Ganpati Bappa Morya! One of the much awaited and widely celebrated Indian festivals is just around the corner. Yes, it is time to ring in the festivities for Ganesh Chaturthi also known as Vinayaka Charturthi, a festival to worship Lord Ganesh.
It is that time of the year, when the air is filled with aromas, colours and sweet shops all around. There is a friendly competitiveness in them to come up with the most artsy sweets – specifically referred as Modaks.
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.
If you are hitting the town for this weekend in order to be part of the festivities, here are the list of top 6 pandals you must definitely look out for:
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.