Chicago IL: Ganpati Bappa Morya! Regal Foundation, a non-for-profit organization of Regal Jewels and Regal Sari, hosted its 3rd annual Ganesh Chaturthi celebration, concluding on Thursday September 15, 2016 in Chicago.
India is a land of Rajas and Maharajas, but mini-India Town on Devon Avenue that has thick Indian population, had none so far. A well minded community activist, inspired by the famous “Lal Bagh Ka Raja, event in Mumbai India, Regal Foundation started their community event as Devon Ka Raja (“King of Devon”) in response to the imminent need of a house of worship right on Heart Of Inida or Devom Avenue. The Raja was none other than popular Indian God, his highness, Shri Ganapati, designated as Sukh Karta (giver of happiness) and Dukh Harta (destroyer of unhappiness- impediments.)
Community activists were led by former president of Hindi Lovers Club, Mrs. Gurbachan Singh, current chief Vinita Gulbani, owners of Urus Swati couple Hansa and Kamal Chhabaria, and editor publisher of hi India Weekly, Hemant Brahmbhatt. They were joined by many Devon area businessmen, friends and well-wishers. They transported in a huge life size idol of Lord Ganapati, crowned it as Devon Ka Raja and placed it in a spacious Regal Jewels store on 2642 W Devon Avenue in Chicago for the occasion, the store was transformed in to the Hindu Temple where Shri Ganesh was installed on glorious decorated throne. For nonstop 11 days, it was literally festive ‘Mela’ every day for a huge numbers of Indians flocking in not only from suburbs but also from neighboring States of Indiana and Wisconsin.
Daily there were two prayers (Aartis) in the morning and evening with Bhajans, Garbas, special discourses and Prasads to everyone were other features of the celebrations. The last day saw a special finally or ‘Visarjan’ procession symbolized by immersing the idol in water after the Aarti.
Hundreds of devotees and visitors joined the pomp grand procession fir for the divine king of king, with live band. Throughout the procession of hundreds of worshipers were chanting and dancing as the festival sponsors hoisted the Lord Ganesh in decorated ‘Palakhi’ upon their shoulders. Along the route, King Shri Ganesh showered the surrounding businesses and homes with His blessings, pausing for a special prayer offering good wishes to Sahil Exclusive, Sukhadia’s Sweets, New Taj Appliances, Hindi Lover’s Club, Udapi Palace, Uma Sarees, Punjabi Dhaba, India Sari Palace, Resham’s Handicrafts, My Niketan, Hi-India Newspaper, Lakshmi Jewelers, Patel Handicrafts, Patel Brothers, Regal Traders, Fresh Farms International Market, Andaaz Jewelers, Joy Allukas, Kamdar Plaza, Raj Jewels, Vitha Jewels, NP Jewelers, Shewakramani Partnership, Uru-Swati, Regal Jewels, and Sari Sapne. After the procession the priest and worshipers bid Ganesh a final farewell as they submerged him into water. Local businesses along with countless volunteers dedicated hours of assistance, offerings of sweets, food and flowers, and praise to the Lord Ganesha, without whom this event would have been impossible.
After the overwhelming success and positive community response, Regal Foundation vowed to celebrate this event every year. The Ganesh Chauthurti has always been welcoming of participants of all faiths to come together and celebration of one of most well-known and revered Hindu gods. Ganesh Chauthurthi celebration next year will begin on Aug. 28, 2017. Visit their website for more information: www.devonkaraja.com