing health awareness videos produced by Range De Neela, where doctors will impart health education along with Kathputli Artists to make the information all the more interesting.

It is said that good faith and sincerity has much power, which is true as reflected in the belief of the devotees who visit the Andhericha Raja regardless of their religion and the Lord doesn’t disappoint. Live Darshan of the Andhericha Raja will be available on social media too.

Here’s wishing everyone a #HappyGaneshChaturthi. May Bappa bless all his Bhakt-jan with good health.