Ganesh Chaturthi : It is that time of the year when melodious chants of ‘Ganpati Bappa Morya’ reverberate through the atmosphere all over the country. The 10-day long Ganpati Utsav, called Ganesh Chaturthi, marks the birth of Lord Ganesha. Also popular as Vinayaka Chaturthi, the festival is celebrated with traditional zeal and fervor in India.
One of the most loved Hindu deities, Lord Ganesha is believed to be the god of new beginnings, wisdom and prosperity as well as the remover of obstacles. The elephant-headed God has a total of 108 different names, including Gajanana, Vinayaka and Vighnaharta among others.
The auspicious festival of Ganesh Chaturthi falls during Bhadra, the 6th month in Hindu Lunar calendar (between August and September). It kicks off with the installation of beautiful Ganesha idols in majestic pandals as well as homes. The last day called Anant Chaturdasi includes a colourful and musical procession taken out to immerse lakhs of the Ganesha idols in water.
With the shadow of the coronavirus pandemic looming large over public festivities, the Ganesh Chaturthi will not see large-scale celebrations . The celebrations in the state of Maharashtra will be impacted too, especially in the city of Mumbai.
The Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (BMC) has also issued guidelines for the sanitisation of the pandals, height of the idols for sarvajanik Ganesh mandals, and organising LIVE streaming of the Aartis to avoid huge crowds at the pandals, among others.
After the installation of the statue of Ganesh, a special ceremony called the Pranapratishhtha Puja, takes place to invoke his holy presence. Following this, devotees offer sweets, flowers, coconut, jaggery, rice and coins to their favourite God. Also, they anoint the idol with red sandalwood (Chandan) powder.
Those who lovingly bring over a Ganesha statue to their home take a very good care of him. He is treated as a much-loved guest in their home during the festival.
Mumbai being the best city for Ganesh Chathurthi celebrations, we bring you the best locations/pandals where it is celebrated with pomp and circumstance .
If you are looking for the best time to visit Maharashtra, Ganesh Chaturthi is the ultimate festival to go for. But as mentioned earlier, the 10-day long festival will not wear the usual festive look this year due to the ongoing pandemic.
The festival boasts of its origins in the city of Pune (around 125+ years ago). It was primarily started to unite different communities against the British rule.
Over the years, the festival has spread far and wide to the neighbouring states of Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Karnataka and Goa as well. However, one of the iconic places to experience Ganesh Chaturthi is Mumbai. Every year, the city attracts millions of devotees with its huge life-size Ganpati idols for the 10-day long festivity.
The Shree Siddhivinayak temple, located in the central south Mumbai neighborhood of Prabhadevi, particularly pulls in a lot of crowd. The main attraction of the temple is ‘Kakad Aarti’ which is performed to celebrate the festivities.
For the uninitiated, following are the top 5 Ganesh pandals in the city of Mumbai. These pandals usually turn the city into a tourist attraction, with lakhs of devotees taking part in the celebrations.
This is one of the most popular Sarvajanik Ganapati in the ‘Maximum’ city. An ocean of devotees visit the majestic pandal every year as Lalbaugcha Raja is widely considered a Navsacha Ganpati (one who fulfills all wishes).
Last year, the famous pandal got a contemporary look with Chandrayaan-2 as its theme. The immersion of the idol takes place in the Arabian Sea at Girgaum Chowpatty on the auspicious day of Anant Chaturdashi.
Location: Lalbaug market, GD Ambedkar Road, Lalbaug
Founded way back in 1928, this is one of the oldest and renowned Ganesh pandals in Mumbai. This year, the pandal will be completing 95years in the city. The pandal introduces unique temple themes every year.
Location: 1, Ganesh Lane, Lal Baug, Parel
Founded in 1954, this pandal is popular as the richest pandal in the city of Mumbai. Wondering why? Well, the Ganesh idol here is beautified with more than 60 kg of pure gold.
If you want to be a part of traditional South Indian dance and music performance, this pandal is where you should be heading for. However, this pandal stays only for the first five days. Devotees take the idol for immersion on the sixth day instead of the usual 10th day.
Location: GSB Sports Club Ground, Near S.N.D.T. Women’s College, RA Kidwai Road, King’s Circle, Matunga
Founded in 1966, this idol is the Laulbagcha Raja of Mumbai suburbs. The pandal is also popular among notable celebrities including Bollywood actors in the city. The immersion of the Ganesh idol takes place after 21 days unlike other pandals.
Location: Veera Desai Road, Azad Nagar, Andheri West
Now, let’s take you through the oldest pandal in Mumbai. It was established in the year 1920 by the Chinchpokli Sarvajanik Utsav Mandal. The name “Chintamani” comes from its attribute of taking away all worries of a devotee. Interestingly, it was the first mandal in South Mumbai. For the 10-day long celebration, as many as 4,000 houses in Chinchpokli contribute towards the funds.
Location: Chinchpoklicha Chintamani, Dattaram Lad Road, Chinchpokli
The popular Hindu deity is not just present in temples across the country as the bestower of prosperity. But Lord Ganesh is very much there on the dashboards in cars, pen stands, key-chains and other showpiece items too. In fact, the popularity of brand Ganesha has not left the jewellery zone untouched.
According to top jewellery brands, Ganesh accessories are the bestsellers, especially among the millennials. The popular belief being that wearing Ganesh symbol brings good luck and prosperity.
A wide range of Ganesh-themed jewellery are on offer this festive season too. From a silver jhumki earrings adorned with Ganesh painting to gorgeous temple jewellery with Ganesh motifs, there is no dearth of options for those who stick to brand Ganesh.
An attractive range of temple jewellery with Ganesha motifs in real gold comes with a starting price of ₹1.5 lakhs. The jewellery brands make sure to modify their designs to cater to varied customers every now and then.
And not just festive occasions like Ganesha Chaturthi, the modern generation loves to accentuate its overall look with Ganesh-themed T shirts, earrings and necklaces on other special events too (like a get-together or an evening party).
When it comes to Ganesh Chaturthi, people tend to associate modak with this festival. And this is not without a reason. It is mainly because Lord Ganesh is also very fond of these sweet dumplings. You will certainly spot different flavours of modaks during this festival.
Thanks to the innovative minds, you may savour not only the traditional ukadiche (steamed) modaks, but also binge on chocolate, cranberry, chana dal, mawa malai and marzipan modaks, among others.