The Mumbai streets are fully overjoyed in anticipation of someone coming home for 10-days!! Someone so special, so close to heart that every devotee is busy planning their best to welcome Him – Lord Ganesha! It is His birthday and so people of all faiths and beliefs are gearing up to celebrate it. This 10-day-long Ganeshotsav or Ganesh festival is the best time of the year to visit Ganesh festival . While the festival is celebrated with much pomp and joy, the unity and energy of this city is reflected.
You will see that every single neighborhood will have its own Ganpati Mandal with a beautiful Ganesha idol crafted by its skilled artisans. These pandals often have a mythological story-telling theme and beautifully exceptional decoration which changes every year.
So while you take some Pandal-Tour during these 10 days, you cannot miss visiting these famous pandals in Mumbai and Pune.
This iconic idol in Mumbai, the King of Lalbaug, was founded in the year 1934. It is known as ‘Navsacha Ganpati’ which means ‘the one who fulfills every wish’ and hence, it draws massive crowd coming from various places to offer prayers. The most attractive part of the idol is that it feels like the Ganpati is looking at you with so much affection.
GSB Seva Mandal
Mumbaikars best know this Ganpati as ‘Gold Ganpati’, it is because the idol is adorn with 60 kg of gold. This mandal was founded by Gowd Saraswat Brahmin community from Karnataka in the year 1954. The sight of this magical idol will definitely leave you awestruck.
This place is known for its creative themes and beautiful idols in Mumbai. The award-winning pandal was founded in the year 1959 but saw a growing popularity in the masses in 2000. The all-time favorite themes like Sheesh Mahal, Deep Mahal, Swarg Mahal, Raj Mahal, etc. never cease to impress the countless devotees.
Another remarkable place that every devotee must visit is Andhericha Raja. First started by employees of Tata Special Steel in 1966, today this mandal is managed by Azad Nagar Sarvajanik Utsav Samiti. This Ganpati is not only famous for its mesmerizing idol with the entire decoration, but also for the infamous reputation of fulfilling wishes and frequent visits by celebrities, like Lalbaugcha Raja.
Girgaoncha Raja, Mumbai
Girgaoncha Raja, one of those Eco-friendly Ganesh idols in the city, is made of clay. A distinct feature of this pandal is that every year they make an idol that is over 20 feet high. Go and visit this Pandal and witness a unique but beautiful theme idol.
Kasba Ganpati Mandal is considered as the most important Ganpati idol in Pune. The first idol was install by the great Shivaji Maharaj in 1893 and since then it is known as ‘gram daivat’ – the deity of the city.
Dagdusheth Halwai Ganpati
Dagdusheth Halwai Ganpati, one of the richest in the state, stands 7.5 ft high adorned with 80kg of gold. The trust running the mandal is one of the wealthiest in the country taking care of several social initiatives.
Guruji Talim Mandal
This magnificent idol is third in line, in terms of popularity and respect, out of the five main Ganpati in Pune. This was the very first Ganpati Mandal, even before the Tilak’s movement, that was started in Pune by both Hindu and Muslim community.
Tulsi Baug Ganesh Mandal
Tulsi Baug Ganesh Mandal was started in 1901. The idol gets the fourth honor off the prominent five in Pune. This Ganpati is famous for its unique theme which changes every year. The idol stands 15ft high, the tallest in Pune and has a 125kg silver-coated fist.
Tambdi Jogeshwari Ganapati
The idol of this Ganpati is red (Tambdi) in color and is located in Jogeshwari temple, hence the name Tambdi Jogeshwari temple! It is the oldest in Pune and local legend says that even Shivaji visited the temple because he believed this Ganpati to be auspicious. Many devotees pay a visit to this one and so this one should be on your list too.
Now that you have the list you know where exactly to go. Visit these beautifully decorated mandals, seek blessing from this cute looking God and scream Ganpati Bappa Morya! (Hail Lord Ganesha)