Hyderabad: Balapur Ganesh laddu was auctioned on Friday for an all-time record of Rs 24.60 lakh.
The 21-kg popular laddu was purchased by V. Lakshma Reddy, a businessman and member of Balapur Ganesh Utsav Samiti.
The auction of the laddu marks the beginning of annual Ganesh immersion procession from Balapur on the southern fringes of Hyderabad.
A total of nine bidders, including three non-locals participated in the auction held in the presence of minister for education Sabitha Indra Reddy, minister for animal husbandry T. Srinivas Yadav and former mayor of Hyderabad T. Krishna Reddy.
Amid loud cheers by hundreds of devotees, the participants in the open auction bid for the laddu, which they believe brings good luck to them.
The sweet had fetched Rs 18.90 lakh last year. Ramesh Yadav, a member of the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Council, along with Marri Shashank Reddy, a businessman from Nadergul in Telangana, had bought the famous laddu.
The annual auction of the laddu in Balapur village on the outskirts of the city marks the beginning of the Ganesh immersion procession, which passes through various parts of the city to reach Hussain Sagar lake in the heart of the city.
According to Balapur Ganesh Utsav Samithi, which organises the auction every year, the laddu was sold for Rs 450 in the first auction held in 1994.
Since then, this sweet grew in popularity and price. As it is believed to bring prosperity to the winner, businessmen-politicians vie with each other to bid every year.
In 2020, the auction was cancelled as there were no public celebrations due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Kolanu Mohan Reddy had bought the laddu in the first auction in 1994 and was the successful bidder for five years in a row. As he claimed prosperity by winning the bid, the laddu became more popular.
The winners not only distribute pieces of laddu among their family and friends but also sprinkle the remnants in their agriculture fields, business houses and at home