The annual auctioning of the Balapur laddu, this time weighing 21 kilograms, fetched Rs 17.6 lakh in Hyderabad on Thursday. The auction, on the occasion of Ganesh Chaturthi being celebrated in the state, was won by a farmer and businessman named Kolan Ram Reddy, a resident of Balapur in Hyderabad. This is the ninth time that the Kolan family is winning the auction, they had won the first auction in 1994 too.
The Balapur Ganesh - a large status of Ganesha- is being organised from the 1980s by the Balapur Ganesh Utsava Samithi. The committee began auctioning the laddu from 1994. It was first auctioned for just Rs 450, the next year the laddu fetched Rs 4,500 and it has now touched Rs 17.6 lakh. The previous year the laddu was auctioned for Rs 16.60 lakhs.
As it happens every year, the giant Ganesh statue holding the laddu in its hand was taken out in a procession through the streets of Balapur and the auction was held after the rally. It was after several rounds of bidding that Kolan Reddy won the auction, he later carried.
The custom to auctioning began first in the Balapur village and the laddu is considered a boon to the person buying it, claims the committee. The laddu is eventually distributed among the villagers, its a custom among local farmers to also sprinkle some of the sweet on the fields in the belief of a good crop.
On Thursday the auction began at 10:30 am at Balapur, the newly appointed education minister Sabitha Indra Reddy was also present to view the auctioning. The auction for the festival in Telangana also saw bidders from Nellore district of Andhra Pradesh, reported Telangana Today.
Another Hyderabad man identified as J Srikanth donated 750 kilograms of laddu to devotees at the start of the festival.