Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated with much pomp and show around India. People welcome Lord Ganesha to their houses with immense fervour, devotion and merriment. One of the prominent Indian festivals, Ganesh Chaturthi is also known as Vinayaka Chavithi or Vinayaka Chaturth.
While this festival is celebrated across the country, it is Mumbai that beats all others. Mumbai takes on a whole new face with gigantic Ganpati idols and statues worshipped across flamboyant ‘pandals’ in the city.
Every person is drawn to the charm and reverence that the city flaunts during this time. The music, drums and devotional songs are enchanting. Here are some of the most well-known pandals in Mumbai that are a must visit.
The Lalbaugcha Raja, King of Lalbaug, is undoubtedly the most famous Ganesha statue in Mumbai. It draws an average of 1.5 million people a day! The belief that this idol will fulfill all their wishes, draws these followers to the pandal.
There are two main lines to see the idol; the general Mukh Darshan line and the special Navas Charan Sparsh Darshan line for those wanting a wish to get fulfilled.
Location: Putlabai Chawl, next to Lalbaug Police Station in Lalbaug market (central Mumbai).
Nearest Railway Station: Lower Parel Station on the Western Line and Curry Road Station on Central Line for the Navas Darshan. Chinchpokali, Byculla, or Cotton Green station for the Mukh Darshan.
Waiting Time: For the Navas Darshan line, expect to wait for 15 hours or more. If you do not go in the peak hours, then the Mukh Darshan line will take about 1-2 hours. Peak time can go upto 7-10 hours.
When to Visit: It’s open around the clock. Evening to midnight is the busiest time.
Ganesh Galli Mumbaicha Raja
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.
Location: Ganesh Galli (Lane), Lalbaug (central Mumbai).
Nearest Railway Station: Chinchpokli, Curry Road, and Lower Parel railway stations.
Waiting Time: 20 minutes to an hour.
When to Visit: It’s always busy. Peak hours are in the afternoon and night from 3 p.m until 2 a.m.
The award-winning Khetwadi Ganraj is considered to be one of the most spectacular Ganesha idols in Mumbai. In 2000, it made history by having a Ganesha idol which was 40 feet tall.
Location: 12th Lane Kehetwadi, Girgaum (south Mumbai).
Nearest Railway Station: The nearest stations are Charni Road and Sandhurst Road.
When to Visit: During the day is best. Peak time is in the evenings from dusk to midnight.
2018 Theme: Akshardham temple in Delhi.
GSB Seva Kings Circle
It is also popularly known as Mumbai’s gold Ganesha. Adorned with more than 60 kilograms of pure gold, this is the richest statue in the whole of Mumbai.
Location: G.S.B. Sports Club Ground, Near S.N.D.T. Women’s College, R.A. Kidwai Road, King’s Circle, Matunga (central Mumbai).
Nearest Railway Station: Kings Circle on the Harbour Line and Matunga on the Central Line.
When to Visit: This Ganesha idol only stays for the first five days of the festival, so visit early.
The mandal was established in 1966 by the workers of the Tobacco company, Tata Special Steel and Excel Industries Ltd, who moved from Lalbaug to be closer to their factories.
Though it is subtler in its extravagance, yet people believe it can fulfil their wishes.
Location: Veera Desai Road, Azad Nagar, Andheri West (western Mumbai suburbs).
Nearest Railway Station: Andheri.
When to Visit: The idol is the only one in Mumbai to be immersed on Sankashthi Chaturthi, five days after the others are submerged.
Soak yourself in the revelry of Ganesh Chaturthi and the merriment that Mumbai boasts of. These 11 days are an experience to remember for times to come.
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