It’s that time of the year when the homes and the streets of Mumbai city will be filled with the chant “Ganpati Bappa Morya” and the devotees will be lining up in front of the famous Pandals to give their favorite Elephant God the yearly visit.
For the uninitiated, the 11 days long Ganpati Mahotsav is starting from 25th of August, 2017. With the rest of the country (especially the states of Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka) the financial capital of India, Mumbai is all geared up for unlimited fun, food and celebration.
Here are a few popular places in the city which one must visit during this festival.
Lalbaugcha Raja: The famous Lalbaugcha Raja comes home to Parel every year. Since 1934, Lalbaugcha Raja Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Mandal has been organizing this extremely popular celebration of Ganesh Chaturthi. The idol here was known as Navsacha Ganpati which means fulfiller of the wishes. Thousands of devotees, including many celebrities, line up to pray before the Ganpati idol here. One can expect tight security around the Pandal and should be ready to stand in the queue for hours to take a glimpse of the Lord.
How to reach Parel from Mumbai international airport: The driving distance between the international terminal of Mumbai airport to Parel is about 18 Kms and on a normal day, it should take you about half an hour to reach there. However, expect heavy traffic around the city during Ganesh Utsav. Aggregator cab services such as Ola, Uber etc. are good options to travel between places within the city.
Ganesh Galli Mumbaicha Raja: Just a short distance away from Lalbaugcha Raja there comes ‘The Mumbaicha Raja’. The lane is called Ganesh Galli and is famous for this Ganpati Utsav which is being celebrated since 1928. The specialty of this Pandal is the themes that the organizers come up with every year. This year the Pandal is going to be a replica of south India's spectacular golden temple.
The place is close to Lower Parel Railway station and is always crowded during the festival time. One can consider visiting Bappa early in the morning till early afternoon as after 2:00 pm the peak hours start and continue until late night.
Andheri cha Raja: Andheri cha Raja is yet another famous Ganpati idol in suburban Mumbai. This Pandal is organized by "Azad Nagar Sarvajanik Utsav Samitee” which was established in the year 1966. This is a beautiful Pandal to visit with some of the most lavish decorations and captivating themes. Along with thousands of common men, Bollywood celebrities also visit this Pandal.
To reach Andheri cha Raja Pandal, the best way to take the Metro towards Azad Nagar station and then ask for at Veera Desai Road, behind Sports Complex.
Girgaon Cha Raja: This Pandal is popular because of its eco-friendly concept. This Ganesh Mandal is located near Charni Road station. This eco-friendly Ganesh idol made of Shadu clay and is about 25 feet tall. Girgaoncha Raja idol was praised by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his radio program “Mann Ki Baat”.
There are many more popular Ganesh Pandals which will adorn the city for next few days. A few of them are Khetwadicha Ganraj, Bhandarkarcha Raja, GSB Samaj Ganeshotsav, Tejukayacha Raja, Chinchpokli Cha Chintamani etc.
The essence of Ganpati Utsav is fast changing and a lot of Pandal organizers, even common people are becoming aware of environment-friendly ways to celebrate the festival.
Tell us about how you will celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi the eco-friendly way. Share your learning, experience, tips and experiences with Mumbai.(Authored: 9amstories editorial)
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