Ganpati Bappa Morya! These are the famous lines o every mumbaikar’s mouth during this Auspicious Month of the Elephant Lord. Ganesh Chaturthi (गणेश चतुर्थी) is one of India’s Most Popular Hindu festival celebrated in honour of the Lord Ganesha, the elephant-headed, remover of obstacles and the god of beginnings and wisdom.
The festival, also known as Vinayaka Chaturthi is a 10 day festival and the date usually falls between 19 August and 20 September, ending on Anant Chaturdashi (fourteenth day of the waxing moon period). The festival involves installing clay images of Ganesha in public pandals (temporary shrines), which are worshipped for ten days with different variety of herbal leaves, plants and immersed at the end of the festival in a water(lake, sea) along with the Idol. Some people also install the clay images of Ganesha in their homes. It is believed that Ganesha bestows his presence on earth for all his devotees during this festival.
The Mumbai Ganesh festival is one of the biggest celebrations in the city. If you want to experience this mega Indian festival on a grand scale, this is it! It’s a giant street carnival with a special spiritual meaning. How did Ganesh Chaturthi become so popular in Mumbai though?
History indicates that the famed Maratha ruler Sri Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaja introduced Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations to the state to promote culture and nationalism. However, it was freedom fighter Lokmanya Tilak that transformed it into an organized public event in 1893. His reasons for doing so were to bridge the gap between the castes, and build unity against British colonial rule. Lord Ganesh, as the much loved remover of obstacles and god for everybody, served this purpose.
The tradition has carried on, and nowadays there’s great competition amongst local communities to put on the biggest and best display. These 5 famous Mumbai Ganesh mandals are amongst the most popular in the city. However, there are plenty of other well known ones that are worth visiting. Some of them, in south Mumbai, are:
·Ichhapurti Ganesh Mandal, near Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus in the Fort district.
·Fort Vibhag Ganesh Utsav Mandal, opposite the GPO in the Fort district.
·Sarvajanik Utsav Mandal, near the east side of Chinchpokli railway station on the Central line.
·Rangari Badak Chawl Mandal, near the east side of Chinchpokli railway station on the Central line.
·Kamatchawl Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Mandal, Opposite Zaoba Ram Mandir, Thakurdwar Naka, Thakurdwar. (This one is one of the oldest Ganesh mandals in Mumbai).
·Akhil, Anjeerwadi Mandal, located at Dr. Mascarenhas Road, Mazgaon.
·Other famous mandals includes Lalbaugcha Raja, Mumbaicha Raja, Keshavji Naik Chaal Sarvajani Ganeshutsav Mandal (one of the oldest mandals in Mumbai, established in 1893 by Lokmanya Tilak) and the Andhericha Raja.
Don’t be concerned that you might not be able to find the festival. There are statues in streets all over the city. In fact, it’s hard not to come across a display of Lord Ganesh!
Famous Ganpati Idols and Ganesh Mandals in Mumbai
“Brihanmumbai Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Samanvaya Samiti” is the committee that represents 11,400 Ganesh Mandals in Mumbai. Naresh Dahibhavkar is the Preseident of this Samiti.
·Lalbaug Cha Raja (Lalbaug)
·GSB Seva Mandal (King Circle – Winner of TOI’s 2nd Best Ganesh Idol in 2013)
·Mumbaicha Raja (Ganesh Galli, Lalbaug)
·Khetwadicha Ganraj (Khetwadi Lane 12 – Winner of TOI’s Best Ganesh Idol in Mumbai in 2013)
·Panchsheel Ganpati (Mumbai Central)
·Mumbaicha Maharaja (Khetwadi Lane 11)
·Parelcha Raja (Nare Park)
·Chandanwadi Ganesh (Chira Bazar)
·Fort IcchaPurti Ganesh (Fort – Winner of TOI’s 2nd Best Ganesh Mandal in Mumbai in 2013)
·Tulsiwadi Ganpati (Tardeo – Winner of TOI’s 3rd Best Ganesh Idol in 2013)
·Khetwadi Cha Raja (Khambata Lane)
·Khetwadi Vignaharta (Lane 2 and 3)
·Khetwadi Galli 7 Ganpati
·Navsala Pavnara Andheri Cha Raja
·Chinchpokli Cha Chintamani
·Ganapati of Shri Sai Darshan Mitra Mandal (Malad W – Winner of TOI’s 3rd Best Ganesh Idol in 2013)
·Ganesh of Sahyadri Krida Mandal (Chembur – Winner of TOI’s Best Ganesh Mandal in Mumbai in 2013)
·Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Mandal (Vashi Sector 17 – Winner of TOI’s 3rd Best Ganesh Mandal in Mumbai in 2013)
Pictures of Ganpati Idols and Ganesh Chaturthi in Mumbai in 2014
1) “Mumbaicha MahaRaja” is the Khetwadi Lane (Gali) 11 Ganpati Idol
The Khetwadi Gali 11 (Lane 11) Ganesh is called “Mumbaicha Maharaja”.
The 2014 “Mumbai Cha Maharaja” Ganesh idol is half in the form of Ganesh and half in the form of Ganesh’s father, Lord Shiva. It is among the most creative Ganpati idols in Mumbai city.
“Mumbai Cha Maharaja Sarvajanik GaneshOtsav Mandal” organizes the “Mumbai Cha Maharaja” Ganpati statue at Khetwadi 11 Lane.
“Mumbaicha Maharaja” was founded in 1962. Its current President is Hemant Dixit.
2) GSB Seva Mandal (King Circle) – Richest Ganesh Mandal in the World
GSB Seva Mandal’s Ganesh Murti is located at G.S.B. Sports Club Ground, Near S.N.D.T. Women’s College, King’s Circle, Matunga.
“GSB Seva Mandal” is not just Mumbai’s richest Ganpati Mandal, it also the richest Ganesh Mandal in the world. For the 2014 Ganesh Festival the Mandal has been insured for Rs 260 crore.
The GSB Seva Mandal Ganesh Murti (Idol) is made of clay and is eco-friendly. GSB Seva Mandal’s Ganpati is made by Sculptors Avinash Patkar and Ashish Patkar of Patkar Arts (Girgaon).
GSB Seva Mandal (King Circle) was founded in 1954 by Gowd Saraswat Brahmins from Karnataka. 2014 is the 60th diamond jubilee celebration for this renowned Ganpati.
3) Lalbaugcha Raja 2014 – Mumbai’s Most Popular Ganesh Idol
“Lalbaugcha Raja” Ganpati is Mumbai most popular Ganpati Idol and most visited Ganesh Pandal.
2014 is the 81st year for Lalbagcha Raja (“King of Lalbaug”). Lalbaug Cha Raja Ganesh Idol, whose core design does not change, was first setup by Koli fisherwomen in 1934. Since 1935, the Kambli family has been making the Lalbaugcha Raja Ganpati. Design of Lalbagcha Raja has been patented.
“Lalbaugcha Raja Sarvajanik Ganesh Mandal” organizes the Lalbaghcha Raja” Ganesh Idol and Ganeshotsav. Its current President is Ashok Maruti Pawar.
For security, the organizers have installed 90 CCTV cameras, 80 metal detectors and 50 hand held detectors. 3,000 volunteers. will help during the Ganesh utsav. Lalbaghcha Raja Mandal has taken an insurance cover of Rs 50 crore.
Daily around 15 Lac devotees visit Lalbaug Cha Raja. There are 2 lines in the Pandal – one for VIPs and the other for regular worshipers (“Navas” line). The Lalbaugcha Raja Mandal has provided an air-conditioned waiting tent for the comfort of visitors.
In 2012, Lalbaugcha Raja Sarvajanik Ganesh Mandal had made 952 potholes, for which BMC fined them Rs 23,00,000. The Mandal refused to pay this fine.
Lalbagh Ganesh Galli’s “Mumbaicha Raja” is among Mumbai’s oldest and most famous Ganesh Idols.2014 is the 87th year of this world famous Ganesh.
The 2014 Ganesh Galli Mumbaicha Raja is 22 feet tall and has a special 12 foot long gold necklace.
Lalbaug Ganesh Gali’s “Mumbaicha Raja” is well known for its beautiful Ganpati pandal and set decoration. The 2014 “Mumbai Cha Raja” pandal is a replica of the ancient temple of Jejuri near Pune.
“Mumbaicha Raja” Ganpati is organized by Lalbaug Sarvajanik Utsav Mandal (Mumbaicha Raja), Ganesh Galli. Mumbaicha Raja Ganesh is only a couple of lanes away from Lalbaugcha Raja.
5) Chinchpokli Cha Chintamani Ganpati Pictures of 2014 Ganesh Idol
The 2014 “Chinchpokli Cha Chintamani” Ganpati idol is among Mumbai’s best Ganesh Murtis.
“Chinchpokli Sarvajanik Utsav Mandal” is the Ganeshotsav Mandal that manages the “Chinchpoklicha Chintamani” Ganpati Idol. This Ganesh Mandal was founded in 1920 and is among Mumbai’s oldest Ganpati Mandals.
The beautiful calligrapher on the throne “Chinchpokli Cha Chintamani” is by Achyut Palav.
6) Parelcha Raja (Nare Park) Ganpati
The tall Parelcha Raja (Nare Park) Ganesh is standing on the 5-headed “Sheshnag”. The 2014 Nare Park “Parel Cha Raja” has a statue of Brahma attached to his naval.
The 2014 Nare Park (Parel) Parelcha Raja Ganpati statue was made by Rajan R Khatu.
“Parelcha Raja” Gameshutsav is organized by Parel Vibhag Sarvajanik Geneshutsav Mandal, Nare Park. This mandal was formed in 1947 is among the oldest Ganesh Mandals in its area.
7) Kamatipuracha Chintamani Ganesh
The “Kamatipura Cha Chintamani” is one of the best Ganesh Idols in Mumbai in 2014. This tall Ganpati idol is seated on a horse.
The “Kamatipuracha Chintamani” Ganesh Idol was designed and made by Vijay Khatu, one of Mumbai’s best known Ganpati Idol makers.
“Kamathipura Sarvajanik Ganeshutsav Mandal” is the Ganpatiutsav Mandal that organized the “Kamatipura Cha Chintamani” Ganesh Murti. The Ganesh Pandal is located at Mumbai’s Kamathipura 14 Lane (West).
8) Tulsiwadi Cha Maharaja (Tardeo) Ganesh
2014 is the 75th year of “Tulsiwadicha Maharaja” Ganesh Murti. Established in 1939, this year is the Platinum Jubilee Year for “Tulsiwadi Cha Maharaja”.
“Tulsiwadicha Maharaja” is not just among Mumbai’s older Ganpati idols, it is also consistently among its best in terms of creativity. The 2014 Ganesh Murti is astride five white horses.
The Tardeo Tulsiwadi Ganesh Pandal is modelled on the TV serial “Jai Malhar”, which is based on Khandoba, an avatar of Lord Shiva.
The 2013 “Tulsiwadi Cha Maharaja” Idol had 300,000 artificial diamonds and was voted the third best Ganesh Idol in Mumbai.
“Tulsiwadicha Maharaja” is managed by “Tulsiwadi Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Mandal”. The Ganesh statue is located at Tulsiwadi, Tardeo.
9) Fort Cha Raja
The “Fort Cha Raja” Ganpati Idol is organized by Shree Balgopal Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Mandal (Fort).
“Fortcha Raja” Ganesh statue is located near the GPO.
10) Dongri Cha Raja
“DongriCha Raja” Ganesh Idol is organized by “Chinch Bunder Dongri Sarvajanik Ganeshutsav Mandal” (Chinch Bunder).
“Dongri Cha Raja“ Ganpati Murti is made by Sculptor Manohar Bagwe of Bagwe Arts.
2014 is the 76th years for the “DongriCha Raja” Mandal. It was started in 1939.
11) Vile Parle Vishwacha Raja Ganesh Looks Like Lord Shiva
“Vishwacha Raja” (Vile Parle East) Ganpati Idol looks like Lord Shiv. Previous “Vishwacha Raja” Ganesh Murtis (Statues) too have been in the form of Lord Shiva.
Vile Parle Vishwa Cha Raja is organized by “Bal Mitra Mandal Vile Parle”.
“Vishwacha Raja” Ganpati is located at Sadananda Road, Vile Parle East, Mumbai.
12) Chandanwadi (Chira Bazaar) Ganpati
The Chandanwadi Chira Bazaar Ganapati Idol is organized by Akhil Chandanwadi Sarvajanik Ganeshustav Mandal.
The Chira Bazar (Chandanwadi) Ganesh Murti is a stunning looking Idol standing next to a tiger. The 2012 Vijay Khatu designed Chandanwadi Ganesh statue was awarded the 2nd Runner-up Best Ganpati Idol in Mumbai.
Rangari Badak Chawl Ganpati Idol is called “Ladka Lambodar Ganpati”.
The 2014 “Ladka Lambodar“Rangari Badak Chawl Ganesh statue is made by sculptor Ram Sarang, of Sarang Bhandu Artworks.
The first Ladka Lambodar Ganesh idol at Rangari Badak Chawl was installed in 1938. This is the 75th year (Platinum Jubilee) of the Rangari Badak Ganpati.
“Rangari Badak Chawl Ganpati Mandal”, Kalachowki, is the Mandal that organizes the Rangari Badak Chawl Ganeshotsav. Traditionally the Mandal has emphasized on “Sant Parampara”, which teaches equality for all caste and religion.
The 2014 Rangari Badak Chawl Ganesh Mandap (Pandal) is among the best in Mumbai. It is 100 feet long and the “Ladka Lambodar” idol is surrounded by female devotees.
Rangari Badak consists of 16 chawls. Chawl number 1 to 10 are the Badak chawl.
14) Vasaicha Maharaja Ganpati – Famous Ganesh in Mumbai’s Suburbs
“Vasaicha Maharaja” Ganpati is also known as “Navsala Pavnara Vasaicha Maharaja”.
The “Vasai Cha Maharaja“ Ganesh Pandal is at Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Chowk, Anand Nagar, Vasai.
“Vasai Cha Maharaja“ Ganpati Visarjan is done after 7 days.
2014 “Vasaicha Maharaja” Ganesh statue is made by famous Ganpati Idol Sculptor, Vijay Khatu.
“Anand Nagar Sarvajanik Geneshutsav Mandal” are the organizers of “Vasaicha Maharaja“ Ganesh Festival.
15) Khetwadi Lane 10 Ganpati is “Bappa Khetwadicha”
The 2014 Khetwadi 10th Lane Ganesh (“Bappa Khetwadicha”) has a beautiful Pandal (Ganpati Set).
2014 Khetwadi Gali 10 Ganpati Idol is made by Bagwe Arts.
Khetwadi Lane 10 Ganesh is managed by “Om Tandav Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Mandal”.