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Wednesday, Oct 23, 2019

Ganesh Chaturthi 2019: From the richest to the patent-protected, here are the top 10 must-visit pandals in Mumbai

Ganesh Chaturthi 2019: Every year, when the rains begin receding from Mumbai, whether the city drowns or not, it still uses the opportunity to beckon Lord Ganesha. Here are our top-picks for the must-visit pandals in Mumbai for all you pandal-hoppers.

art-and-culture Updated: Sep 12, 2019 10:19 IST
Alfea Jamal
Alfea Jamal
Hindustan Times, Delhi
Devotees carry an idol of Ganesha to the pandals ahead of the upcoming Ganesh Chaturthi in Mumbai.
Devotees carry an idol of Ganesha to the pandals ahead of the upcoming Ganesh Chaturthi in Mumbai.(PTI)
         

Ganesh Chaturthi, one of the biggest Hindu festivals in India, is just around the corner. The festival is also known as Vinayaka Chavithi, Vinayaka Chaturthi and Ganeshotsav, and is celebrated over a span of ten days. The festival marks the day Lord Ganesha, the son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati, was born, and usually falls in the months of August or September. According to the Hindu lunisolar calendar it falls on the fourth day of Bhadrapada.

Ganeshostsav is celebrated with much gusto in India, but more so in the states of Goa, Telangana, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, and Chhattisgarh. And while Ganapati pandals aren’t unusual during the festival, the magnitude and scale of the pandals in Mumbai, Maharashtra, is something one must experience at least once in their life. People celebrate the festival publicly as well as privately; every home is graced with an idol of Ganesha, and devotees flock to pandals to seek blessings from the larger-than-life idols.

Every year, when the rains begin receding from Mumbai, whether the city drowns or not, it still uses the opportunity to beckon Lord Ganesha. Here are our top-picks for the must-visit pandals in Mumbai for all you pandal-hoppers:

•Goud Saraswat Brahmin Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Samiti, King’s Circle  

Goud Saraswat Brahmin (GSB) Seva Mandal, King Circle, which is touted to be the richest pandal in Mumbai, is known for its gold Ganesha idol and is made of clay for eco-friendly celebrations. The hands, legs and hips of the idol are made of gold, and adorned with diamonds. Over 1,000 people are fed in the Pujo Bhog in a sitting. Over 2 lakh people come for darshan daily.The pandal has taken an insurance cover of Rs 266.65 crore this year. The pandal is presently in its 65th year.

•Lalbaugcharaja Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Mandal, Lalbaug

Who would have thought that Ganapati too could be patent-protected? Lalbaugcha Raja is the only Ganesh whose legendary design is patent protected. The Kambli family, of Kambli Arts, has been making the idol since 1935.

Legend has it that the Lalbaugcha Raja is the Ganapati who fulfils the wishes of devotees, and people sometimes wait up to 24 hours for darshan.The pandal is presently in its 87th year and the theme for this year is based on Chandrayaan 2.

•Lalbaug Sarvajanik Utsav Mandal, Ganesh Galli

 

Formed for the benefit of mill workers in 1928, this idol is popularly called Mumbaicha Raja, and has lavish new themes every year. The mandal has planned to use Ram Mandir as the theme this year, and the pandal will be converted to Ayodhya nagari. They are also reducing the use of plaster in their idol in the hopes of lowering pollution. The pandal is presently in its 92nd year.

•Keshavji Naik Chawl Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Mandal, Girgaum

Keshavji Naik Chawl Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Mandal in Girgaum is not only the oldest, but also the most iconic pandal in Mumbai. This is where Bal Gangadhar Tilak called for a public ganeshotsav celebration in 1893, in order to be able to continue the freedom struggle against the British, under the pretext of gathering for religious purposes. It was iconic in our freedom struggle and is one of the most visited pandals despite its simplicity. It is always a simple and low-key event. The pandal is presently in its 127th year.

•Chinchpoklicha Raja, Chinchpokli

This is Mumbai’s second oldest Ganpati mandal and was started in 1920. Chinchpokli cha Chintamani is known for its imaginative and beautifully crafted idols. Every year, the mandal raises funds with its imaginative idols and spends 60 per cent of the money collected during Ganesh Chaturthi, on social service initiatives throughout the year. (Including Adivasis, running a nursery and library). The pandal is presently in its 99th year.

•Azad Nagar Sarvajanik Utsav Samiti, Andheri

Andhericha Raja also has a reputation for fulfilling wishes and was established by mill workers, in 1966, who moved from Lalbaug to be closer to their factories (of a tobacco company, Tata Special Steel and Excel Industries Ltd). The pandal is presently in its 54th year.

•Fort Vibhag Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Mandal Circle, Fort

 

Fortcha Icchapurti is known for its grand décor inspired by different palaces. Made with reusable fiber to reduce pollution. The pandal is presently in its 64th year.

•Sahyadri Krida Mandal, Chembur

Sahyadri mandal often recreates temples, religious institutions as its theme and last year it was Ayodhya’s Ram Mandir. The 30-feet tall eco-friendly structure was made entirely of fiber. Sahyadri Krida Mandal in Tilak Nagar began in the year 1977 and is presently in its 44th year.

•Khetwadicharaja, Khetwadi’s Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Mandal

Khetwadicharaja is adorned in gold and jewels; previously it has won many awards for the best pandal and best idol. This mandal exceeds all religious and cultural differences and boasts the city’s tallest and most imaginative structures. The pandal is presently in its 61st year.

However, there’s more in Khetwadi than this one towering idol. Khetwadi comprises of twelve neighbouring lanes and each has its own Ganesh pandal, it was established in 1959. This is one such mandal that exceeds all religious and cultural differences. It may be a long walk, but you will end up seeing the city’s tallest and most imaginative Ganesh idols.

•Parelcha Raja also called Nare Park Cha raja

Parel’s Mandal is a celebration with a cause, it is devoted to preserving and safeguarding the environment and is known for its eco-friendly pandals and idols that don’t compromise on beauty or extravagance. The pandal is presently in its 73rd year and the theme this year is based on Chandrayaan 2. This idol is always in a standing position and as of the past four years they have stopped taking donations.

 

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First Published: Aug 30, 2019 14:12 IST

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