Balapore 'laddu' fetches Rs 7.5 lakh

While the size of the ''laddu'' adorning the palm of Lord Ganesha is increasing every year, the bid for the famous ''Balapore Laddu'' is also soaring. The ''laddu'' offered as “naivedyam” or offering to Lord Ganesha at different pandals goes under the hammer before immersion of the idol, fetching lakhs of rupees.

Devotees feel that this “laddu” brings the bidder happiness in plenty.

On Saturday, the “laddu” of Balapore in old city here fetched an unbelievable Rs 7.5 lakh, Rs 2.05 lakh more than last year. Locals say the auctioning of this special “laddu” began in 1994 to cover the expenses of maintaining the pandal and transportation costs. “In 1994, the ‘laddu’ was sold for Rs 450.  As people started believing that the ‘laddu’ of Balapore Ganesh has brought them luck, the bid shot up to the present level. A few farmers in Ranga Reddy district even spread pieces of the “laddu” in their agriculture fields in belief that it would bring a bumper harvest. Bidders come from far-flung districts such as Guntur and East Godavari to try their luck at Balapore.

This year’s lucky bidder is Pannala Govardhan Reddy. “My father always wanted to bid for this ‘laddu’ and he could not do it in his lifetime because we were very poor then. I worked hard and saved enough to buy this lucky ‘laddu,’ ” said Govardhan Reddy.

Balapore Ganesh is the first Ganesh idol to move for Nimajjanam. In all 15,000 registered idols of varying sizes were immersed in different water bodies in and around the city.

Meanwhile, the government of Andhra Pradesh, which was initially hesitant to give permission to the Telangana march keeping in the “Nimajjanam” and the police, finally decided to grant permission to the rally from 3 pm to 7 pm on Sunday on Necklace Road.

Senior minister K Jana Reddy, who held hectic parleys with the chief minister and JAC leaders, announced that the government has granted permission to the march. However, the government had turned down the JAC’s earlier request for permission to hold the march for two days. It is learnt that pro-Telangana ministers had convinced JAC chief  Kodandaram not to insist on this point.

Welcoming the decision of the government, Kodandaram asserted that the march would in no way obstruct the Ganesh immersion which might spill over to Sunday. He appealed to the people to participate in the march. He said, “They should behave in such a way that the protest rally would be a slap on the face for those who had been alleging that there would be violence.”

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