With Ganesh Chaturthi just round the corner, we can’t stop noticing the excitement that has engulfed every soul of Mumbai. The city has transformed into a spectacular showground with massive idols of Ganesha, blaring microphones, blinding light works, beating drums and Ganpati chants. Add to that, the ornate pandals set up across the city not only bring together people from different backgrounds but amounts to a sensational sight to behold. Every Ganesh mandap set across Mumbai has a story of its own. For instance, some mandaps represent social issues, while some showcase urban or village life. If one truly wants to drench in the festive spirit of Ganesh Chaturthi, he or she must visit pandals in Mumbai. Here is a list of 5 Ganpati mandals that one should visit this year.
1. Lalbaugcha Raja
Every Ganpati pandal promises to be a unique experience, but the Lalbaugcha Raja is undoubtedly the most famous Ganesh mandal in Mumbai. Drawing an average of 1.5 million people a day, this pandal is famous for its tallest Ganesh idols in central Mumbai. Every year, the idol is sculpted by the Kambli family and is known as “the one who fulfils all wishes”. If one wants to see the lengths people are ready to go for devotion, the Lalbaugcha Raja is an ideal place to be during Ganesh Chaturthi.
Where: Lalbaug market, GD Ambedkar Road, Lalbaug
2. Mumbaicha Raja
One of the oldest pandals in the city, Mumbaicha Raja dates back to 1928. It is famous for its versatile themes and sets which are usually replicas of famous temples from around the country. The Ganesha idol is 24 feet tall and pulls in the crowd from across the country.
Where: Ganesh Galli (Lane), Lalbaug
3. Khetwadi Ganraj
Khetwadi area in South Mumbai consists of several lanes, each having its own pandal. The lane number 12 has got the biggest and the most popular idols of Ganesha. The Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations in this area were encouraged by Lokmanya Tilak so as to bring together people from different religions residing in the area. It could take an entire day to visit every pandal in Khetwadi but it is worth the time to witness the city’s imaginative idols.
Where: 12th Lane Kehetwadi, Girgaum
4. Andhericha Raja
Established in 1966 by the workers of Tata Special Steel and Excel Industries Ltd, Andhericha Raja is known to replicate larger-than-life themes every year. The Ganesha idol here is not as towering or imposing as in other mandals, but the novel theme is what attracts devotees from in and around Mumbai to visit this pandal.
Where: Veera Desai Road, Azad Nagar, Andheri West
5. GSB Seva Kings Circle
At the GSB Seva Ganesh mandal, everything that glitters is in all probability, gold. Known for its dazzling display of gold and silver, the Ganpati here is Mumbai’s richest idol. Another distinctive feature of this mandal lies in its music, which is not the usual recorded music. Instead, traditional Indian musical instruments are played here