Mumbai’s most-awaited and favourite festival Ganesh Chaturthi is here. For the next 10 days, you’ll hear chants of ‘Ganpati Bappa Morya’ from every nook and corner of the city! With months of work from artists, sculptors, volunteers and vendors, every Mandal and every Pandal will welcome the larger than life idols with vibrant celebrations. You’ll find a festive air gripping the city for the coming few days! With daily Aartis, gorging on lots of modaks and ladoos and visiting Ganesh pandals to catch a glimpse of your favourite Ganesh idols, it sure is going to be a busy 10 days for you all! So here is a list of the most popular Mandals and Pandals that you shouldn’t be missing out on!
1. Lalbaugcha Raja
This is one of the most visited pandals during the festival. You’ll find devotees waiting for hours in the queue to see the Ganpati idol here. Sometimes even all around the clock! Founded way back in 1934 this is among one the oldest pandals in the city. It draws over 1.5 million devotees on an average per day. The reason behind the popularity of this pandal is that it is believed to be a Navsacha Ganpati which means the one who fulfils all wishes.
2. Chinchpoklicha Raja
It was founded in 1920 by the Chinchpokli Sarvajanik Utsav Mandal. The highlight of this pandal is the Aagman Sohala which refers to the welcoming of the lord. This is organised 10 days prior to Ganesh Chaturthi. You’ll also hear people call the idol here by its other name – the Chintamani Ganpati. Every year this Mandal spends 60% of the money collected on social service initiatives throughout the year. This includes helping Adivasis, running a nursery and a library.
3. Sahyadri Krida Mandal
Once a small-time sports club, they started off Sarvajanik Ganesh in 1977. Since then this pandal has only gained more popularity. Known for its unique themes every year, you will be left in awe of the creative decorations of the pandal. Water facilities and prasad are available to all the devotees here to ensure their wellbeing. Their giant decoration sets have replicated the likes of Shaniwar Wada, Mysore Palace, and Red Fort.
4. Ganesh Galli Cha Raja
This is one of the most well-known Ganesh Mandals of Mumbai. The Ganesh Galli cha Raja is also known as the Mumbai cha Raja and is among the oldest Ganpati pandals in Lalbaug! Each year the deity is adorned with various ornaments of gold. The pandal is designed to replicate different locations and themes which are often a replica of famous Indian temples and which draws thousands of devotees here.
5. GSB Seva Mandal
Goud Saraswat Brahmin Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Samiti or GSB Seva Mandal is one of Mumbai’s richest Ganesh pandals. The GSB Ganpati has earned the nickname of the Golden Ganesha of Mumbai as it is adorned with more than 60 kilograms of gold and silver.
Founded in the year 1954 by the Gowd Saraswat Brahmin community from Karnataka, the pandal has an idol that is made out of clay and is eco-friendly in nature.
6. Andheri Cha Raja
Andheri Cha Raja is also referred as the Lalbaugh Cha Raja of the Mumbai suburbs. The pandal is managed by Azad Nagar Sarvajanik Utsav Samiti. The workers of Tata Special Steel and Excel Industries Ltd. established this one way back in 1966. You may end up spotting many celebrities here waiting in line to seek the blessings of the almighty, so keep a lookout!
7. Khetwadi Cha Raja
The idol of Lord Ganesha here is believed to be one of the most creative idols in the city. In fact, the pandal has won many awards for best pandal and best idol. The Khetwadi Cha Raja pandal rose to fame in the year 2000 for its 40-foot tall Ganesh idol. The Khetwadi area is known to have 13 lanes. All of these lanes boast of their own, unique Ganesh idols. But the one in 12th lane, called Khetwadi Cha Raja, is the most popular one. Being more than 50 years old, this is definitely one Ganpati pandal you should visit!
8. Fort Vibhag Sarvajanik Mandal
Located in the Fort area of the city, the Mandal here has kept its tradition of creating the exact replica of Ganpati from Pandharpur, which is a very religious spot for Maharashtrians. Being one of the most popular Ganesh Pandals in South Mumbai, you absolutely cannot give this one a miss! Also, the structure at this Mandal is made of reusable fibre, and that’s something amazing!
Featured Image Source: qz.com