The Ganeshotsav or Ganpati festival is synonymous to the spirit and exuberance that aptly defines Mumbai city. This festival marks the birth anniversary of the Elephant God and people from various faiths and races visit the various Ganpati pandals across the city. Mumbai gets decked up as various saarvajanik pandals are erected to house this guest God and soon enough serpentine queues are formed as people come to seek the blessings of their most favoured deity. This year, the festival will be celebrated starting on the 29th of August. Here is a list of the top 5 must-visit Ganpati pandals in aamchi Mumbai.
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This is undoubtedly the most famous Ganpati pandal in the city; probably because it’s one of the oldest pandals in Mumbai, that was founded by locals of the Peru Chawl area of Lalbaug in 1932. One can get an inkling of why this is the most famous of all the pandals by taking a look at the long queue of people who come to visit Ganesha. An average of 1.5 million people flock to Lalbaug in just one day! There are two long winding lines to visit the pandal – the general line and the navas line. The navas line takes you directly to the idol’s feet where one may take the blessings and make offerings. It’s located in the Lalbaug market, GD Ambedkar Road, in central Mumbai. The nearest railway stations are Lower Parel, Currey Road and Chinchpokli. Visit this pandal in the wee hours of the morning to avoid the crowd.
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Located in Ganpati Galli, this is the oldest Ganpati pandal in the city which was formed for the benefit of the mill workers in 1928. It is situated at a few minutes’ walk from Lalbaug. It lost its charm to the Lalbaughcha Raja during the 1990s but still pulls a large number of crowds.
This pandal is most famous and well known for making the tallest idol in all of Maharashtra. Khetwadi Mandal was incepted in 1959 but gained popularity in the year 2000 when it constructed the record-breaking tallest Ganesha idol in the state. This pandal is known for interesting themes like Sheesh Mahal (palace of mirrors), Raj Mahal (palace of the king), Swarg Mahal (palace in heaven) and Deep Mahal (palace of lamps).
GSB Seva Mandal:
Adorned in a 22 karat gold-plated throne and precious jewels, it is the richest Ganesha idol in the city. It was founded by the Goud Saraswat Brahmin (GSB) samaj that hails from Karnataka. This idol is special as it is always made out of clay, so it is eco-friendly. It is located at the Ram Mandir, at Walada.
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Andhericha Raja is to the city suburbs what the Lalbaugcha Raja is to the central Mumbai. This pandal was founded by the workers of the tobacco company, Tata Special Steel and Excel Industries Ltd, in 1966 when they moved closer to their factories from Lalbaug. This Ganpati pandal is known for fulfilling wishes. Erected at Veera Desai Road in Andheri, the pandal is said to replicate larger-than-life themes every year.