Ganpati Bappa Moruya! Ganesh Chaturthi is a very important Hindu festival that is celebrated across India, especially in Maharashtra, with great devotion. Vighnahartha Ganesha or Vinayaka, is known as the Lord of auspicious beginnings and also as the remover of obstacles.
He is the symbol of wisdom, prosperity and good fortune. Devotees pray to him before beginning important tasks for a smooth and successful completion of their tasks. He is also the first deity that people pray to in their daily puja
Giant Ganesha idols are made and beautiful pandals are decorated to celebrate the festival that goes on for 10 days. On the last day of the festival the idols are taken out in colorful and musical processions and immersed, traditionally, in water.
Historically, the origin of Ganesh Chaturthi festivities is linked to noted freedom fighter Bal Gangadhar Tilak. Often referred to as Lokmanya Tilak, he is said to have popularized this festival in Maharashtra.
Today, it is undoubtedly the state’s biggest festival celebrated in Ganpati pandals across every nook and corner for 10 days. This trend spread to the neighbouring states of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu in the past few decades.
Though the festival holds a nationwide significance, Mumbai takes the festivities a notch higher than the rest of the country. The city is well recognized around the world for its pompous celebration for Ganesh Chaturthi. Every inch of the city is being decorated with lights and colors and sounds of dhols and drums will make your feet itch to tap.
So, while everybody is getting excited for the day to come, we are here to tell you some of the most famous and iconic Ganesh pandals in Mumbai.
The Lalbaugcha Raja, King of Lalbaug, is undoubtedly the most famous Ganesh statue in Mumbai. The mandal was founded in 1934, and has grown to be the most visited one in the city. If you want to see the lengths people are prepared to go to for devotion, the Lalbaugcha Raja is the idol to visit. It draws an average of 1.5 million people a day — astonishing! People simply believe that this Ganesh idol can fulfill their wishes, and there’s a lot of media attention on it.
GSB Seva Mandal Ganpati (King Circle):
Touted to be the richest mandal in the city, every year the idol of Lord Ganesha here is adorned with the most exquisite gold and silver ornaments. Thousands of devotees flock to seek blessings here, and this is where you get to see Ganpati’s visual spectacle like nowhere else. It is also the only pandal where the rituals are performed round the clock for the entire duration of the festival.
Ganesh Galli Mumbaicha Raja:
The Mumbaicha Raja, in Ganesh Galli (Lane), is located only a couple of lanes away from the Lalbaugcha Raja and is also very popular. The mandal is well known for its novel new themes every year, often a replica of a famous place in India. It was formed for the benefit of the mill workers in 1928, making it the oldest one in the area.
The King of Andheri is definitely treated like a king during the 10 days of Ganesh Chaturthi and ever since 1966, the mandal has a reputation of fulfilling wishes. You may end up spotting many celebrities here waiting in line alongside you to seek the blessings of the Almighty. The decorations and atmosphere are sure to leave you spellbound.
Girgaoncha Maharaja sits near the Girgaon Chowpatty beach and is among the most popular pandals in the city. Following up from their eco-friendly Ganpati since 2016, you can be sure that they are doing their bit at making the festival an environment-friendly one while maintaining the tradition of celebrating it with full spirits.
An interesting fact about this pandal is that the shape of Ganesh idol has remained the same and the same idol maker has been making the idol for all these years. Once you reach the location, you will find that there are 13 lanes, each having a Ganesh pandal. However, the most popular among all is the pandal in the 12th lane. Khetwadi cha Raja pandal has also won many awards for the best idol and pandal.
The city is dotted with ornate and resplendent pandals as enthusiastic revellers dance in the festive mood. From replicating the set of Bollywood movies to echoing environmental concerns, every pandal has its own theme. Don’t forget to check out these iconic Ganesh Chaturthi pandals this season.