Hyderabad: The much-popular Balapur Ganesh Laddu broke its own record by fetching Rs 17.60 lakh in the open auction held before the start of Ganesh immersion procession here on Thursday. Auction for the 21-kg laddu started at 10.23 am by Balapur Ganesh Utsav Samithi. This year, the laddu got Rs 1 lakh more than last year, which was bought by Kolanu Rami Reddy, a businessman and agriculturalist. The Kolan family bagged the laddu for the 9th time in its 26 year history.
The auction event was attended by several politicians, including Education Minister Sabitha Indra Reddy. For the first time, the auction witnessed participation of bidders from Nellore district of Andhra Pradesh as well. Last year, T Srinivas Gupta of Balapur Arya Vysya Sangham won the sacred laddu for Rs 16.60 lakh. This year, the laddu fetched Rs 1,10,000. The laddu auction started at Rs 1,116. Nineteen devotees participated in the auction and Kolan Rami Reddy within 10 minutes it reached a record amount of Rs 17.60 lakh. Incidentally, Kolan Mohan Reddy from the same family, had grabbed the laddu in 1994 for the first time at RS 450.
Local leaders and businessmen competed with each other to own the Laddu as they believed it would bring them good luck. The funds yielded from the Laddu will be spent on the development of the village, temples and welfare activities. Today’s bidding started at around 9.30 am. After special pujas, Balapur Ganesh was taken in a mammoth procession of devotees. The tradition of auctioning the Laddu started in 1994 with formation of Balapur Ganesh Utsav Committee.
For the first time, the laddu was auctioned and bought by Kolanu Mohan Reddy for Rs 450. The bid amount continued to rise year after year and Kolanu Mohan Reddy got it for Rs 4,500 in 1995, Kolanu Krishna Reddy wrested it for Rs 18,000 in 1996 and for Rs 28,000 in 1997. Again Kolanu Mohan Reddy got it for Rs 51,000 in 1998, Kallem Pratap Reddy for Rs 65,000 in 1999, Kallem Anji Reddy for Rs 66,000 in 2000, G Raghunandan Chary for Rs 85,000 in 2001, Kandada Madhava Reddy for Rs 1.05 lakh in 2002, Chigirinta Balreddy for Rs 1.55 lakh in 2003, Kolanu Mohan Reddy for Rs 2.01 lakh in 2004, Ibram Sekhar for Rs 2.08 lakh in 2005, Chigirinta Tirupathi Reddy for Rs 3 lakh in 2006, G Raghunandan Chary for Rs 4.15 lakh in 2007, Kolanu Mohan Reddy for Rs 5.07 lakh in 2008, Sarita for Rs 5.10 lakh in 2009, Kodali Sridhar Babu for Rs 5.35 lakh in 2010, Kolanu Bros for Rs 5.45 lakh in 2011, Pannala Govardhan Reddy for Rs 7.5 lakh in 2012, Teegala Kista Reddy for Rs 9.26 lakh in 2013, Singireddy Jaihind Reddy for Rs 9.50 lakh in 2014, Kolanu Madan Mohan Reddy for Rs 10.32 lakh in 2015, Skylab Reddy for Rs 14.65 lakh in 2016, Nagam Tirupathi Reddy for Rs. 15.60 in 2017, T. Srinivas Gupta for Rs 16.60 lakh in 2017 and this year it was sold for Rs 17.60 lakh. As the winners of the Laddu prospered well, the demand for laddu has been rising every year.
After the auction, the Utsav committee members felicitated Kolanu Rami Reddy and presented him a two kilogram silver plate along with the laddu to him. Police made elaborate bandobust arrangements. Speaking on the occasion, Reddy said he was very happy to own the laddu. Soon after the auction, the Balapur Ganesh started for immersion to Hussain Sagar and passed through Chandrayangutta, Aliabad, Charminar, Afzalgunj, MJ Market, Abids and Liberty. Till 12.30 pm, only a handful of idols had made their way on to the main procession route in the old city.