Hyderabad, Sept 18 (INN): The famous Balapur Ganesh laddu fetched a whopping Rs 9.26 lakh in the open auction held before the start of final Ganesh immersion procession here on Wednesday.
TDP leader and former Hyderabad Mayor Teegala Krishna Reddy made the highest bid to take possession of the prestigious laddu for the first time. This is for the first time that a politician participated in the auction. Of 20 auctions held since 1994, Kollan Mohan Reddy won the auction eight times. Last year, it was taken for Rs.7.5 lakh by a real estate businessman.
Talking to reporters after winning the laddu, Teegala announced that he would gift the laddu to his party president N Chandrababu Naidu.
Located on the outskirts of Hyderabad, the small village of Balapur in Ranga Reddy district became famous over the years due to the auction of its Ganesh laddu, specially prepared by Agra Sweet House, Charminar. This year too thousands of people belonging to all communities gathered at Balapur to witness the famous auction. The bidding started at last year’s closing price of Rs 7.5 lakh.
In 1980, when the Balapur Ganesh pandal was installed for the first time it was named as ‘Praramba Grama Vinayakudu’. But later it was renamed ‘Adi Vinayaka’. In 1994, the laddu was auctioned for the first time and Kollan Mohan Reddy placed the highest bid of Rs 450 to get possession of Laddu. The tradition continued and it became mandatory that the final Ganesh immersion procession in the city would start only after the completion of laddu auction.
The bid amount continued to rise year after year. Starting from Rs 450 in 1994, it increased to Rs 2,500 in 1995, Rs 18,000 in 1996, Rs 28,000 in 1997, Rs 51,000 in 1998, Rs 65,000 in 1999, Rs 66,000 in 2000, Rs 85,000 in 2001, Rs 1.05 lakh in 2002, Rs 1.55 lakh in 2003, Rs 2.01 lakh in 2004, Rs 2.08 lakh in 2005, Rs 3 lakh in 2006, Rs 4.15 lakh in 2007, Rs 5.07 lakh in 2008, Rs 5.10 lakh in 2009, Rs 5.35 lakh in 2010, Rs 5.45 lakh, Rs 7.5 lakh in 2012 and this year it was auctioned for Rs 9.26 lakh.
The Balapur laddu made a huge contribution in promoting communal harmony. Even Muslims participated in the bidding process several times. In the year 2002, two Muslim friends – Ahmed Saadi and Omer Bin Saleh alias Khaisar Bam – made a strong bid for the laddu and offered to buy it for Rs 96,000. However, one Madhava Reddy made the successful bid Rs 1.05 lakh.
The Balapur Ganesh laddu auction has not only brought the fame for the village, but became an inseparable part of Hyderabad’s rich history.