Hyderabad: In view of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Balapur Ganesh Utsav Samithi on Thursday decided not to auction the famous laddu prasadam of Balapur Ganesh. This is the first time since 1994, when the auction began, that it is not being held. Last year, the giant laddu fetched a staggering Rs 17.60 lakh during the auction on the final day of the festivities. Every year, thousands of people make a beeline to witness the auctioning of the laddu prasadam of Balapur Ganesh in Balapur.
In the first auction, a local farmer Kolan Mohan Reddy bought the laddu prasadam for Rs 450. As each year passed, the bids for the laddu increased and the auction gained more and more popularity, going to become a major feature during the festivities. The locals refer to the laddu as Bangaru laddu (golden laddu) as it is believed to usher in health, wealth and prosperity for them.
The money generated through the auctioning of the laddu prasadam is used for various developmental activities. For a case in point, the money was spent on works in Hanuman and Lakshmi Ganapathi temples in the area. Similarly, the auction money was used for providing facilities in the local government high school. This year, the Balapur Ganesh Utsav Samithi has also decided to reduce the size of the Ganesh idol to six feet. The idol used to be 21 feet. At the same time, given the prevailing Covid-19 pandemic, the Samithi will also not allow devotees to perform puja or have darshan of Balapur Ganesh.
“This year, the first puja will be performed by the Samithi members. On the festival days, only the priest will perform puja and devotees will not be allowed this time. A decision on the procession of Balapur Ganesh will be taken as per permission of the government and the situation at that point of time,” Balapur Ganesh Utsav Samithi president K Niranjan Reddy told Telangana Today.
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