Happy Ganesh Chaturthi to you all! It’s time to hop the famous Ganesh Pandals.
It is that time of the year again! When we dance our way to bringing the mighty elephant god home, on his birthday, celebrating the Vinayaka with gusto and a riot of colours, music, dance and celebrations. Mumbai being the hub of the celebration, come join us as we enlist the 5 must-visit Ganesh Pandals in Mumbai this Ganesh Chaturthi.
So, yes! Ganpati Bappa Morya my lovelies! Finally comes the time of the year when we just leave it all, in a trail of thoughtless bliss-dancing our way to welcoming the Lord with open arms and a lively, fun-filled 11-day long celebration, welcoming and showering our love to perhaps the most loved deity of our times-Ganesha.
For me, this festival has always been not only about celebration, it also symbolizes the onset of the Vignaharta aka the remover of all obstacles. I sincerely believe that there is surely some magic about the entire 11-day long period and all those who choose to offer their prayers to Gannu(yeah that’s what I call him, he’s my best mate too you know!) are surely bestowed with the best blessings from him. It is not because you choose to pray to him, offering your respects during that time. Our Gannu Bappa is just simply made that way-sending love, and showering the best to all his devotees regardless of whether they choose to offer prayers or not.
And yet, Mumbai is never busier and livelier than this ever. Barring the exception of the last 2 years when due to the COVID19 pandemic, the festivities had been banned and zeroed down to being completely refrained from being held in public, Ganesh Utsav in Mumbai has always been a festival of a magnitude no other ever is. In fact, if truth be told, there is simply this surreal vibe to the entire atmosphere, what with the best possible decors, mandaps and pandals adorning the city bathing it in the Lord’s devotion and celebration. Right from the smallest of mandaps which crop up in small residential buildings to large societies and housing complexes, Ganesh Utsav is a time for coming together and putting forth an array of the best possible decorations, the most beautiful, heart-warming celebrations and most importantly getting one with all others to offering our respects to the revered Elephant god.
Each year I remember, sitting down with my family and friends trying to contemplate which Ganesh pandal should I visit this year to soak in the beauty of the festival, to see the different decorations, different concepts and ideas, the different folklores and stories surrounding Gannu being depicted so beautifully-ah, it was such a pleasure! Covid, having somehow put a damper to this ritual of mine, for the last 2 years, I in fact had begun to miss this little joy of the Ganpati Pandal hopping during this period.
Also In Series: Ganesh Chaturthi 2022: Bhog Ideas for Ganesh Utsav
And yet again as we finally seem to be kicking back to normal, slowly getting ourselves acquainted with the Post pandemic world and the new normal, the festivities are back. Exercising caution yes, but with the same infectious gusto which is extremely hard to miss.
So, today let me give you a list of 5 must-visit Ganesh Pandals in Mumbai this Ganesh Chaturthi
Translating to the king of Lalbaug, this one is located in South Mumbai and is definitely one of the most famous ones here. In fact, the lines that fill the area to get the darshan are lengthy enough to the point of unbelievable. I mean more than 1.5 million visitors a day on average is humongous ya! I myself, remember waiting in line for more than 6 hours to catch a glimpse of my favourite Gannu here. And that too was a blink and miss as the throng of the crowd pushing against me was so huge, like a tidal wave threatening to swallow me in case I did not move soon. Touted to be the fulfiller of wishes, if you do get the Darshan, this one is a must-visit for all.
GSB Seva Mandal Ganesh
Located in Kings Circle, Matunga this one is also referred to as Mumbai’s richest Mandal. An aggregate of more than 70 kgs of gold plus 300+ kgs of silver plus other precious goods used to decorate the Ganesh Mahamurthi, this one is also popular for offering online Seva and Darshan slots. Again, a very beautiful and if I might call it a “Modak” version of my beloved Bappa. I remember the first time I visited it and was fortunate enough to see the beautiful gold bedecked hand of Ganesh, I had felt this surreal moment of feeling so satiated that even today, after ages, I can feel the aura of it, the vibes of it.
Ganesh Galli (Mumbaicha Raja)
Located just a few streets away from Lalbaug, this one is located In the famous Ganesh Galli. Famous for replicating famous places in India, this is one of the oldest Ganpati pandals to adorn the city and was established for the benefit of mill workers. People remain excited every year, with bated breath, waiting t see which place is replicated that particular year.
Andheri Ka Raja
Started in 1966, this one is an ongoing Mandal led by employees of various organisations. Touted to have one of the longest processions in the city, this one has decorations and a surrounding that will leave you spellbound for a long. Also, many famous celebrities accompany the processions associated with this one. Speaking of processions, BTW Lalbaug cha Raja for the record has the longest procession starting at around 10 am on Anant Chaturdashi going on to immersion until 4 am the following morning. Whew! That’s like almost a day…
Khetwadi Cha Ganraj
Located on the 12th lane of Khetwadi, Grant road, the devotees for this one continue to bring the same idol every year. In fact, the same idol maker has been creating it all this while. Having been awarded many accolades, this Mandal makes the idol by collecting donations. Waise, all 12 lanes of Khetwadi have some of the best idols in the entire city. One is simply spoilt for choice. All of them are majestic and huge. Oh, and did I forget to mention, coming to tall idols, even the lanes of King Circle are touted to be having some of the oldest as well as the tallest idols in the city. In fact, having forgotten the name, there is this one Mandal whose Ganpati located just near King’s Circle Phool Galli ka Ganpati, has the best possible exquisitely crafted ears I have ever seen of the Lord. Touted to be a wish fulfiller, this one is also always on my list along with all the above others.
So, hope you guys have made a note of the 5 must-visit Ganpati pandals this Ganesh Chaturthi. Stay tuned with us right here at Booxoul for more exciting stuff coming up and also the latest and the best in the field of entertainment, lifestyle, travel, tech and gadgets, as well as all things bookish.
Till then keep praying and shout Ganpati Bappa Morya!