Lucknow gears up for ‘Bada Mangal’ festival

Lucknow will embark on its month-long celebration of Bada Mangal, a celebration typical to the state capital, from May 29. 

Lucknow gears up for ‘Bada Mangal’ festival
Source: IANS

Lucknow, May 24 (IANS) Lucknow will embark on its month-long celebration of Bada Mangal, a celebration typical to the state capital, from May 29. 

The festival assumes greater significance since it comes at a time when general elections are being held.

The Tuesdays in the Hindi month, Jyeshtha, are dedicated to the Hindu deity, Lord Hanuman and are also a symbol of communal harmony between Hindus and Muslims.

While city police are making plans to ensure the smooth flow of traffic, the Lucknow Municipal Corporation (LMC) has pledged to make the celebrations a zero-waste event.

Lucknow Municipal Commissioner Inderjit Singh said, “Like last year, the registration of Bhandaras (community feasts) will be mandatory before organising them.”

Bada Mangla starts on May 28 and continues till June 18.

“We are collaborating with NGOs and a meeting is being held to plan out how the celebrations can set an example of zero waste,” Singh said.

The previous year, it was made mandatory for those who organise Bhandaras to register beforehand. The organisers registered on the LMC portal, Lucknow One app or by calling 1533 - the control room operated by the LMC.

“The same process will be followed this year too, but this time, the emphasis will be on zero waste,” stressed the commissioner.

Registration is a relatively simple process with one required to visit the police website to fill out the form.

Details such as names, numbers, and the approximate number of people to be fed will have to be handed in at the time of registration.

Registration becomes necessary so that vehicles and facilities can be provided by the LMC for garbage collection segregation and disposal so that work can be done to keep the city clean and tidy.

Given the traffic menace that people face, especially every Tuesday (and often Saturday too) during Bada Mangal, the traffic police in Lucknow are drafting a plan for the city.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (central), Raveena Tyagi said, “A traffic plan is being made to make it convenient for the public. “We will roll out the plans by the end of this week.”

The festival of Bada Mangal has an interesting history. The festival is a symbol of the Ganga-Jamuni culture of Lucknow and is said to have originated during the Mughal rule some 400 years ago.

According to historians, the Hanuman temple in Aliganj was constructed by Nawab Saadat Ali Khan in 1798 when his mother Aliya Begum''s prayers were reportedly answered and the Nawab was blessed with a son.

Aliya Begum insisted on building the temple and the Nawab complied.

Nawab Wajid Ali Shah, the last nawab of Awadh, continued the tradition by holding community feasts for Hanuman devotees.

The Aliganj temple has a star and a crescent on the dome and the ''Bada Mangal'' festival is a perfect example of Hindu-Muslim unity.

There are over 9,000 big and small Hanuman temples in Lucknow who open their doors at the stroke of midnight and devotees continue to offer prayers for the entire day.

Devotees set up large bhandaras across the city to distribute free prasad and water to everyone. From halwa-puri, aloo-kachori, chola-chawal, kadhi chawal to juice and now, even chowmein and custard -- the bhandaras offer tasty prasad to everyone.